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David Haye: King of the Pay Day


By Matt Plumridge: David “Haymaker” Haye (26-2, 24KO) returns to action this Saturday in a tune up fight against Aussie banger Mark De Mori (30-1-2) with the intention of setting out his golden stall on the way to some lucrative match ups later in the year.

Despite being out for 3 and a half years, Haye still carries plenty of interest for casual fans both wanting him to win and lose, and with fast hands, an explosive punch and a mobile style, he still has plenty to offer the division.

Whatever you may think about his ability, his fighting heart or some say lack of it, you can only but admire the business skill with which Haye has executed his career to this point. He has proven to be a master in matching himself against legitimate but not particularly dangerous fighters – and in each case he has managed to squeeze every available penny on offer, in view of the level of opposition he has faced.

If you don’t believe me – just look at the numbers. He earned £1m ($1.5m) for fighting a washed up John Ruiz; £3m ($4.5m) for his demolition job of a European level Derick Chisora; and £5m ($7.5m) for taking just two jabs in three rounds against the badly over matched Audley Harrison. All of which gave him the leverage to demand (and get) £10m ($15m) for the Wladimir Klitschko fight – a most risky fight by Hayes’ standards, but one that he earned the most from and still managed to avoid getting particularly damaged, despite going 12 rounds.

This is great business by any measure and for me underpins the major motive of David Haye. He appreciates his worth and how his ability can stretch to maximise it better than any other. Sure, some will say “but Mayweather earns $40m a fight!” – yet Mayweather really is the greatest boxer of our generation and only got into the bigger money past his 35th fights – which were all wins to that point. Haye has earned all this money having fought 28 fights in total – and then having lost 2.

I appreciate some will dislike what would seem a money motivated attitude, yet I bet the vast majority of us would trade not getting hit, keeping our faculties intact and earning these huge sums of money versus getting involved in hard fights and then earning a pittance. Unfortunately most professionals only get the option of treading the latter path.

Which is why, now that the division has opened up once more and two British Heavyweights are in the leading pack, Haye has thrown his hat and body back in the ring. If he can beat either Joshua or Fury, then the purse for the follow up fight against the other will actually be greater than the Klitschko fight and Haye knows it.

So expect a smart and destructive KO match up against Mori – who is bound to go forward looking for his own bomb – followed by plenty of trash talk plus another win or two, to help build up a fight against most likely Joshua at the end of the year.

I salute you David Haye; smart in the ring, but even smarter out of it.

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