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David Haye hints about retirement in 2018

David Haye Tony Bellew

By Marcus Richardson: David ‘Haymaker’ Haye is hinting that he’ll be hanging up his gloves in 2018. The 37-year-old Haye (28-3, 26 KOs) has already made it clear that if he loses his rematch against 35-year-old Tony Bellew (29-2-1, 19 KOs) on May 5, he’ll be walking away from the sport.

Haye will be turning 38 in October. That’s not old for a heavyweight, but Haye has been having bad injury problems for the past 6 years. If Haye keeps sustaining bad injuries, it’s going to make it tough for him to stay active enough to get the big fights that he wants against guys like Anthony Joshua.

Haye lost to Bellew by an 11th round knockout last year on March 4. What led to the defeat was Haye suffering a ruptured Achilles tendon in the 6th round. Haye was unable to do much of anything after sustaining the injury other than limp around the ring.

The Haye-Bellew rematch was supposed to take place last December, but Haye suffered a biceps injury that led to the fight being postponed. Hopefully, Haye doesn’t suffer another injury that leads to the May fight being postponed as well. It would be a joke if the rematch is delayed a second time. Haye previously had 2 scheduled fights against Tyson Fury fall through due to him suffering injuries.

Haye said on his social media site that 2018 “is going to be the most exciting year of my life,” but then he followed up by saying that it’s “potentially my last year as a competitive athlete so I want to go out with some big fireworks.”

If Haye doesn’t get injured during training camp or during the fight, he’ll have a good chance of beating Bellew if he’s well-trained and he’s not ring rusty. Haye looked very ring rusty in his fight with Bellew last year in March.

Haye says his left bicep is now “40 percent” of where it needs to be for him to face Bellew. Haye vs. Bellew is seen as a business type of fight. There are arguably better contenders in the division than Bellew. Luis Ortiz, Alexander Povetkin and Jarrell Miller would all likely beat Bellew.

The World Boxing Council has Bellew ranked at No.5, above noted heavyweights like Carlos Takam, Lucas Browne, Hughie Fury, Charles Martin, Oscar Rivas, Agit Kabayel, Dereck Chisora , Johann Duhaupas and Adam Kownacki. It’s not likely that Bellew would beat all of those guys or even one of them. Bellew’s ranking by the WBA is generous to say the least.

Haye needs a win over Bellew to put him in position for a world title shot against IBF/WBA heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua. Joshua vs. Haye would be a big deal in the UK, but only if the Hayemaker gets past Bellew. Haye will probably need to win one more fight before he gets a crack at Joshua, as AJ is booked up with a full plate of fights in 2018.

At the earliest, Haye vs. Joshua will take place in 2019. It’ll depend on whether Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn can setup fights for him against Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury in 2018. If those fights can’t get made, then Haye could get a shot at Joshua in late 2018. Hearn would be making a mistake not to make the Joshua-Haye fight this year, since this might be his last chance to make the fight.

If Haye can’t get a fight with Joshua this year, a third bout against Bellew might be a good option for him. If the 2 heavyweights put on exciting show in May, a rubber match might be in order, especially if they bring in a lot of pay-per-view buys on Sky Box Office.

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