Former heavyweight boxing champion Haye announces retirement

Экс-соперник Владимира Кличко завершил карьеру

The former WBA heavyweight champion insisted he would stop fighting if he again lost to Tony Bellew in their rematch last month, and having shown significant signs of decline before being stopped in five rounds he has confirmed he no longer plans to fight on.

Haye made his professional debut in 2002 and despite suffering a surprise defeat to former world champion Carl Thompson in 2004, he went on to establish himself as one of the finest cruiserweights in history by travelling to Paris and climbing off the canvas to stop the risky Jean-Marc Mormeck in 2007, winning his first two world titles.

"Lifting that World Heavyweight Championship meant I'd fulfilled a promise I'd made to my mum, Jane, at the age of three".

"I was lucky enough to train alongside David Haye for a while, but the man that is sometimes portrayed in the media is not the man that I got to know".

In doing so, he became only the second boxer after American Evander Holyfield to unify the cruiserweight titles and become a heavyweight world champion. "In a unusual sort of way, I'm proud to have gone out on my feet, on my own kamikaze terms".

He retires with a record of 32 fights, 28 wins, 26 KOs and four defeats.

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Often times over the years Haye came in for some flack from the media and fans for various reasons. "But this was just two veterans giving the crowd what they wanted: a grudge match".

"Despite the pre-fight hype, I can assure you I have a huge amount of respect and admiration for Tony", said Haye.

He said he was "ready to close this chapter in my life" but "this is not the end of my story - it's simply the start of something new".

'Thanks to boxing, I have been able to live my unencumbered childhood dream; a dream my dad, Deron, facilitated the moment he took me to Fitzroy Lodge amateur boxing club as a nervous 10-year-old, ' Haye added in a 2,000 statement on his website.

"For my fans, it must have been like going to support their favourite thoroughbred racehorse at the Grand National, only to see their stallion stumble out the gates like a sedated mule at the Donkey Derby".

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