Boxing rends dignity away like a stolen nerve- David Haye is a spent force | Kevin Mitchell

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After his second win by Tony Bellew, David Haye evaded questions about retirement but the 37 -year-old is now a sitting duck for top fighters

Boxing alters no calumny, which is why David Haye should look back over his statements before and after his ravaging second defeat by Tony Bellew and consider doing what all boxers must eventually do: cease the working day job.

Three dates before the 37 -year-old Londoner endured his what might prove to be his farewell nightmare, he professed:” My only conclude for is in accordance with boxing is to prove I’m the best on countries around the world. I need to prove I’m better than Tony before I can think about that .”

Haye, with fragments of his chiselled form falling off him, dream still of prevailing back his macrocosm heavyweight claim, of challenging the young behemoths, Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder.

” Even if I overpower Tony ,” he included,” I’ll have to watch the tape back and say, OK, is that person good enough to beat the Joshuas and Wilders of the world? If I’m getting caught with shoots and missing … I’m not going to see gave myself in the ring with these guys. I’m not just going to get my head punched in. I’m not stupid. I’ll only do it if I genuinely imagine I can win the fight. I’ve never gone into a fight I didn’t think I could prevail .”

Even an hour before the fight on Saturday night at the O2 Arena, he said:” If I can’t get Bellew out of there in good manner, my ideals of triumphing names are down the drain. So I need to go out and truly put on a good rendition .”

It took Bellew less than a one-quarter of an hour to reassure Haye his ambitions were illusory. Yet, having proclaimed unequivocally beforehand he would need to win in style carried forward, Haye later evaded the issues of retirement- far more efficiently than when he had attempted to avoid the head shots that had placed him down twice in the third and once in the fifth, leading to the compassionate intervention of the referee.

” I dunno. I didn’t be thought that great in there ,” he said,” but I’ll have to review the strips and watch exactly what went wrong .” The videotapes are a fighter’s consolation blanket- or hair shirt.

Without reference to them, he was able to say:” Tony Bellew boxed a great battle and I didn’t, plain and simple. Maybe after having these rounds,[ I could] get back in there and maintaining the momentum disappearing, perhaps I’ll put on a better rendition. As of tonight, I was bettered by the better boy .”

So, a confusing psychological mishmash of recreation and rejection rounded out the saga. Haye, who weathers agony in the ring without grievance, could not inflict more on his soul following the adjournment of losing to his Liverpudlian tormentor for the second time. He might cut the umbilical cord to his play in the next few dates, or he might try to constrict one or two more paydays out of it.

Haye, who has never shortage for swagger, is used to accusations that he is only in boxing now for the money but it is a strange innuendo on health professionals boxer. It is, after all, what he does for a living. His predicament is reassuring customers to pay to watch him. His reflexes have monotonous, his balance, calmnes and judgment have disintegrated to the time where his jolts do not country with the force of old against person as reverberating savvy as Bellew, and his fading perforate fight represents him a sitting duck at this level.

The promoter Eddie Hearn, giving professional distance to the debate, mentions:” He came up to me at the end of the fight and “hes been gone”:’ I actually enjoyed the flavour’ and I’m thinking … like, he enjoyed the amble! But he’s never been hurt like that before.

” He’s got a lot of mettle. Fair play to him. And he boxed six rounds with a snapped achilles[ in the first engage 14 months away ]. But, where individuals review his occupation, they are able to ever identify he lost to Tony Bellew, KO11, and he lost to Tony Bellew, KO5, as the last two. There’s no point in coming back. He’s not the same fighter. He can win. He can beat parties but he can’t beat elite world-class fighters.

” He’s still a world-class fighter but he’s not the old David Haye. Still very dangerous. He made Tony with a shot and I know when he’s hurt, because he starts going for a walking, and you could see his[ unsteady] leg. That was a dangerous time but he’s not the fighter he was .”

Was he still marketable?

” Not box office. Dillian Whyte would be a really big O2 engage. The only thing I will say is “hes spent” quite a long time passing cost for coin on pay-per-view. I know the first oppose was a bit odd but there was a lot of drama. And, even tonight, he introduced his bollocks on the line. He didn’t take a knee. He put it all on the line. He does used to go like that. Even get up from the last knockdown- he went down face firstly .”

It’s not the most dignified departure from a lifetime’s work but boxing is a chore that rips away glory like a stolen heart.

There is another pre-fight remark from Haye that is worth revisiting:” Some ages you’ve got to knock a building down to rebuild it. If the foundations aren’t right , no matter how nice a house appears, it will crumble sooner or later. For me to challenge some of these whales in the fraction, I can’t have a weak foundation .”

When Bellew knocked the building down on Saturday, everyone knew Haye’s foundations were as likely to be put back together again as Humpty Dumpty.

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