In the build-up to David Haye’s heavyweight bout against Tony Bellew, he could have been forgiven for being upbeat and confident as he prepared for his showdown against the charismatic Liverpudlian.
However, as the fight build-up continued, Haye appeared to succumb to Bellew’s mind games and a number of controversial comments and outbursts by Haye at the press conferences underlined this.
This loss of cool seemed to carry on into the ring on fight night. From the off, Haye was highly intense and the rage directed at Bellew was clear for everyone to see as he stared down his opponent as he made his entrance to the ring.
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Haye tried against Bellew from round one, perhaps even too hard. He seemed determined to follow through on his promise that he would destroy his opponent. As a result, he lacked discipline, swinging and missing on a number of occasions.
He played right into Bellew’s hands and was able to withstand Haye’s attacks.
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Haye, who weighed in almost a stone heavier than Bellew, appeared slower and more sluggish than the Haye of yesteryear. Three fights in five years have had a detrimental effect on his sharpness and fitness.
The extra weight, lack of support in his boots and his lack of steadiness on his feet eventually contributed to the Hayemaker rolling his ankle causing a damaged Achilles tendon. From that point on, the Bermondsey-born fighter was even more unsteady on his feet and struggled to put pressure on the damaged ankle, essentially fighting on one leg.
Bellew took swift advantage and managed to knock Haye down on a number of occasions. Soon after the fight, the Hayemaker was taken to a nearby hospital, where surgery on the ankle was carried out.
Haye, despite the loss will no doubt take heart in the fact that he could still come back but he will likely weigh up his options once he does return.
A damaged Achilles tendon isn’t a straightforward injury and it requires time to heal. A lot of time.
Unfortunately for the Hayemaker , at 36, he is closer to the end of his career than the beginning and time is not a commodity he has too much of.
Haye now faces a long layoff - nine months at least. He will also need to get back into form, possibly by taking on some preparation fights before he can even consider a world title push.
By which time, he will find himself well into 2018 and this latest injury may have a detrimental effect on his career.
This loss to Bellew and the subsequent injury will no doubt have a negative effect on Haye's value in the boxing world and he will definitely have to work very hard to get back to where he was.
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