On Saturday night, David Haye (28-2) further demonstrated he still possesses his traditional traits of speed and power within the ring, as his comeback trail continued following a KO victory over former unbeaten Swiss, Arnold Gjergjaj (29-1).
The former unified cruiserweight and WBA heavyweight world champion approached the ring in a confident mood under the lights of the sold out 02 Arena.
The opening round epitomised his confidence; a well-timed left, right combination floored the previously unbeaten Gjergjaj who managed to get up but was on the retreat for the remainder of the round. He was saved from a first round stoppage as Haye caught him with a right hook slightly after the bell but it was very clear who the superior fighter was.
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Haye’s power was too much for the Swiss as he reluctantly paced himself around the ring in the second round before dropping to the canvas once again, courtesy of a stiff jab from the Brit.
The subsequent stoppage came mid-way through the second round as Haye unleashed a flurry of hooks around the guard of Gjergjaj, who at this point was pushed back up against the ropes before falling to the canvas to see out the ten-count.
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Many argued before the fight that Haye should look to improve on the level of opposition following on from his comeback victory over Mark de Mori. Although Gjergjaj was previously undefeated, his level of opposition was questionable and that was proven to be correct on Saturday night as the Swiss folded as soon as the fight began.
Former two-time world champion Shannon Briggs (60-6-1) was on the undercard at the 02 Arena. Following on from his first round KO of Emilio Zarate, it seems as if the much talked about fight between Haye and Briggs will take place this coming September. With Haye confirming this to be the case in his post-fight interview, many will question if Briggs is the right fight for him to take before an inevitable 2017 showdown with IBF world champion, Anthony Joshua (16-0).
Briggs proved he still possesses power, something he always has done seeing as he has the record for the most first-round knockouts by a heavyweight. But at the age of 44 many questions remain whether he will have the movement and stamina to be able to deal with a fighter of Haye’s calibre.
Heavyweight fights are known for their ability to cause a shift in momentum during the course of a fight due to a single punch; although Briggs still possesses the power to achieve this, he will most likely be exposed by Haye, who is known to make the ring tiring for most opponents due to his superior footwork and movement.
However, Briggs has recently transformed into a much-loved character within the boxing world. With his antics ranging from home-made Instagram videos to following Wladimir Klitschko around the world in search of a fight; a tactic which has also surely just landed him a mega fight with David Haye.
Whatever people’s views are about his age and if he still possesses the ability he once had, the fight will sell and help further promote Haye’s stock levels - subsequently making the potential bout with Joshua, that much bigger.
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