David Haye explains what made him realise he had to retire during second Bellew fight

British boxing has seen some extraordinary talents throughout the years.

Lennox Lewis, Joe Calzaghe, Ricky Hatton, Carl Froch, all waving the Union Jack high whilst conquering the world.

Today’s era of British boxing is no different, with names such as Anthony Joshua, Tyson Fury, and plenty more headlining blockbuster bouts.

One British name to dominate the sport was David Haye, who retired earlier this year with a 28-4 record following a second consecutive defeat to Tony Bellew in May.

At 37-years-old, Haye was a shadow of his former self – and he knew it.

Just over a month later, the London-born cruiserweight announced his retirement in a lengthy statement on his official website.

Now, nearly three months after the announcement, Haye revealed the exact moment he knew he should hang up his gloves – which actually came during the fight.

When talking to Max Rushden at talkSPORT, he said: “The good thing about boxing is that you know you should retire when you get your head punched in.

“With footballers, they can still have that nice touch and read the game even if they’re less mobile with age and can continue past their prime.

“But in boxing, once those reflexes diminish one fraction of a second, the shots that miss you are now hitting you clean.”

Most fans won’t be surprised to find out that it was during the second Bellew fight where he knew his time was up.

He continued: “Walking to the ring, I felt unstoppable.

“The bell rang, and I remember him doing one particular punch. I saw it coming and normally I’d react to by countering him, but I didn’t.

“Bit-by-bit, everything just didn’t work. I could see the punches coming but I body wasn’t reacting to them.”

However, retirement can often be a relative term in the world of sport. But when asked about his future, Haye was adamant he wasn’t planning on returning to the ring any time soon.

He continued: “I’m done now, truly done. And I think anyone who tuned in (to the last fight) will agree. The Hayemaker is no more.”

Perhaps Haye deserved one last win to cap off his remarkable 16-year career.

Nevertheless, he’ll fondly be remembered as a Britsh boxing great.

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