David Haye, who hasn't fought since a July 2012 win over Dereck Chisora, made his return to boxing official today in London, announcing that he'll face Australian Mark de Mori at the O2 Arena on January 16.
Haye, 35, said, ""I'm so happy to be able to step back through the ropes and back into the ring, where I do my best work. It's been a long three and a half years out, with many ups and downs, but ‘The Hayemaker' is finally back, and ready to do what I do best.
"I've a new team, new look and new inspiration to achieve my goals. I've always set the bar high in my career, and I will continue to do so. Please sit back and get ready for another fun-fuelled heavyweight campaign to the very top."
A former heavyweight titleholder and cruiserweight champion, Haye (26-2, 24 KO)) has an interesting opponent for his return. De Mori (30-1-2, 26 KO) is ranked No. 8 by the WBA, which is great for press releases, but he's also an unproven fighter for someone who can technically be called a contender. The 33-year-old from Perth, who now lives in Croatia, has won 21 straight fights since 2006, fighting in Australia, Indonesia, Germany, Croatia, and once in the United States. He's confident that this opportunity will prove his ability.
"I've finally got my shot. I've been put on the side lines for many years, frustratingly looking in, and not been given the opportunity to fulfill my ambition to fight the big names and to become the heavyweight champion of the world," he said. "Well that has now changed and January 16 at The O2 will be my time to shine, when I knock David Haye back into retirement. To all my Aussie brothers and sisters make sure you see this fight live, it's going to be brutal."
De Mori is an athletic fighter, and has an interesting story in that he took up the sport by sort of teaching himself how to box by watching fight footage on YouTube. He's not a joke, but a win over Haye would be far bigger than anything he's done thus far in his career, and on the surface, boxing being what it is, you have to expect that Haye carefully chose this opponent. But having not fought in three years, and De Mori having some good power in his shots, there is at least some element of danger here.
Do you like this as Haye's comeback fight?