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06th Mar 2017

There’s been a massive update on David Haye’s fighting future

The long road to recovery starts here

Darragh Murphy

Don’t write David Haye off just yet.

The calls for the 36-year-old to hang up his gloves were loud and abundant following his bizarre defeat to fierce rival Tony Bellew on Saturday night.

The London showdown ended in unorthodox fashion, with Haye rupturing his Achilles tendon at the midway point of the heavyweight contest and fighting on for a further five rounds on one leg.

The damage was significant and the expected recovery time, coupled with Haye’s age, led many to believe that his fighting days were done after his third career defeat.

As he limped out of London’s O2 Arena, there was a very real sense of it being his final walk from the ring.

But perhaps we all jumped the gun.

Haye underwent surgery on Sunday and, judging by a conversation with his close friend Carl Froch, he is already focusing on his comeback.

Few know ‘The Hayemaker’ as well as four-time super-middleweight world champion Froch, who has insisted that retirement is not in Haye’s thoughts.

“I don’t think it’s the end of him. I spoke to David Haye earlier and he’s out of the operation, he’s out of theatre,” Froch told Sky Sports.

“The Achilles heel is fixed and he’s adamant he will be coming back and he wants to fight again. First and foremost for David Haye, he wants the rematch with Bellew.

“It’s quite a debilitating injury as we know, but you can make a full recovery. Whilst your injured, you’re in bits, you can’t even walk, your leg is in plaster. But I think from operation to actually competing, it can be as short as six or seven months.

“David Haye at 36, this isn’t the end of his career, I think he’s going to come again. He’s told me he wants to come again – 100 per cent. He said to me and I quote, ‘I will win a heavyweight world title’, but I want the rematch with Bellew first.”

There were suggestions that both men involved in Saturday night’s main event could have competed for the last time against one another, with claims from Bellew that he was considering retirement.

After netting the biggest payday of his fighting career, ‘Bomber’ hinted that he could call it a day.

“I don’t know how many times more I can put my body and family through this,” Bellew told BBC Radio 5 live on Monday before revealing that “it [retirement] is an option.

“It’s something I’m thinking about.”