Former heavyweight champion David Haye (27-2-KO25) continues his mission to climb back to the top of the rankings and a secure another world title shot, when he takes on unbeaten Kosovan Arnold Gjergjaj (29-0-KO21) at the O2 Arena in London on Saturday night.
Both boxers weighed in on Friday with the Haymaker tipping the scales at a lean 224lbs, less than he weighed for his comeback fight against Mark De Mori in January.
Gjergjaj, will hold a two-inch height advantage over Haye, he stands at 6ft 5′, and came in heavier at 237lbs as he prepares to fight outside of Switzerland for only the second time in his career.
The experienced Haye is expected to defeat the man they call ‘The Cobra’ but admits he is not taking him lightly after so long out of the ring, in what he calls a ‘must win fight.’
“I need to be at my best. I can’t afford to turn up here and assume that because I’ve competed at a higher level, it’ll be enough. I’ve had two minutes of ring action in four years which isn’t ideal but I’m ready to do what needs to be done.” said Haye.
“I want a 10-round fight and I want to really have to figure out some puzzles in there and dig deep. I haven’t had that for a long time and I’m looking forward to putting on a big spectacle.
“In the gym, it feels like I’m better than I was many years ago but you can only tell when the bell goes and I’m looking forward to seeing what I’ve got against an unbeaten, hungry young fighter. It’s a must-win fight for me.”
Now 35-years old, Haye admits it is now or never if he is to have one last hoorah at claiming back is belt, and believes his power holds the key for his revived success. Fellow Brits Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua sitting at the top of the tree, and Haye is a couple fights off mixing it with them.
“I can’t leave anything to chance. This is my last run at being heavyweight champion again.” added Haye. – “If I don’t do it on this run, I can’t come back in my 40s. It’s just not going to happen. So I know I still have it in me.
“The power is there in sparring, in my last fight in January as soon my knuckles hit his chin he went to sleep, I still have the knockout power, I still have the speed, and I will be the heavyweight champion again.”
Should Haye beat Gjergjaj, he has then agreed to face 44-year-old former world champion Shannon ‘The Cannon’ Briggs next. The American ‘Lets go Champ’ boxer will get his opportunity to derail Hayes comeback and put his own name back in the mix. Briggs will take on Argentine Emilio Zarate on the same bill.
David Haye takes on Arnold Gjergjaj at The O2 on Saturday 21 May. Watch the fight exclusively live on Dave from 8pm.