Boxing: Giant-slayer Haye set to make millions

Fame and riches await Britain's new heavyweight champion

As any PR-savvy theologian will tell you, slaying a giant is a great way to boost your profile.

When brave David, himself no more than a welterweight, stepped out to face Goliath he was already a member of King Saul's court, but it was his nonchalant dispatching of a nine-and-a-half-foot Philistine that marked his arrival in the big time. Women sang about him, he commanded armies and, before long, his irrepressible popularity landed him on the throne of the kingdom of Israel.

Like his namesake, Britain's fourth world heavyweight champion, David Haye (6ft 3in and 15st), who defeated Russia's Nikolai Valuev (7ft 2in and 22st) in Nuremberg in 12 rounds on Saturday night, also rose from humble beginnings to a position of power. The 29-year-old grew up in the insalubrious surroundings of Bermondsey, south London, but after last night's victory has the potential to reawaken the once-glamorous heavyweight division and make himself a global star.

Commercial endorsements and product tie-ins will follow. "The world is his oyster," said Phil Cage, one of Haye's management team, as they flew home yesterday evening. "People are already reaching out to David. We're waiting for the right opportunities. I think we know where we're going, but we're keeping it to ourselves at the moment."

The British boxing manager and promoter Frank Warren confirmed Haye's potential, but said: "He has to capture the imagination of the American public. Of course he's going to be a big deal here. But when you take away all the flag-waving and the freak-show element, it was a dull fight. If it hadn't involved a Brit I would have turned it off."

His American counterpart, promoter Richard Schaefer, begged to differ. "There are a lot of stars out there but really very few who have the talent and skills inside the ring and can transcend that with their charisma outside the ring," he said. "And if you were to rank those champions, then the only one at the top is David Haye."

The Ukrainian brothers Wladimir and Vitali Klitschko hold all the other world heavyweight titles between them. Haye is already talking about a "mega-showdown" with Vitali. "When did we last have a world heavyweight champion?" said the publicist Max Clifford. "He's a good-looking guy. But he's got to become known to a wider audience. Get him on The X Factor. Get him a part in the next Bond movie. Get him on Jonathan Ross.

"Recently boxing seems to have gone down the wrestling route. He could be the man to change all that. Get him an exhibition bout in Afghanistan, with all the troops watching, perhaps on Christmas Day." Where he will be in 12 months hinges on one question. "If Haye can beat the Klitschkos," says Warren, "he'd be very marketable."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Recruitment Genius: Office Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: Have you been doing a brilliant job in an admi...

Surrey County Council: Senior Project Officer (Fixed Term to Feb 2019)

£26,498 - £31,556: Surrey County Council: We are looking for an outgoing, conf...

Recruitment Genius: Interim Head of HR

£50000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you an innovative, senior H...

Recruitment Genius: Human Resources and Payroll Administrator

£20000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client, a very well respect...

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn