Boxing: Haye makes big impression
Flamboyant cruiserweight ready to join big boys as Britain's seventh world champ
A week after Joe Calzaghe and amateur Frankie Gavin hit the heights with world-class performances, it was David Haye's turn to punch his way to global domination in Paris last night.
The flamboyant 27-year-old from London became Britain's seventh reigning world champion – and one of the more authentic – acquiring both the World Boxing Council and World Boxing Association cruiserweight titles with a seventh-round stoppage of fight-hardened French holder Jean-Marc Mormeck.
It was a dramatic turnaround, Haye having been floored himself in the fourth. But with Mormeck beginning to tire he seized his moment in the seventh, unleashing an assault which began with a snapping uppercut and culminated in a stunning right to the back of the ear which sent Mormeck spinning face down to the floor.
Although he rose unsteadily at eight, the Italian referee declared he was unable to continue to leave Haye with two belts which ironically he discarded immediately. For he now intends to move up to the heavyweight division where his power punching might prove more profitable.
Haye, whose own world amateur silver medal was surpassed by Gavin, has struggled to make the 14st 4lb limit. He had to shed two stones for this bout and his decision rules out a big-money cruiserweight clash with another Briton, Enzo Macarinelli, the World Boxing Organisation champion. "If he wants to fight me it will have to be at heavyweight," saidy Haye. Macarinelli acknowledged: "It was a cracking fight. Haye came back well and proved he is one of the best. He showed plenty of heart."
Indeed he did. The fight had seemed lost as he was dumped in a corner after Mormeck had exposed his vulnerability to an overhand right in the fourth. The Guadeloupe-born Frenchman, now a Parisian resident, has a touch of the Tysons about him, shuffling forward menacingly and throwing right-hand bombs. Haye did well to recover from the one which put him down for an eight-count, battling back bravely. But he was failing on points when he summoned his own reserves of strength to flatten Mormeck three rounds later.
Haye's promoter, Frank Maloney, believes he has the power and ability to follow in Lennox Lewis's footsteps. Haye thought he would have to knock out the Don King-managed Mormeck, 35, to get a result and he inflicted only the second defeat Mormeck had suffered in a decade.
He said: "It was an explosive fight. My legs went when he caught me in the fourth but I'm a champion. I've got heart and I told myself, 'I've got to get up'. I think I showed class and patience. My strategy held together. I knew I had to pace myself."
Haye is one of Britain's most gifted boxers and has the extrovert personality to go with it. He will be a welcome addition to the ailing heavyweight division and deserves his status as an emerging superstar. "Calzaghe is number one, now I'm number one and let's hope that Ricky Hatton can do it too to show that British boxing is back on top."
Latest in Sport
Mario Balotelli to Liverpool: Best memes as Twitter reacts to imminent £16m transfer
Manchester United transfer news: Louis van Gaal joins Arsenal and Chelsea in the race for Sami Khedira
Sami Khedira to Arsenal? Arsene Wenger reveals Gunners are still in the market for defensive midfielder
Mario Balotelli to Liverpool: Risky business to think Balotelli can replace Luis Suarez
Malky Mackay texts: Harry Redknapp defends former Cardiff City manger - 'he hasn't raped anyone and he is not a paedophile'
- 1 Jeremy Clarkson 'sees no problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC
- 2 'Alien thigh bone' on Mars: Excitement from alien hunters at 'evidence' of extraterrestrial life
- 4 London restaurant 34 creates champagne glass modelled on Kate Moss’ left breast
- 5 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Bin bag full of cats' heads discovered near Manchester's Curry Mile
Disgusting, frustrating, but intriguing: how the country really feels about its politicians
£45000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits: Harrington Starr: SQL Developer (TSQL, S...
£45000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Front-End UI/U...
£30000 - £40000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: C#.NET ...