Boxing: Haye's chance to move into big time

David Haye is one fight away from occupying the enviable and often lucrative role of mandatory challenger for the World Boxing Council world cruiserweight title.

The fight, however, is against the unbeaten Italian Giacobbi Fragomeni, who in 1999 beat Haye 11-1 at an Olympic qualification tournament in Germany.

"I would say the fight was closer than 11-1 but it really was," Haye claimed. "What Fragomeni did was end my Olympic dream, and that is something that still upsets me."

Haye, 26, has been called British boxing's brightest and most exciting prospect on and off since about 1998, but for a variety of reasons he has not quite attained the success or the riches that he believes he is capable of.

So far, 16 of the 17 men that he has beaten have been stopped or knocked out and tonight, at York Hall, Bethnal Green, will be his third defence of the European cruiserweight title and also a final eliminator for the WBC belt.

As an amateur, Haye became the first and only British boxer to reach a World Amateur Championships final when he was beaten by Cuba's Odlandier Solis in Belfast in 2001.

In 2002 he finally turned professional and his first fight was shown live on the BBC. After 10 easy and early wins, which lasted a total off 11 completed rounds, he was matched with the veteran Carl Thompson for one of the sport's lesser-known world titles. Haye dominated from the start but ran out of ideas and stamina and was stopped in round five.

"The Thompson fight showed me just how far away from the prize I really was," he said. "I'm getting there slowly and beating Fragomeni is a major part of the process."

* Scott Harrison's defence of his WBO featherweight title remains in doubt after mixed reports about his fitness last night. Harrison's lawyer Massimo Franchi said the Scot had passed a British Boxing Board of Control-approved medical and will fight Nicky Cook on 9 December. But Harrison's manager Barry Hughes last night said that while the signs are good, he is waiting on official results.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Management Accountant / Analyst (CIMA finalist/newly qualified)

£32000 - £38000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Management Accountant / F...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - .NET

£27000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leading provider of a mark...

Recruitment Genius: Help Desk Specialist

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides Reliabili...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Managing Engineer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This leading provider of refrigeration, mechan...

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor