David Haye, the English heavyweight and arguably the best hope for a gold medal in the ring, arrived back here late last night after a secret two-day trip to London to see an orthopaedic specialist and immediately apologised to Ian Irwin, the English coach, for his absence. It is unlikely that Haye will be punished for breaking protocol.
Haye confirmed that he tore a muscle on his right biceps during his opening bout last Friday and was advised that if he boxed in the quarter-final, due to take place today, he risked a rupture and a far more serious injury. The pain increased overnight and he flew to London in desperation on Saturday afternoon.
"I'm only 21, I made a mistake and I did what I thought was right at the time and obviously I didn't go through the correct channels," Haye said.
Earlier, Irwin could barely contain his anger when he spoke about the missing boxer. He said: "I was flabbergasted when I was told [about the injury]. But the other boxers have said 'stuff it' and let's get on with it." Haye will remain as part of team, with the 2004 Athens Olympics in mind.
Last night Haye watched Steven Bell beat Trinidad's Devon Jones at featherweight and Paul Smith stop Cameroon's Foster Nkodo at light-middleweight to take England's tally to nine in the quarter-finals, which start at the Wythenshawe Forum today. Earlier, light-flyweight Darran Langley outpointed Northern Ireland's Paul Baker and middleweight Steven Birch did the same to Baker's compatriot Conall Carmichael to progress.
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