On This Day in 2013: David Haye has to rethink his plans

Former world heavyweight champion David Haye was advised by doctors to retire from boxing on this day in 2013.

The then 33-year-old was told to think about ending his 11-year professional career after undergoing five hours of surgery in Germany in an attempt to reconstruct his right shoulder.

Haye had been due to face fellow Briton Tyson Fury in a rearranged bout in Manchester the following February, but was forced to cancel the fight for a second time, having previously pulled out of a September date due to a cut above his left eyebrow.

Haye unified the world cruiserweight titles by knocking out Enzo Maccarinelli in 2008
Haye unified the world cruiserweight titles by knocking out Enzo Maccarinelli in 2008 (Sean Dempsey/PA)

In a statement on Haye’s website, he said: “I genuinely believed the shoulder injury wasn’t that bad.

“But the doctor sent me for a detailed MRI scan and within 24 hours I was told the full extent of the damage. Twenty-four hours after that I was in the operating theatre.

“It’s a crushing blow for me. I had big plans for next year and the ultimate goal was to win back the world heavyweight title, something my amazing fans deserve.

“What I didn’t anticipate was that this year would be the unluckiest of my career and that a number of injuries would disrupt my plans so much.

“Perhaps it just wasn’t meant to be. The boxing Gods keep hinting that maybe enough is enough and that it’s time to finally hang up my gloves.”

Despite the medical advice, Haye returned to the ring four years later with wins over Mark de Mori and Arnold Gjergjaj in 2016.

He had become unified cruiserweight world champion by stopping fellow Briton Enzo Maccarinelli in 2008 and beat Russian Nikolay Valuev for the WBA heavyweight title in 2009.

The Bermondsey fighter finally announced his retirement in June 2018 after back-to-back losses to Tony Bellew, walking away from the sport aged 37 with 28 career wins – 26 by knockout – from 32 fights.