David Haye comeback lasts two minutes after easy win over Mark de Mori
By Ben Reynolds
Last Updated: 01/03/16 10:46am
David Haye enjoyed a devastating return to world boxing with a first-round knockout of Mark de Mori at the O2 Arena in London.
Back in the ring after a three-and-a-half year absence, the former WBA heavyweight champion made light work of his Australian opponent, who needed extensive attention from medics after collapsing to the canvas with 56 seconds remaining of the opening round.
The 33-year-old was given oxygen and eventually helped to his stool as Haye celebrated a triumphant return to boxing.
Haye's relaxed ringwalk took twice as long as the fight itself as De Mori offered nothing in the 124 seconds that he was upright, standing still and leaving Haye free to pick his shots at will.
After landing two early left-hand jabs, he eventually caught 'The Dominator' with two big right hooks, followed by an uppercut and further right that sent the 33-year-old to the floor.
However, this fight was more to do with setting up Haye's future opponents, who will have learned little given the lack of resistance from De Mori.
Weighing in at a career-heavy 16st 3lb 5oz, Haye looked slower than his previous self but with 16,000 fans in London his profile will ensure bigger tests to come.
"It's been absolutely amazing. I'd like to thank each and every fan," he told Dave HD. "I assumed a lot of people would give up on me given my physical state in the last few years, but the fact that people have come out and supported me - it's been a tough, tough road, but I'm finally back and I feel better than ever.
"I'm punching harder than ever. De Mori is a tough guy and I felt so cool and calm in there, I don't think any heavyweight on the planet could take those punches.
"My speed doesn't feel any slower at all, it feels better. I think I missed one right hand, I loaded up with one right hand, and I know why I missed that because I shouldn't have thrown that from the position I was in. Maybe that was my ring-rust."
When asked about his troublesome shoulder, he said: "It feels better than it was before. I've spent two years on rehab on this shoulder, building all the muscles and I'm so strong now.
"I'm hitting harder than I've ever hit before and I think this new improved version of me will go on and win heavyweight championships. It felt like home. I had no nerves. This is where I belong."
Looking ahead, Haye is looking for a bout with Anthony Joshua given he is going to have to wait to a chance at WBA heavyweight champion Tyson Fury.
"Tyson Fury is pretty clear about not wanting to fight me," he added. "I said I'll work my way up the rankings, and he said he'd relinquish the belts instead of fight me so why bother?
"Why not go for bigger, better fights? A bigger fight's Anthony Joshua. I believe that fight can be made later on in the year. I'm in shape, I'm punching hard. I'm a little bit older. It'll make for a great fight.
"That's the type of fight I want, that's why I'm back in boxing. It's the big fights, I need that."
"Fury's a good fighter. You don't go to Germany and do what he did (in beating Wladimir Klitschko). It's a shame he doesn't want to fight me but I think we all know why when you see power like that (tonight).
"I want to unify the heavyweight division. I set my plan out to do that many years ago and I fell short.
"I'm going to make a serious run at this heavyweight division. There are titles all over the place at the moment and it'll take someone like me to clean it up."