David Haye returns to action against Mark de Mori on January 16
Last Updated: 24/11/15 4:21pm
Former world heavyweight champion David Haye will return to action on January 16 when he faces Mark de Mori in London.
The 35-year-old (26-2-KO24), who is now trained by Shane McGuigan, has not fought since July 2012 when he stopped Dereck Chisora but announced he will return to face Australia's De Mori (30-1-2-KO26) at The O2.
The South Londoner said that huge fights involving Tyson Fury v Wladimir Klitschko - on Sky Box Office on Saturday night - and Anthony Joshua v Dillian Whyte next month have given him the motivation to return to the ring where he says he intends to "fulfil his potential."
Haye was beaten by Klitschko in 2011 and admitted that defeat still troubles him.
"It's unfinished business. I always wanted to unify the title," he told Sky Sports News HQ. "I got my opportunity against Wladimir Klitschko and I don't believe I fulfilled my potential that night. I believe I under-performed and I lost a points decision.
"Three-and-a-half years out of the ring is a long time. I had injuries and operations but I'm fully fit now. I'm working with Shane McGuigan and I'm feeling better than ever. I'm looking forward to getting in amongst these big fights that are happening at the moment. You've got Fury v Klitschko. You've got young Anthony Joshua against Dillian Whyte, two undefeated fighters.
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"There are some great times ahead for boxing. So the heavyweight division is in a fantastic position. I have a lot left to give. 'The Dominator', Mark de Mori - he hasn't lost in 11 years. Twenty-six of his 30 victories have come via knockout. It's going to be an interesting test but one I'm looking forward to passing with flying colours."
Haye's friend Carl Froch believes that anything longer than a year out of the ring is too long but Haye said: "A year is a long time - but if you look at my record I've got a year between pretty much all of my fights.
"Maybe for a super-middleweight like Carl who likes to fight regularly…but some of the greatest heavyweights of all time, Muhammad Ali, George Foreman, Vitali Klitschko, had lay-offs, three-a-half-years to 10 years. All came back to regain the heavyweight championship of the world.
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"So if those guys can do it, I like to think I can do it also... I'm going to go on to be the heavyweight champion of the world."
De Mori, who is ranked in the top 10 by the WBA, said: "I've finally got my shot. I've been put on the sidelines for many years, frustratingly looking in, and not been given the opportunity to fulfil my ambition to fight the big names and to become the heavyweight champion of the world."
Haye won the WBA world title in November 2009 when he outpointed Nikolai Valuev, and defended his crown against John Ruiz and Audley Harrison before losing a decision to Klitschko in July 2011.