Boxing - Haye set to fight on despite doctors' warnings

As everyone expected, it doesn’t look like former heavyweight champion David Haye (26-2) has any solid plans to retire despite apparently being advised to do so by specialists after undergoing surprise shoulder surgery late last year.

Haye posted a picture of himself back in training on Twitter on Thursday, and said: "First session of the year. 2014 is going to be my healthiest, let's start as we mean to go on".

Haye last fought in May 2012, coming out of ‘retirement’ to record a fifth round stoppage of Dereck Chisora at Upton Park.

Since then, he has been scheduled to fight Lebanese Manuel Charr in June, only to pull out with an injured left hand, and subsequently announce a PPV ‘Battle of Britain’ fight with Tyson Fury for September.

The Bermondsey heavyweight was then forced to cancel after suffering a deep cut above the eye in sparring one week beforehand, revealed via a picture he posted on Twitter.

The Fury clash was then rescheduled for February 8 this year, only for Haye to undergo surprise shoulder surgery in November, posting pictures of himself in a hospital bed and wearing an elaborate looking shoulder sling.

According to the press release issued by Hayemaker Boxing, Haye was advised to retire by his surgeon.

At the time, Haye said: “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.”

“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.”

Despite earning huge amounts of money from boxing, it seems that the opportunity to repair a legacy tainted somewhat by a thoroughly disappointing performance against Wladimir Klitschko is what keeps Haye going.

His inability to cause the younger brother any kind of problem in their heavyweight unification fight was attributed afterwards to a dodgy looking little toe, for which Haye received pain numbing injections just before the fight.

To me, it looked as if these injections affected his balance, as he appeared unable to get any decent shots off and slumped to the canvas several times under the weight of the Ukrainian champion.

When Haye, referred to recently by Livefight as a ‘master of public relations’, displayed his toe to the world’s press after the fight, he was ridiculed in what was actually a public relations disaster.

It is widely believed that the poor show, as well as a previous one-sided victory over former Olympic gold medalist Audley Harrision, brought about a temporary end to Pay Per View boxing on SKY - resurrected by the Carl Froch v Mikkel Kessler fight last year.

Subsequent attempts to get another crack at either Wladimir or Vitali were unsuccessful, but with the older brother now a ‘champion emeritus’ and pursing a political career, the path to the WBC belt has become a bit easier, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Haye manages to get a crack at the WBC title (Canadian Bermane Stiverne is now the ’Silver’ champion) in the first half of this year.

On the other hand, don’t be surprised if the fight gets announced, and then doesn’t happen, for whatever reason.