BOXING

Boxing: Haye to return to ring to "prove point" against billionaire pal

David Haye, who retired from boxing in 2018, says he has no intention of making a "traditional comeback" but is to take on his friend Joe Fournier in September.

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Retired Haye to fight 'overconfident billionaire buddy' Fournier

David Haye is to return to the ring to "prove my point against my overconfident billionaire buddy" Joe Fournier in Los Angeles on 11 September.

Haye retired three and a half years ago after Bellew defeat

Former world cruiserweight and heavyweight champion Haye retired from boxing after losing a rematch with Tony Bellew in May 2018.

The 40-year-old has been tempted to lace the gloves up again for a fight with former WBA light heavyweight international champion Fournier at Staples Center but the Brit says he is not making a "traditional comeback".

Fournier fight plan hatched on "boozy night in Mykonos"

Haye said: "This whole fight between us came into existence when at dinner with a group in Mykonos we were asked who would win in a fight between us.

"I laughed, but out of respect for Joe's ego suggested it would be close, maybe a draw – whilst winking to Joe.

"Joe's straight-faced response was very different, he was deadly serious stating he would win in a fight today – I assumed it was just the tequila talking.

"And that's exactly where it started. A boozy night in Mykonos, two alpha males peacocking with a crowd of girls. Fast forward two weeks, I remain happily retired from boxing, with no intentions to make a traditional comeback to challenge the monsters of the division but am fit and ready to prove my point against my overconfident billionaire buddy.

"I would've been more than happy to prove this point behind closed doors, I suggested a four-round spar in my Hayemaker Gym in London, which would have been more than enough to shut him up.

"But for Fournier, the 'Ric Flair' of the boxing world, this would have done nothing for his 'legacy'. Joe asked what it would cost to get me through the ropes one last time for an official fight, on a real stage. I told him it would have to be a package rivalling my last PPV blockbusters. A few calls with the lawyers, and here we are."

Haye-Fournier on De La Hoya-Belfort undercard

The fight is on the undercard for the return of the 48-year-old Oscar De La Hoya, who comes up against Vitor Belfort, 44.