Hayemaker still has more than enough power to make a spectacular return to the ring
David Haye's reactions may have slowed, but the 35-year-old is unlikely to need them in his comeback fight against the unproven Mark de Mori
The O2 Arena is the setting for David Haye’s comeback fight against Mark de Mori on Saturday night.
The former world champion is a very short price at 1/25 for this scrap but that is understandable when you compare the careers and skills of both fighters.
Haye (26-2) might have been inactive for three-and-a-half years but he will have far too much for the Australian-Croat when they meet in London.
Such a long absence from the ring will always raise questions over a fighter.
He cannot possibly be as sharp as he was at his peak - when he won the WBA world heavyweight title in 2009 – having inevitably lost some of the speed that made him so impressive.
However, the Hayemaker is unlikely to have lost the frightening power in his right hand that made him dangerous to any opponent, especially those of similar height.
It was only really against the giants Wladimir Klitshcko and Nikolai Valuev that he could he not fully unleash his trademark weapon.
De Mori is slightly shorter than Haye and has less reach, while he also lacks both head movement and footwork.
In short, his impressive record of 30-1-2 masks his status as an extremely average boxer given the calibre of opponents those wins have been racked up against.
For example, despite having years of experience from 33 bouts to call upon, the Dominator defeated someone last year in Radenko Kovac who at the time had a record of just 2-5.
The most impressive name on De Mori’s card is Alex Leapai – who he fought to a draw over six rounds on the Samoan’s debut over a decade ago.
With 26 knock-outs to his name he can clearly punch, but whether he can catch Haye is dubious, even if the Englishman’s reactions have slowed with time.
Haye will be looking to put on a real show on his return to the ring as he looks to manoeuvre a world-title shot in the near future.
He might take a round to feel his way into it but will then start unleashing on an opponent who is likely to be easy enough to hit and is 1/9 to be knocked out.
The fight is scheduled for 12 rounds but punters in Greenwich need not worry about missing the last tube as it will almost certainly not go half that distance – with Haye evens to win during rounds 1-3 and 13/8 to do so between rounds four and six.
Make no mistake – Haye will have his arms held aloft once again on Saturday and he may not even need to break sweat in doing so.