Q&A: David Haye

The heavyweight talks Tyson Fury, sparring with Rita Ora and training Justin Bieber!

Hi David! How’s training going?

Good! I’m always in fighting shape even when I’m out of the ring so there’s nothing new there for me. I’m looking forward to doing a job on Tyson Fury, my training has been the same as normal as I don’t see him bringing anything different to the ring that I haven’t dealt with before.

Can you compare this fight to the Valuev fight?

No you can’t because this guy is a bit of a brawler than a boxer. This will be a more entertaining fight because he’ll be swinging at me a lot more and trying to rough me up. I’ve got a remedy for that though so there’s nothing to worry about.

Are you going for a knockout?

Yeah I always do, my knock out ratio is good so that’s what I’m aiming for again.

What worries you about Tyson Fury?

Nothing worries me. He’s young and hungry for it but it’s nothing new so I’m prepared for it.

David Haye
Haye and Fury at the press conference

Can you take his trash talking seriously? You were both laughing on Sky Sports’ Ringside.

I can’t take him seriously let alone his trash talking. He’s said he’s the greatest ever boxer that’s ever lived and that will ever live. They’re his words and he wasn’t even drunk when he said them! Anyone who says stuff like that must be insane. He’s also tripped over his own feet in the ring and punched himself in the face so he’s just delusional.

Has he talked his way into this fight rather than earn it?

Yeah well he hasn’t fought anyone of any note if you look at his record. His last fight was against a cruiserweight and he got put down.

Will you shake his hand after the fight?

If he’s got the energy to lift it off the canvas after the fight I’ll shake it.

He told me he’s not going to shake yours…

I couldn’t care less. I wouldn’t be surprised if he physically can’t after the beating I’m going to dish out on him anyway.

What’s the motivation to carry on boxing, what else do you want to achieve?

I want to regain the title, that’s the goal now. It would be nice to be a three-time champ so that’s the goal.

What did you do during your retirement?

I was still in the gym working with other boxers and stuff so I was never truly away from the sport. It’s nice to be back in training though and pushing myself to the limit.

Are you still in touch with anyone from the jungle?

Yeah I’m still in touch with a few of them. They’ve all got their own thing going on though so we don’t see each other very often. I don’t think I’d do it again though, I’ve got bigger fish to fry now. I wanted to get myself out there to a wider audience last year and I felt I did that. I had a certain reputation going into that show and hopefully people got to see the real me and had a different opinion of me after the show.

We saw you sparring with Rita Ora recently. What was that about?

Yeah she came down to my gym and we had a good little work out. She’s probably got better movement than Tyson Fury as she was pretty quick around the ring. I think she’d give him a run for his money at boxing for sure.

Rita Ora
Haye in the ring with Rita Ora

You’ve also had Justin Bieber in the ring. Was he really annoying?

Ha-ha! he was alright actually. He punched a lot harder than people would think. His movement around the ring was good, which is probably from all the dancing he’s been doing in his career. Anyone that wants to give him a slap should be warned – he packs a good punch!

He is pretty annoying though…

I’ve only met him a few times and he’s always been alright with me.

Do you still want to crack Hollywood?

Yeah when the boxing is one hundred percent done I’m going to have a crack at acting but at the moment I’m fully focused on my boxing career.

What’s the reaction like in bars and stuff, do people want to fight you?

No never, people always assume people want to fight me and have a pop because I’m a boxer but it isn’t the case. More people would rather come up to me and have a chat about my fights or have a picture than punch me in the face. I’ve got a really good set of fans so I’ve never had any issues. I don’t worry when I go out put it that way. It does happen though I’ve heard some boxers say they get people offering them out a lot.

People must do it when they’re drunk?

I don’t get any hassle, honestly. Maybe smaller boxers do but as a heavyweight you tend to get away without any of that.

Justin Bieber
Justin Bieber learns to punch

What would you change about yourself?

I’d stop the aging process! I’d like to stay this age for the rest of my life, as you get older things get harder. I’d happily stay like this forever.

Who wins out of Froch and Groves?

George has been a good friend of mine for a long time and I’ve known Carl since I was seventeen. George is part of the family really we took him from the amateurs and looked after his career. But I went on holiday with Carl not long ago so it’s hard to say who I want to him because they’re both friends. Whoever deserves to win I’ll be happy with. I want it to be a huge fight for both fighters and I just want a clean fight.

Too early for Groves you think?

I think it’s come at the right time, he’s got enough to win for sure. It’s time for him to see if he can do it at the highest level. Both fighters have the ability to win so it’ll come down to the night and who turns up. Carl is the favourite which is understandable but I’ve seen George do lots of things in the gym that people haven’t seen so as a boxing fan I’m looking forward to the fight.