DAVID Haye made a lot of bold claims before his showdown with Wladimir Klitschko.
But come Saturday night he failed to live up to any of them as his dream of unifying the heavyweight division died.
Yet there is still one promise he can keep – and that is to retire.
Haye hinted that Saturday could be his last fight because with Vitali Klitschko tied up with a September defence against Tomasz Adamek, there was no-one else worth facing before his self-imposed deadline of his 31st birthday in October.
He said he wanted to go out on top, like Eric Cantona did in 1997 when he walked out of Old Trafford, having led Manchester United to their fourth title in five years.
Losing his WBA crown was hardly the way Haye had envisaged bowing out, but he would still retire with his reputation intact if he hung up his gloves now.
He has had a great career from unifying the cruiserweight division to stepping up and winning the WBA title.
Any of us who were in Nuremberg in November 2009 will never forget the way he made a monkey out of King Kong Nikolai Valuev to take the title.
He can achieve little – if anything - by trying to squeeze another fight in before October and it would be an anti-climax after what has gone before.
He also should not have any second thoughts about delaying his retirement in the vain hope of landing either a rematch with Wladimir or a showdown with Vitali.
Haye had his chance against Wladimir and he blew it.
He can moan about being unable to launch his Hayemaker right because of his broken toe, but his display almost verged on the embarrassing.
After all his big talk, he was outclassed as Wladimir taught him there are few better in the world at boxing’s greatest skill, which is hitting without being hit.
Even if he had been fully fit, I severely doubt that the outcome would have been different.
Granted, the scorecards would have been closer, but Wladimir would still have been victorious.
That’s not putting Haye down and I feel he was as good as he could be as a heavyweight.
He tried to make up the gulf in size and height on Wladimir, but as Adam Booth admitted in the ring immediately afterwards, he has always been a blown-up cruiserweight.
Of course, losing hurts and Haye will feel the pain over the weeks ahead.
But he should not divert from his plan of quitting to pursue his career as Hollywood’s latest action hero.
That’s one career a broken toe can’t jeopardise.
via The Mirror