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Summary

  1. David Haye stops Arnold Gjergjaj in second round
  2. Haye fighting for only second time in almost four years
  3. Haye now 28-2-0 (26 KOs); Gjergjaj 29-1-0 (21 KOs)
  4. Get involved: Who is the best heavyweight in the world? #bbcboxing

Live Reporting

By Michael Emons

All times stated are UK

Thanks and goodbye

Well that is everything for this live text. It is another flawless performance from David Haye as he looks to fight his way back to boxing's top table.

Two fights since his return after an absence of more than three years, and two easy wins.

But tougher tests are around the corner, with former heavyweight champion Shannon Briggs next in line.

Thanks for joining us and bye for now.

Haye wins
Reuters

Haye and Briggs kept apart

By the way, Shannon Briggs and David Haye have been kept apart with a strong security presence, wisely, ensuring both fighters could not get near each other.

But that will be saved for another day. They will go head-to-head in September, and that will be a much sterner test than what they both faced today.

Shannon Briggs
Reuters

'It is not my fault I punch as hard as I do'

David Haye has now had less than three rounds of action in two fights since his return from a three-year absence.

But the Briton has defended his choice of opponents.

"All the big names are in other fights," said Haye. "He (Gjergjaj) had the second longest unbeaten run in heavyweight boxing. It is not my fault I punch as hard as I do.

"I tried to get him out in the first round, but he had a good chin. That first shot would have knocked most fighters out. If I hit anyone with those bombs, those haymakers, they are going down.

"My timing felt great. My right shoulder feels beautiful, better than it has ever done before." 

David Haye
Reuters

Briggs fight will happen in September - Haye

"I felt amazing. Sharp, fast, and had a great support team," says David Haye. "Everyone has got together to put on an amazing event.

"I thank the fans that have come out to see what is the future of heavyweight boxing. People thought I was the past, but I am still the future.

"Anthony Joshua is a fight I would relish. But next up for me is Shannon Briggs. He came over to England and talked a big game.

"I told him if he came over and beat someone I would fight him in September. Let's go chump, let's go chump."

David Haye
Getty Images

Haye has now called out Shannon Briggs, who is still in the arena. This could get feisty.

Time for the interview...

Time to hear from David Haye.

Too easy for Haye

One minute 35 seconds of the second round is the official time.

What Haye learned from that, other than how to punch someone relentlessly with absolutely nothing coming back, is a mystery?

The main event lasted four minutes, the chief support lasted two-and-a-half minutes in two completely mis-matched bouts. You have to feel sorry for everyone who handed over good money to watch the action in the arena.

David Haye wins
PA

BreakingHAYE WINS WITH SECOND-ROUND STOPPAGE

A brutal mauling of someone completely out of his depth.

Arnold Gjergjaj was in trouble from the first second until the last. He went down three times, not including the time he was floored right at the end of the first round.

Referee Terry O'Connor finally puts him out of his misery. Easy, far, far too easy for Haye.

David Haye
Reuters

Gjergjaj down again

Round two: Haye v Gjergjaj

A straight-forward jab sinks Gjergjaj. He gets up. But, wait. He is down again.

Gjergjaj hits the deck again but the punch had been thrown after the bell. Referee Terry O'Connor did not give Gjergjaj a count.

Round 1: Haye v Gjergjaj

To be fair the away fighter did well to get back up after being knocked down inside the opening 40 seconds. Haye has not been hit at all in the first round. As Mike Tyson says 'everyone has a plan. Until they get hit'.

Gjergjaj down

Gjergjaj down.  A right hand goes through the gate from Haye and finds its target. Gjergjaj crumples. Is it all over? Nope. He gets up. We continue.

Let's go

This is a 10-round contest. And here we go.

Haye v Gjergjaj

So how do they compare? This is how...

Dave Haye v Arnold Gjergjaj
.

Khan is in

HMHQ: Great to see @amirkingkhan ringside 👍 MAIN EVENT is just minutes away, folks! 💪 👊 🇬🇧 #HayeDay

HMHQ: Great to see @amirkingkhan ringside 👍 MAIN EVENT is just minutes away, folks! 💪 👊 🇬🇧 #HayeDay

Obviously, one of Haye's mates is in temporary charge of his Twitter account. The Hayemaker isn't tweeting from the ring. That would be multi-tasking to the extreme.

'I'm stronger than ever'

David Haye
Getty Images

Earlier this week legendary heavyweight Lennox Lewis advised David Haye to maintain the quick punching he has become known for, instead of adding bulk to his frame.

However, the 35-year-old is satisfied with his reincarnation as a bigger heavyweight than before his three-year absence.

"My speed feels as quick as ever, if not faster. What's the point of having a big punch if you can't land it?" said Haye. "I'm stronger now than ever. I've done a nice solid strength programme in camp to maintain my weight.

"I find being stronger minimises the chance of injury, especially with my torque and explosiveness I have within my body." 

Here is Haye

And here comes David Haye. Flanked by trainer Shane McGuigan, Haye looks so relaxed as 'Ain't No Stopping Us Now' rings out around the O2.

This is another small step on a journey that Haye hopes will end with some world title gold wrapped around his waist sometime in the next two years.

Arnold's moment

What a moment for Arnold Gjergjaj. He has gone 29 fights unbeaten but made little impact in the boxing world outside Switzerland.

But he could gatecrash the upper tiers of the sport with a win here. He is one life-changing punch away. Well, that's what he will think anyway.

He only has a former two-weight world champion in his way. Easier said than done.

Fundraiser for Blackwell

There is a large crowd at the O2 Arena, and more than £50,000 could be raised tonight for former boxer Nick Blackwell.

Blackwell, 25, will not fight again after sustaining serious head injuries in his British middleweight title bout against Chris Eubank Jr in March and Haye has pledged to donate 10% of the money from ticket sales to Blackwell.

"I had a good chat with him. He is in good spirits and sounds as sharp as a tack," said Haye.

"I was worried about how Nick was going to be but he sounds better than ever. I'm not sure how much it will be but I've been aiming to get at least £50,000, that would be a nice lump to help him move on."

Nick Blackwell
Getty Images
Nick Blackwell made two defences of the British Middleweight title before losing to Chris Eubank Jr earlier this year

National anthems time

Right back to the action. Firstly, the national anthems. God Save The Queen gets the crowd singing. Now we have an atmosphere. There are not many spare seats available, which is going to be great news for one former boxer...

Bizzle is ready for business

Any Lethal Bizzle fans in?

Well, there must be some, somewhere. He has now taken to the stage as the 'entertainment' before the big event.

And you thought Shannon Briggs was annoying with the microphone in hand before?

Stay dench. Apparently.

Shaqiri support for Gjergjaj

Stoke and Switzerland midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri has posted a picture of him and Arnold Gjergjaj and is hoping the Swiss-based man is triumphant tonight.

Good luck Tonight Cobra! Wir sind alle mit dir Cobra!!! Te gjth me ty Vlla! 🇽🇰🇨🇭👊🏼👊🏼👊🏼👑 #cantwait#haye#gjergjaj

Good luck Tonight Cobra! Wir sind alle mit dir Cobra!!! Te gjth me ty Vlla! 🇽🇰🇨🇭👊🏼👊🏼👊🏼👑 #cantwait#haye#gjergjaj

'I want him out of there as quickly as possible'

Earlier this week, BBC Radio 1 Xtra's Nick Bright caught up with David Haye to find out how his preparations for tonight were going.

Haye talked diets, training and competition and also revealed who he wanted to fight next.

"You don't get paid overtime for boxing so I want to get the guy out of there as quickly as possible," says the former two-weight world champion.

Watch the full 19-minute video here.

Nick Bright and David Haye
BBC

The weigh-in

At yesterday's weigh-in Arnold Gjergjaj weighed in at 16st 13 lbs, 13lbs heavier than David Haye.

The Briton is also lighter than he was in January as his weight of 16st 3lb 5oz for his fight against Australian Mark de Mori was the heaviest he had ever been in his career.

View more on twitter

Haye's up next

Well, that Shannon Briggs 'fight' was not much of a show. Let's hope David Haye's bout is more of a contest.

That is coming up very soon.

The Cannon is set for WWE mode

Things may get lively after David Haye's fight. Well, it will do if we see Shannon 'Let's go champ' Briggs again.

Yesterday, when asked if he is going to call out David Haye after his fight against Arnold Gjergjaj, the American replied...

"I'm going to dive in the ring, slide through the ropes like WWE and get up and dry slap him."

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'When I see you, I'm knocking you out cold'

Zarate is back on his feet and has an oxygen mask on. But It looks like he will be OK. Two minutes 21 seconds is all that took.

Briggs v Haye may well be happening later this year and the American has the microphone.

"When I see you, I'm knocking you out cold. Let's go champ. Let's go champ," says Briggs in a warning to David Haye.

The American is desperate to make 'let's go champ' into a great catchphrase. That is one thing he has failed in today. Pretty miserably.

Briggs wins in first round

We said it wouldn't last long. And it didn't. Zarate, who took the fight at four days' notice, is down for the second time. And it is all over. A huge left to the body does the damage.

The Argentine looks in a bad way, and is still lying on his back on the canvas with some worried doctors looking on.

Shannon Briggs
Getty Images

Round one: Briggs v Zarate

There is no defence from the Argentine. This looks a matter of time. He is taking some severe punishment to the ribs. To the head. Pretty much everywhere.

A huge left hook from Briggs rocks his opponent inside the opening 10 seconds. Twenty seconds later, Zarate is down on one knee.

Briggs and Zarate ready to go...

Both Briggs and Zarate are in the ring, we are not expecting this to last long.

Will The Special One see a special performance?

Former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho is at the O2 and ringside...

Jose Mourinho
David Haye

No wonder Jose Mourinho is smiling, as he is set to manage Manchester United next season.

United beat Crystal Palace 2-1 after extra-time in the FA Cup final earlier today, in what now looks to be Louis van Gaal's last game in charge of the Red Devils.

Click here to read the latest on Jose Mourinho's imminent appointment as United manager.

Shannon's stage

But before Briggs can dream of a fight with Haye, he has some work to do.

For him to get the fight he wants, the American has to overcome 34-year-old Argentine Emilio Ezequiel Zarate, a fighter who has only won five of his last 14 fights.

One of those defeats came in Bristol in November when he was knocked out in the second round by Hughie Fury, cousin of Tyson Fury.

Briggs and Zarate
.

'He is so annoying'

It is not just Briggs disliking Haye, the Briton is not too impressed with the American.

David Haye, Arnold Gjergjaj, Shannon Briggs
Getty Images

The guy is an absolute moron, he is so annoying. For me he is the last person I would want to be stuck in a lift with. He has talked himself into getting spectacularly knocked out in September.

David Haye on Shannon Briggs

'Let's go champ. Any time, any place'

So what has Briggs been saying? In a rant at a press conference, where he also labelled both Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury as 'frauds', Briggs, let's just say, was not too impressed at Haye choosing to fight Arnold Gjergjaj instead of him. 

"Why are you fighting him instead of me, we've never heard of him," said Briggs. 

"He is a chump, we've never heard of you, who are you? I would knock him out right now.

"We need an answer champ. Let's go champ. Any time, any place. I'm in the best shape of my life - I know I can beat you."

Shannon Briggs
PA
Shannon Briggs started off in a secretive mood at the weigh-in...
Shannon Briggs
Reuters
... before unleashing his inner Incredible Hulk

Trash talking

Most bouts have a bit of pre-fight tension and some verbal sparring where the fighters think of inventive ways to insult each other.

And this fight has been the same. But not between the two in the main event, oh no. This time the man doing most of the talking has been veteran American Shannon 'The Cannon' Briggs.

The 44-year-old is on the undercard at the O2 and expected to be David Haye's next opponent, as long as both win tonight.

Get Involved #bbcboxing

Who is better - Fury, Joshua or Haye? Why?

As always we want your thoughts on tonight's action. We have already mentioned Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua so tell us which out of Fury, Joshua or Haye is the best boxer, and why?

Also, who is the best heavyweight in the world? Why?

Get in touch via twitter, using the hashtag #bbcboxing or write on the BBC Sport Facebook page.

Just who is Arnold Gjergjaj?

If you listen to the bookmakers then there is only going to be one possible outcome tonight.

David Haye is as short as 1-100 ON to win with some odds-offerers, meaning you will make a less-than-tidy £1 profit for every £100 you lump on. Hardly worth the effort.

But the other guy is unbeaten I hear you cry. Well, yes, he is, but a very quick look at Arnold Gjergjaj's record shows a fighter who has fought 28 of his 29 bouts in his home country, with one fight in Hungary. Well travelled, he is not. Experienced? Not really. Fought at this level? No way.

However, at 6ft 5 in and 16st 13lb, he is two inches taller and 13 pounds heavier than Haye and with 21 of his 29 wins coming via knockout he is someone that has nothing to lose and everything to gain. It would be a huge, huge shock if Haye lost this one. But this is boxing. You just never know.

Arnold Gjergjaj
PA

A stepping stone for the Hayemaker

So what are we expecting to see tonight at the O2 Arena in London? Well, anything other than a convincing and impressive performance from David Haye will be a major shock.

Huge fights are around the corner for Haye, as long he avoids a slip-up against the Kosovo-born, Switzerland-based Arnold Gjergjaj.

Good evening

Hello and welcome to BBC Sport's live text commentary as David Haye makes the second fight of his boxing comeback after more than three years out of the ring.

He blasted Australian Mark de Mori out inside the opening round in January and Haye will be looking to put on another show against unbeaten Arnold Gjergjaj at the O2 Arena in London tonight.