David Haye to fight Mark de Mori in heavyweight comeback

Haye feels "like a young fighter" as he prepares for Mark de Mori fight

Former heavyweight world champion David Haye will make his return to boxing against Australian Mark de Mori at London's O2 Arena on 16 January.

Haye has not fought since he stopped fellow Briton Dereck Chisora in 2012.

The 35-year-old has been training with Shane McGuigan - son of former world champion Barry - and is aiming to reclaim the world title he lost to Wladimir Klitschko in 2011.

De Mori has lost only once in his 33 career bouts.

The 33-year-old Perth-born boxer's last defeat came in 2004, and 26 of his 29 victories have come via knockout.

"I could have picked an easier opponent," said Haye. "I could have fought someone who'd been knocked out a couple of times but I wanted to give people someone to get excited about.

David Haye press conference
David Haye announced his return to boxing in front of the media on Tuesday

"He is top 10. I don't want to fight complete nobodies. I believe if I can do what I'm doing in the gym on 16 January then I'll be better than I used to be."

De Mori said: "One thing his team may not know is that 90% of my career I trained in my dad's garage.

"I had a few fights with my wife in my corner. That's the guy they have seen on Youtube and are preparing for. But I've lived in Croatia for the last two years and have gone from training in my garage to training with a coach who is a two-time Olympian.

"So I've gone from self-trained guy with my wife wiping blood from my face to being properly trained. My strength has gone to another level."

Haye claimed the heavyweight world title by beating Russian giant Nikolay Valuev in 2009 and successfully defended it twice.

But he then lost a unanimous points decision to Ukrainian Klitschko - only the second defeat of his 28-fight career.

Klitschko will attempt to maintain his 11-year unbeaten streak against another Briton, Tyson Fury, in a world title fight in Duesseldorf, Germany on Saturday.

Haye has seen three previous attempts to return thwarted by injury.

After pulling out of a bout with Manuel Charr because of a hand injury in 2013, Haye then saw two fights against Fury cancelled because of a cut head and a shoulder injury.

Top Stories

Elsewhere on the BBC