David Haye (Wikimedia Commons)
The number of the quality of elite boxers in the world’s heavyweight division got even thinner this past week.
On Thursday, Great Britain’s David Haye announced his retirement at the age of 31.
Haye went 25-2 in his career and won the WBA Heavyweight Title on November 7, 2009 in a majority decision over Russian Nikolai Valuev at Nuremberg, Germany. Over the next year, Haye defended his titles against American John Ruiz and England’s Audley Harrison.
Haye then lost the WBA Heavyweight Title to Ukraine’s Wladimir Klitschko on July 2 in Hamburg.
Ok, so just how thin is the boxing world right now? After the Klitschko brothers (Vitali, who is 40 and has the WBC Title), there doesn’t seem to be anyone on the horizon.
Vitali has his doctorate in physical science and doesn’t have a schedule fight anytime soon, while Wladimir, who also has the IBF and WBO titles, is facing 39 year-old French boxer Jean-Marc Gilbert Mormeck, who only has two heavyweight bouts under his belt after moving up from the cruiserweight division in 2009.
There are two major reasons why MMA has passed boxing with ease when it comes to world interest. The first is the lack of quality competitors at the elite level, and second is the absence of North American boxers that are competing against the world’s best in the heavyweight division.