London’s colossal O2 Arena hosted David Haye (27-2) and his promotional company Hayemaker Promotions as the heavyweight returned for the second fight of his 2016 comeback. Providing the opposition was Switzerland’s undefeated Arnold “The Cobra” Gjergjaj (29-0).
From the start Gjergjaj appeared overwhelmed as the boisterous London crowd was 100 percent behind Haye. Not much can be said for Gjergjaj, who survived Haye’s first flurry, then he survived the first knockdown and he even survived the first round. That would be the extent of the positives for Gjergjaj, who appeared to throw less than five punches in the fight and found the canvas a total of four times. The referee waved the fight off at roughly the halfway mark of round two as Gjergjaj was on queer street despite having made it to his feet.
Gjergjaj falls to 29-1 and he figures to go back to the regional scene in Switzerland. Perhaps there may be interest in matching him with Marc de Mori (30-2-2), Haye’s January opponent, whose gaudy record did not prepare him for Haye and the 131 seconds their match lasted. The pair of Gjergjaj and de Mori will likely be joined by Shannon Briggs on Haye’s list of victims next.
And that is because the 44 year old Briggs made the most of his showcase bout with Argentina’s Emilio Ezequiel Zarate (20-16-2). Briggs endured at least three opponent changes in the last week, however the opponent was never that important. A win would set up a showdown with David Haye, and that was always his goal.
Zarate and Briggs had a competitve staredown, but it was all downhill for Zarate from there. From early on, it was apparent the Argentine did not have the strength to keep Briggs off of him. The predictable first round KO came from a body blow that put Zarate down far beyond the ten count. It goes down as the 36th first round KO of Brigg’s long career. Buckle up folks, David Haye is next.
The live event featured 10 fights in all and the Haye and Briggs matches were shown in the United Kingdom as features on the television channel DAVE.