The O2 Arena in London hosted the return of David Haye this past Saturday after a three year hiatus. Haye was facing Australia's Mark de Mori (30-1-2), who despite a gaudy record and a tough guy attitude, was not expected to offer much resistance. One story going around is that Haye selected de Mori as an opponent after he responded to a message on Twitter.
Haye and his Hayemaker Promotions succeeded in selling out the 02 Arena with approximately 16,000 tickets issued, which definitely set the tone for the show. Haye had been away from the pro ranks for roughly three and a half years, and though his comeback generated a lot of attention, his efforts took a black eye when he failed to get on a major television channel and had to settle for airing on "Dave" television. Kudos to "Dave" for showing the fight and providing a good quality live stream.
But Haye still needed to take care of business in the ring. The packed arena was filled with celebrities, boxing and otherwise, and the main event was preceded by a pop concert and DJ music. A lot of pomp, all provided by Haye, to put the cherry on top.
Fighters who fight in England and the British fighters and fans themselves all talk about the atmosphere around a "big fight" they can create on the Isles. In the build-up and the walk-ins for both fighters, that atmosphere was there. Marilyn Manson's "Beautiful People" blasted out as de Mori walked in, and the boos and catcalls could be heard over it. Haye walked in to a carnival atmosphere. The Australian fighter deserves credit for keeping cool to that point.
Haye delivered. Tentative at first, he came in and tested de Mori. The Australian was backing up and playing defense, but when he got hit, he called Haye forward. It proved to be a bad idea as Haye caught de Mori along the ropes and savaged him with an overhand right and a left uppercut that ended the night at 2:05 of round 1. It took de Mori several minutes to get up off the canvas.
Haye came in over 230 lbs, the biggest of his career. He looked to still have good speed and movement, and he has retained his power. Haye is now looking like a full blown Heavyweight.
January 16th, 2016 - O2 Arena
Heavyweight 12 Rounds: David Haye defeats Mark de Mori via KO in RD 1 @ 2:15.
Light Heavyweight 8 Rounds: Tony Dodson defeats Richard Horton via PTS.
Super Lightweight 6 Rounds: Kay Prospere defeats Lee Connelly via TKO in RD 1.
Cruiserweight 6 Rounds: Wadi Camacho defeats Jindrich Velecky via PTS.
Cruiserweight 4 Rounds: Jose Lopez defeats Darren Snow via KO in RD 1.
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