By Edward Chaykovsky
Former two division world champion David Haye (28-3, 26 KOs) is fully focused on return to the ring by the end of the year, with the heavyweight world title being his target.
Haye suffered a huge setback earlier this month at the O2 Arena in London, when he was stopped in eleven rounds by huge underdog Tony Bellew, who was moving up from the cruiserweight division.
Last January, Haye returned to the sport after more than three years of being away and postponing fights. He picked up two easy wins before finalizing the deal to face Bellew.
During the sixth round of the fight with Bellew, Haye suffered a serious Achilles injury and that was the beginning of the end for him in the fight. His trainer Shane McGuigan was forced to throw in the towel in the eleventh.
Haye underwent surgery for the injury and he is expected to make a full recovery in six to nine months.
Many critics believe that loss to Bellew was the end of Haye's career. The boxer is 36 years old, went through numerous injuries over the years and it's going to be a hard road back.
Haye is determined to make it back to the top.
"Boxing is a tough way to earn a living but some of us are born for this and I believe I am," Haye told Sky Sports. "When the going gets tough I know I will fight in the ring until my very last breath and I believe most world-class fighters have that same mindset. My mission objective hasn't changed [becoming a world heavyweight champion]. If anything I've proved to people I genuinely want it.
"After achieving so much in my career there were a lot of question marks about whether or not I really wanted to box and I think I proved to people that I am still a fighter, that I am a warrior and that this is what I want to do. I'm happy with the way the surgery went, I'm happy with the physiotherapy and I'm happy with what the doctors are saying with regard to the injury and my recovery.
"Once I'm healed up before the end of the year I believe my best will be better than my effort [against Bellew] on March 4."