Former world heavyweight champion David Haye said on Wednesday he would return to the ring before the end of the year but remained coy on the details.
The 36-year-old Briton, who has 28 wins from 31 bouts, ruptured an Achilles tendon in his defeat to underdog Tony Bellew in London in March.
The former WBA heavyweight champion, who was advised by doctors to retire after he underwent major shoulder surgery in 2013, has had long periods out of the ring without ever officially calling it a day.
"I am going to fight again before the end of the year," the Briton told reporters at a news conference to announce the first event to be put on by his new promotion company Hayemaker Ringstar.
The main bout of the Oct. 20 event will be the professional debut of Joe Joyce, Britain's super-heavyweight silver medallist at last year's Rio de Janeiro Olympics.
Joyce, who turns 32 this month, has signed with Haye and will be fighting 35-year-old Briton Ian Lewison.
"Joe has all the tools to be the best heavyweight on the planet," said Haye. "He’s called ‘The Juggernaut’ because he just keeps on coming."
IN OTHER NEWS: As Amir Khan begins to wind down his decorated ring career, gifted Gants Hill teenager Hamzah Sheeraz fantasises of picking up the mantle for Britain’s sizeable and expanding Pakistani fight community, writes Glynn Evans.
They don’t tax you for dreaming!
A three time national junior finalist who has already been boxing for a decade, sharpshooter Sheeraz replicated the Bolton wonder by inking a pro deal with Hall of Fame promoter Frank Warren earlier this year – amidst much fanfare - at the callow age of 18.
‘Amir was a hero so, in time, it’d be nice to pick up the reins!’ quips the Andy Ayling managed super-welter who debuts in a four rounder against 173 fight veteran Kevin McCauley on the monster bill at The Copper Box on Saturday week.
‘I signed my pro contract on my 18th birthday so it was a dual celebration with a huge turnout of family and friends. A lot of the Pakistani media channels were there and I know my community is right behind me. Hopefully, I can give them somebody to look up to and follow.
‘I was born in Slough and still help out with a bit of coaching at an Asian community centre over there when I can. So we’ve west London and east London on board. I’ve already sold 250 tickets for my debut.’
The Essex express first laced up shortly after starting junior school.
‘My uncle Humeran was a multiple national champion for the Slough and Pinewood Star clubs and he steered me to the Debden amateur gym when I was just eight,’ recalls the handsome and articulate Sheeraz who is schooled by Lennie Butcher at the thriving Five Star gym in Romford.
‘Though I was energetic, I was always a calm kid but when I began hitting the pads, the coach John Maskell told me I had natural hand speed and footwork.
‘When I was 13, I represented England schoolboys over in Denmark and made it to three national junior finals but got edged out each time. I was always extremely tall and rangy for my weight and, as a youngster, used to fly around the ring popping the jab. Not many could touch me. I only lost ten or 11 of my 80 amateur bouts.
‘But after being overlooked for the Commonwealth Youth championships, I got a bit disillusioned and took a break. I wasn’t enjoying my apprenticeship as an electrician so when Lennie offered me an opportunity to turn pro I took the plunge. Lennie’s more than a coach. I can talk to him about anything. He helps sort my problems and a happy fighter is a good fighter.’