By Nick Parkinson, courtesy of The Daily Star
DAVID HAYE will be looking to cut gypsy giant Tyson Fury down to size on September 28 – but he once considered promoting him. Haye considered signing his rival Fury when looking to promote new young fighters
The two British heavyweights get it on at Manchester Arena to decide who proceeds towards a shot at one of the four world titles currently held by the Ukrainian brothers Wladimir and Vitali Klitschko.
But 6ft 9ins Fury, 25, could have been working for Haye instead of trying to knock his block off.
Londoner Haye, 32, pondered the possibility of guiding his Manchester rival’s career – only to be turned off the idea after watching Fury fight in 2009.
Victory would put The Hayemaker back in world title contention two years after he blamed an injured little toe for his points loss to Wladimir.
Fury – unbeaten in 21 fights – is three stone heavier and six inches taller than Haye. But the ex-WBA world heavyweight champion insists fighting him will not be as hard as taking on Klitschko or 7ft 2ins Russian Nikolai Valuev.
He said: “In my opinion this fight is nothing remotely close to fighting Nikolai Valuev or Wladimir Klitschko, not at all. He’s a domestic heavyweight.
“I watched him live when he fought John McDermott the first time in 2009 and I watched him live as an amateur before that.
“Me and my trainer Adam Booth were looking at signing young fighters.
Tyson Fury claims that Haye snubbed him the first time they met Tyson Fury claims that Haye snubbed him the first time they met
“We looked at George Groves, Michael Maguire and Tyson Fury. They were the three standouts and we signed up Maguire and George. We gave Fury a swerve. I walked out after watching him for a couple of rounds.
“I could have been his promoter. It would be a bit presumptuous to say he would have signed – but I wasn’t interested.
“After he won the national ABAs and had a little string of victories as a professional I went to see him fight John McDermott. I remember being really unimpressed.”
Fury claims Haye snubbed him when they first met. He said: “I was just a bit disappointed at the reception I got when I first met him, from a fan to a champion. I went to shake his hand afterwards and say, ‘Hello, David’.
“He just snubbed me and walked away. He didn’t say, ‘Good fight’, or ‘How are you?’ Nothing.
“If a kid comes over to me, especially an amateur fighter and says, ‘Hello Tyson’, I don’t just go, ‘You what?’ I go, ‘Hello, how are you doing, do you want a photo?’
“I’m nice. But obviously he wasn’t in the best mood. But it doesn’t really bother me.
“Obviously they made a mistake, didn’t they, by not signing me?
“They signed David Price, used him as a sparring partner for a little bit, busted him up and then gave him his contract back.”