By Chris McKenna, courtesy of The Daily Star
DAVID HAYE’S career is hanging in the balance after he underwent surgery on his torn Achilles tendon.
The former WBA heavyweight champion was taken to hospital after his defeat to Tony Bellew.
Haye, 36, was barely able to walk for the final five rounds after injuring his right ankle in the sixth.
Following surgery, he is now expected to be out for at least six months, potentially spelling the end of his career.
Promoter Eddie Hearn insists Haye did not have an existing problem despite reports the Londoner was already struggling with an Achilles injury.
He said: “I heard he had a shoulder niggle. He hasn’t ruptured his Achilles by the way. You don’t rupture your Achilles and do five rounds.
“You rupture your Achilles, you cannot even stand. I believe he’s torn his Achilles or calf.”
Haye was stopped when his corner finally threw in the towel in the 11th round.
Hearn said: “He should retire but if he wants a rematch, we’ll look at a rematch. No doubt about that.”
Former super-middleweight champion Carl Froch added: “We need to see how serious it was but it looked bad and at his age, seeing him fighting again is one thing, but against a top-level heavyweight? I think we can forget it.”
Retirement is also a realistic option for Bellew who earned almost £3m for this fight.
His trainer Dave Coldwell wants the WBC cruiserweight champion to call it quits, but the Scouser knows Hearn will make him an offer he can’t refuse – possibly for a world heavyweight title fight.
Bellew said: “If it was just about me, I could have quit after winning the world title at Goodison Park in May, but it’s not about me.
“The offers coming in will be too big to refuse. My kids are going to have kids. They’re three good-looking boys, they take after their mother. I’m planning for more Bellews.
“This is my last 12 months. I could walk away tomorrow happily, but I know he’s going to make me some amazing offer I can’t walk away from.”
Hearn was contacted after the fight by the representatives of both WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder and WBO title holder Joseph Parker.
Hearn added: “People were saying Haye could fight Parker if he had won, Haye should fight Wilder, so why not Tony Bellew because he’s just beaten him?
“He probably won’t get all the credit because of Haye’s leg.”