Former heavyweight champion Haye quits boxing

David Haye retires from Boxing
David Haye retires from Boxing

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Story highlights

  • Britain's David Haye announces his retirement from professional boxing
  • Haye is a former WBA world heavyweight champion and also won the cruiserweight crown
  • He lost a heavyweight unification bout to Wladimir Klitschko in Germany in July
  • Haye dismisses claims he was negotiating a fight with Klitschko's elder brother Vitali
Former world heavyweight champion David Haye told CNN Thursday that he was quitting boxing and was not angling for a lucrative title fight with Ukraine's Vitali Klitschko.
Haye, who has lost just twice in 27 professional fights, made the announcement as he celebrated his 31st birthday.
"Everyone seems to be quite cynical about my retirement, but it was a date that I set 10 years ago," he said.
"When I turned professional I had a three-pronged plan; to win as many titles as possible, to earn as much money as possible and to retire before I was 31," he added.
The British fighter was outclassed by Wladimir Klitschko in a heavyweight title unification bout in July, citing a toe injury as the reason for a below-par performance as he lost on points in Germany.
Many saw his retirement as a negotiating ploy to earn better terms for a bout against Klitschko's brother Vitali, who holds the WBC version of the heavyweight title.
But Haye dismissed that claim. "They are trying to use my name to get some more publicity, using me to get more headlines.
"I'm happy with my achievements in boxing," he said.
Haye unified the cruiserweight title before stepping up to heavyweight where he claimed the WBA version of the world title by beating giant Russian Nikolay Valuev on points in Germany in November 2009.
He defended his title by stopping American John Ruiz the following April and for a second time against fellow Briton Audley Harrison with a third-round stoppage the following November.
But his fight with Wladimir Klitschko in Hamburg was a disappointment as he comfortably lost on all the judges' scorecards.
He has subsequently not renewed his professional license with the British Boxing Board of Control ahead of the official retirement announcement on his birthday.