Former heavyweight titleholder David Haye retired from boxing Thursday on his 31st birthday, staying true to a promise he made when he started out as a fighter.
Whether the retirement is genuine or merely a ploy to finalize contract negotiations with Vitali Klitschko remains to be seen, though Haye denied suggestions of gamesmanship.
So what’s next for the loquacious Londoner, whose most recent outing was a lopsided decision loss to Wladimir Klitschko in July? British oddsmaker William Hill opened action on Haye’s next career move within hours of the announcement.
Hill installed Haye at 6/1 to fight in WWE and 8/1 to switch to mixed martial arts and join the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Should he turn to entertainment, Haye is 3/1 to appear on I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here!, 7/1 to skate on Dancing on Ice and 8/1 to tango on Strictly Come Dancing (where other British punchers have enjoyed mixed results).
Haye also opens at 50/1 to succeed Daniel Craig as the next James Bond and 250/1 to win the 2012 London mayoral election.
Since it would surprise exactly no one if Haye came out of retirement to fight Vitali, who holds the WBC heavyweight title, the oddsmaker installed the brash two-division champion as a 4/1 underdog to defeat the elder Klitschko brother.
“Haye is an even bigger price to defeat Vitali than he was when he took on Wladimir and if he will have to make sure that he is serious about the challenge if he is to avoid a double Klitschko KO,” William Hill spokesman Joe Crilly said.
– Bryan Armen Graham