‘Without either of those fighters, I wouldn’t be who I am’: David Haye pays homage to legendary stars Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr. for shaping his career ahead of their exhibition bout
- David Haye studied both fighters whilst in his formative years as a boxer
- Haye credits Mike Tyson’s influence for the aggression he displayed in the ring
- Haye also hailed Roy Jones Jr’s ‘long-range boxing and ability to cut angles’
- Tyson and Jones Jr. will collide in an eight round exhibition bout in Los Angeles
The two legendary fighters are set for a heavyweight showdown, in keeping with what has been a truly remarkable year in sport.
Tyson and Jones Jr will compete in an eight-round exhibition at the Staples Center in Los Angeles in the early hours of Sunday morning.
David Haye (above) was influenced by Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr. during his career
Haye credits Tyson’s (top right) aggression, intensity and knockout power as huge influences
Haye, like many of his peers, studied both men intently as he rose through the ranks to become a two-weight world champion.
Ahead of Sunday’s showdown Haye revealed the impact both men had on his career.
‘I definitely feel as though they have been massive influences on me at different stages of my career,’ he told talkSPORT.
‘My aggression and knockout combinations wouldn’t have been done with so much intensity without Mike Tyson
‘And the long-range boxing, stepping, cutting the angles that I learned from Roy Jones wouldn’t have happened without him. Without either of those fighters, I wouldn’t be who I am.’
Haye also credits Jones Jr (left) for displaying how to win bouts based on skill and athleticism
The influence of Tyson on ‘The Hayemaker’ is easy to see. Of his 26 knockout victories 17 came within the opening three rounds.
Later in his career as Haye developed into a heavyweight after unifying the cruiserweight world titles, his speed and athleticism were a distinct advantage over less mobile opponents.
Like Jones Jr, Haye could pull-counter heavyweight adversaries with ease. However, the ruthless aggression he honed after watching Tyson was always part of his arsenal and he is indebted to both men.