Shane McGuigan hopeful of David Haye return
Acclaimed trainer Shane McGuigan is hopeful that former WBA heavyweight titleholder David Haye can maintain his rapid recovery from a ruptured Achilles tendon and resume his boxing career.
Haye sustained an injury midway through a 12-round heavyweight bout with former WBC cruiserweight titleholder Tony Bellew and was stopped in 11 rounds.
The charismatic Londoner underwent surgery the following night and the prognosis, thus far, has been positive.
“The (protective) boot is off, he’s recovering, he’s started to walk,” said McGuigan in an interview with Sky Sports in the U.K. “In fact, he’s gone to China to walk the Great Wall, two days after getting out of the boot.
McGuigan, the BWAA Trainer of the Year for 2016, threw in the towel when Haye managed to get to his feet following a knockdown in the penultimate round. He came under fierce criticism for not pulling his fighter out earlier but candidly explained the reasons behind his decision.
“I don’t think I’ll ever be involved in a fight like that ever again,” McGuigan said. “Couldn’t script it, but once his Achilles went, it was just sink or swim and I gave him the option to continue. It could have been his last fight.
“At the time it was a crisis situation. I wanted him to go out and be proud of his career, and give it all he’s got. He certainly did that and he gained a lot of fans; people who were writing him off, saying that he had no guts, no heart.”
A rematch with Bellew is a distinct possibility, although the Liverpool man has been linked to heavyweight bouts with Tyson Fury, (WBC titleholder) Deontay Wilder and (WBO titleholder) Joseph Parker.
McGuigan, however, insists that Haye could still be force within the glamour division.
“Let’s hope he can recover, come back, and train up for some massive fights,” he said. “He (has) overcome a lot of obstacles in his life up to this day and straight away after he had the surgery, (he said) ‘we’re coming back’.
“He’s definitely got the hunger there and he loves the sport. He’s willing to give it his all and make sure he’s giving his career the best opportunity.
“It’s sad to see it happen with Tony Bellew but if he can get himself right, if he can get that Achilles right, then he’s a danger to anyone.”
Tom Gray is a UK Correspondent/ Editor for RingTV.com and a member of THE RING ratings panel. Follow him on Twitter: @Tom_Gray_Boxing
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