LONDON • Former world heavyweight champion David Haye said on Wednesday that he would return to the boxing ring before the end of the year but remained coy on the details.
The 36-year-old, who has 28 wins from 31 bouts, ruptured an Achilles tendon in his defeat by underdog Tony Bellew in London in March.
The former WBA (World Boxing Association) heavyweight champion, who was advised by doctors to retire after he underwent major shoulder surgery in 2013, has had long periods out of the ring without ever officially calling it a day.
"I am going to fight again before the end of the year," the Briton told reporters at a news conference to announce the first event to be put on by his new promotion company Hayemaker Ringstar.
The main bout of the Oct 20 event will be the professional debut of Joe Joyce, Britain's super-heavyweight silver medallist at last year's Rio de Janeiro Olympics.
Joyce, who turns 32 this month, has signed with Haye and will be fighting 35-year-old Briton Ian Lewison.
"Joe has all the tools to be the best heavyweight on the planet," said Haye.
"He's called 'The Juggernaut' because he just keeps on coming."
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He's called 'The Juggernaut' because he just keeps on coming.
DAVID HAYE, on his protege Joe Joyce.
He added that he is targeting a fight with compatriot and world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua, who holds the WBA, International Boxing Federation (IBF) and International Boxing Organisation (IBO) titles.
"In an ideal world, No. 1 in my eyes is Anthony Joshua," he said. "Joshua has some business to take care of with (Kubrat) Pulev but then next year, in an ideal world, I'll fight Anthony Joshua.
"I think next year, if I can have two fights back and work my way up the rankings, then it will be up to Joshua to give the fans one of the biggest fights ever in the UK."