After a long time at the top, David Haye retires. Following a struggle against Tony Bellew back in March 2017, former heavyweight champion David Haye needed to impress in his May 2018 rematch to keep his comeback on track.
However, things didn’t go to plan for the 37-year-old, who looked a shadow of his former self. Haye was knocked down three times before the referee stopped the fight, sentencing Haye to a second consecutive defeat.
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It seemed almost certain that Bellew’s easy victory would bring the curtain down on his rival’s career. Haye had ambitions of facing heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua, but Bellew has ended any hope of that.
Haye kept quiet in the month that followed. However, he has now confirmed that he is departing boxing for a second time.
Despite his recent struggles, he retires having won 28 of his 32 bouts, with 26 of these victories by knockout.
His time in the ring generated belts in two weight classes, an army of followers and many millions in the bank, but just how much did David Haye earn?
How much did David Haye make from his ten heavyweight fights?
David Haye started his career in the cruiserweight division, working his way up the ranks from his first professional victory over division punchbag Tony Booth, through to a world title fight against Jean-Marc Mormeck.
By the time Haye fought Enzo Maccarinelli, he held two of the division’s major titles – the WBA Super World Cruiserweight title and WBC World Cruiserweight title. Despite securing a TKO victory and adding the WBO World Cruiserweight title to his collection, Haye earned just £600,000 from that fight.
However, the big money is in heavyweight boxing and this is exactly where Haye headed next. Opportunities to fight big names and champions such as Nikolai Valuev, Audley Harrison and Wladimir Klitschko would present themselves over the next few years, taking Haye’s earnings per fight beyond the £1 million mark.
David Haye’s heavyweight earnings: 2008 to 2018
vs Monte Barrett
vs Nikolai Valuev
vs John Ruiz
vs Audley Harrison
vs Wladimir Klitschko
vs Dereck Chisora
vs Mark de Mori
vs Arnold Gjergjaj
vs Tony Bellew
vs Tony Bellew
Total earnings: £30 million*
*Some winnings are based on unconfirmed media reports — where figures can be verified, they have been.
David Haye sponsorship deals
Haye was among Britain’s best boxers during his prime, which attracted plenty of interest from some of the biggest companies in sports.
Aside from the money that he has made from fight purses, Haye’s status likely earned him a considerable fortune from sponsorships too. Unlike fellow heavyweight Anthony Joshua, or Irish MMA fighter Conor McGregor, Haye managed to keep his earnings under wraps.
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According to the official Hayemaker website, the fighter counts fitness product manufacturers Keiser and Woodway among his sponsors. Likewise, he also has a deal with hotel chain Park Plaza.
He’s never short of fight sponsors too. Bookmaker EnergyBet sponsored Haye for his first defeat against Bellew, while Betfair punted on him ahead of the rematch. Despite struggling against Bellew, the reputation and following that Haye has built throughout his career mean that there is still value in sponsoring him.
Betfair marketing director Stephen Mault said:
“We are looking to increase our footprint within boxing and David’s character and reputation as one of the best heavy/cruiserweights to ever fight made him the perfect candidate.”
Despite failing to get revenge on Bellew, Haye will continue to serve as Betfair’s ambassador for the next two years.
David Haye net worth: How much did he earn in the ring?
Prior to their second clash, Tony Bellew claimed that Haye returned to the ring in search of a final payday, having spent all of the money that he had earned throughout his boxing career.
“Why doesn’t he be honest and say: ‘I’ve earned £20 million, p***ed it up the wall and I’m back to get more money’?”
However, that isn’t the case according to sources like Celebrity Net Worth and the Daily Express. Prior to his final fight, Haye’s net worth was estimated at £14.75 million. The £2.5 million+ that Haye earned from the second Bellew bout took that total to at least £17.25 million.
David Haye retires, but what’s next?
Despite hanging up his gloves, the riches should continue to roll-in for Haye through Haymaker Promotions, which counts the likes of upcoming heavyweight Joe Joyce among its stars.
Haye joined up with Ringstar Sports in 2017 to create Hayemaker Ringstar. The company hopes to rival Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Sports, which is currently dominating the UK’s professional scene with fighters like Anthony Joshua, Kell Brook and Bellew on its books.
Headed by Richard Schaefer, the CEO who helped to make former boxer Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions one of the biggest in the US, Hayemaker Ringstar is in good hands. Schaefer will have the business side well covered, leaving Haye to develop the company’s talents.