In a fight reminiscence of the days of Mike Tyson, David Haye returned after a three-and-half-year lay-off with a first-round knockout of Mark de Mori in London.
Australian De Mori looked bothered by the first jab Haye threw and thereafter it was one-way traffic. The fight was over in 131 seconds.
Haye, 35, set up the finish with huge overhand right and De Mori was unconscious before he hit the canvas with 49 seconds left in the round.
David Haye was on top from the opening bell in London on Saturday night
Haye’s stated ambition is to regain the world heavyweight crown he lost to Wladimir Klitschko in 2011.
The Londoner’s last fight was a fifth-round knockout of Dereck Chisora in July 2012 and prior to Saturday he had fought only four times in five years.
He announced his retirement in 2013, having been advised not to fight again after undergoing extensive shoulder surgery.
“It’s been a tough road but I’m finally back,” said Haye, who now has 27 wins from 29 professional fights.
“I felt so cool and calm in there. I don’t believe any heavyweight out there could have taken those punches.
“The shoulder feels better than it was before. I feel this new and improved version of me will go on and win heavyweight championships.”
Judging by the 16,000 crowd at the O2 Arena, Haye’s comeback certainly piqued the interest of the British public, although some of them might have felt short-changed by the fare on offer.
Before Saturday, the 33-year-old De Mori had been beaten only once in 33 professional fights but he was hopelessly outgunned by his more celebrated opponent.
One thing we did learn from the fight was that Haye’s shoulder reconstruction has done nothing to quell his power, while his successful return creates further intrigue in a revitalised heavyweight division.