Former boxer David Haye to play professional poker
David Haye is giving up his gloves to compete in a different kind of ring. Haye has announced he will spend all of the next year learning poker with the intent of taking part in the world’s largest tournament outside of Las Vegas once his poker training is complete.
David Deron Haye was known to be a destructive former world heavyweight and unified cruiserweight champion. He started his career in 2002 and retired from boxing in June this year after losing to Tony Bellew for the second time a month earlier. He held multiple world championships in two weight classes, and was the first British boxer to reach the final of the World Amateur Boxing Championships, where he won a silver medal in 2001. Along with Evander Holyfield, Haye is one of only two boxers in history to have unified the cruiserweight world titles and become a world heavyweight champion.
The 37-year-old outlined his plans for the next 12 months at a press conference at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry, which will host the Goliath event in 2019 in which he is aiming to make his name as a poker player. “I’ve always been intrigued by the skill and strategy of poker, so to be able to have the opportunity to work with Grosvenor Casinos and learn from some of the best players on the world circuit was an opportunity I couldn’t turn down,” Haye said.
“The next 12 months will be exciting, but I am also acutely aware that they will also be extremely challenging. I’m a complete novice so it’s a huge ask, but I am looking forward to the challenge and getting my teeth into something new before taking on Goliath.”
Haye insists he is determined not to be “embarrassed” at the 2019 Goliath event. “I come from the boxing realm and will be going into the poker realm. It’s about accepting the fact that I’ll be pretty poor, that every single person I’m playing with is better than I am," said Haye.
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