5 reasons David Haye v Mark de Mori isn’t the joke fight you think it is


David Haye’s comeback to the heavyweight ranks of boxing hasn’t been the triumph he would have liked so far with his choice of opponent and the fact the fight is being screened live on Dave seeing the bout become the butt of jokes on social media.

Ladbrokes have the former WBA Heavyweight and unified Cruiserweight champion down as the 1/16 favourite to beat Australian Mark de Mori at the O2 Arena this Saturday, with the Aussie a long shot at 8/1 and the draw available at 33/1.

Granted no one outside of boxing, and few inside for that matter, had heard the name De Mori before the Salter Brothers announced this fight but there is plenty to suggest the 6ft 2in Australian, known locally as the Dominator, won’t be the pushover many expect.

Here are 5 reasons why this fight isn’t the joke some people believe it is…

  • Both men have huge knockout power

David Haye’s punching power is well documented, with the Bermondsey fighter taking 24 of his 26 professional wins by knockout. De Mori’s power is less well known but the stats show he is equally devastating. The Aussie has won 30 of his 33 bouts and 25 of those by stoppage. Notorious for holding his hands low, De Mori will invite Haye in and hope to showcase his punching power on the counter. This one is unlikely see the final bell.

  • De Mori is more credible than the odds suggest

At 8/1 for the win and with Haye priced up at 1/16 the bookies can see this going only one way. But while most people in the UK have no idea who Mark de Mori is he is ranked in the world’s top 10 by the WBA, the belt held by Haye when he was Heavyweight world champion, putting him above Britain’s Olympic gold medallist Anthony Joshua.

  • De Mori has been on the brink of huge fights before

By his own admission this is the biggest fight of De Mori’s career thus far but he is no stranger to the big time having once been signed to US boxing supremo Don King. King has De Mori lined up to face Bermane Stiverne for the WBC world title but those plans were thrown out when Stiverne lost to Deontay Wilder.

  • Joshua v Whyte showed us not to underestimate the underdog

The history books will show that Anthony Joshua won his bout with Dillian Whyte via a devastating knockout but those who watched will know it was far from a one-sided affair. If that bout taught us anything it’s that motivated underdogs should be written off at your peril. Haye is obviously a more skilful operator than De Mori but the Aussie has nothing to lose and everything to gain.

  • It’s a make or break fight for Haye

By taking a fight with De Mori and screening the bout live on Dave for free it’s clear that Haye isn’t on the comeback trail for the money. He genuinely believes he can reclaim the Heavyweight crown and fully intends to do so. Lose to de Mori, however, or even win in anything less than emphatic style and the critics will home in. More importantly the likes of Deontay Wilder, Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury – fighters Haye wants to meet in the coming years – will swerve him if he doesn’t deliver something spectacular.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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James Curtis

After studying for a degree in journalism and gaining his NCTJ, James contributed to a wide range of papers, online publications and broadcasters including the South London Press, Press Association and Sky Sports News before joining the Ladbrokes News team.