Former two-weight world champion David Haye today announced that he will face undefeated Arnold ‘The Cobra’ Gjergjaj on Saturday May 21 at The O2 in London as he continues his journey back to the summit the heavyweight division.

The Hayemaker returns to the ring for the first time since January 16 when more than 16,000 spectators packed into The O2 to witness him deliver a signature right hand to KO top 10 WBA ranked Mark de Mori. The fight lasted just 121 seconds in what was Haye’s eighth first round KO of his professional career and 25th knockout in his 27 professional wins.

Haye now turns his attentions to the 31 year old Kosovo-Albanian who has amassed an impressive record of 29-0, with 21 of those wins coming via knockout. ‘The Cobra’ stands at 6 foot 5 inches tall and most recently tipped the scales at 112 kilograms - his size and strength are expected to pose a real threat. 

The Cobra’s 29-0 resume is the second longest winning streak in the heavyweight boxing behind only the current WBC champion Deontay Wilder, who is yet to be beaten in his 36 professional fights, but ahead of Tyson Fury who has 25-0 record. The Cobra has impressive pedigree having sparred with the current WBA and WBO heavyweight champion and, the man he beat for those titles, Wladimir Klitschko. 

Commenting on the fight, Haye said: “I'm so happy to be back in the ring so soon. I said I wanted to fight regularly and that's exactly what I'm doing. Every two to three months I want to be knocking somebody out and working my way back into title contention. Fighting a big heavyweight like ‘The Cobra’ has really got my juices flowing, taking a unbeaten fighters ‘0’ from him always makes the victory that much sweeter. Expect another explosive knock out!"

He continues: "The reaction to the first Haye Day event was incredible with a sell-out crowd at The O2, music acts, A-List guests like Idris Elba and Benedict Cumberbatch, and let's not forget breaking TV viewing records with a 3.2m peak audience on Dave. May’s Haye Day will be even bigger and better. We’ve listened to fans and have a stronger undercard and even bigger musical acts to provide plenty of entertainment before my ring walk."

Speaking about the announcement, The Cobra said: “This is obviously the biggest fight of my life and it is an opportunity I will not waste. Fighting in a huge arena against a former world heavyweight champion is massive motivation for me and gives me a chance to prove my skills to the boxing world. I respect ‘The Hayemaker’ - he was a very good fighter 5 years ago - but his time is over and I’m coming to win. I’m warning David Haye that he should not underestimate me - I'm unbeaten and I intend to stay that way.”

© Kevin Quigley

© Kevin Quigley