Betting preview: Haye vs Fournier - The biggest bank robbery of recent times

Fans are set to witness Haye 3.0 on screens and David Haye has promised it will be the last time he fights... or will it?

In yet another boxing comeback story, David Haye will make an appearance as chief support on the undercard of Oscar De La Hoya's return to the ring against little-known Joe Fournier.

Having once claimed he would no longer lace up the gloves beyond his 30th birthday, Haye will now make a one-off, if a somewhat unexpected return to the sport in Los Angeles a month shy of turning 41.

In the opposite corner, Joe Fournier, a 38-year-old billionaire who started boxing in 2015 - unbeaten in nine pro bouts - is a virtual unknown in the sport.

He has fought just once in five years though, that was a win over a Colombian reggaeton artist on the undercard of the Jake Paul vs Ben Askren contest (really you couldn't make it up).

It's fair to say that little is expected of the Monaco-based businessman who, despite his relative inexperience, has little to lose in this odd match-up of novice vs former champion.

Of course, in 2021, it seems like anything goes in boxing, with Haye making a surprising return to the sport following two painful losses to Tony Bellew in 2017 and 2018.

Haye out to prove his point

Whether the lure of the limelight or the lira has proved the motivating force behind Haye's return is up for debate.

However, the former WBA heavyweight champion is keen to prove his point when he squares up to his best friend/opponent.

"One must stay in their lane or risk getting flattened," Haye has claimed. "There are certain things in life you can't buy - Joe 'The Billionaire' Fournier needs to learn that.

"I was the heavyweight champion of the world just ten years ago. I'm only 40. Joe is delusional. Champions are born, not bought," Haye continued.

"He truly believes in his heart that he can beat me. It's quite funny. I find it amusing.

"He's really taking it seriously in terms of believing he can win this fight. He's banking on something breaking or snapping in my body.

'He believes something is going to go drastically wrong with me, and he reckons as long as he can get through the first few rounds, it will then be his time - but to get through three or four rounds with me is very, very difficult.

"I'm not envisioning any version of this fight which ends with me losing.

"He believes if my Achilles snaps mid-fight, then I won't be fighting for another five rounds. He has a strategy for a one-legged fighter, but even if it does snap, I still think... even with two snapped Achilles, I'd find a way to beat him."

The lure of the almighty $

While a reported seven-figure pay-day to fight an unheralded and smaller opponent was just too good an opportunity to turn down for Haye, one wonders if he simply couldn't stand the thought of his last two fights being TKO losses against his rival Bellew.

Long past his best, Haye has always kept himself in excellent physical condition, even if his body let him down on several occasions in the second half of his career.

Indeed, had he stuck to his earlier retirement plans, one wonders if his legacy might have been that much greater than the one he left the sport in 2018.

While a win here will do little for Haye's reputation, a shock loss in this contest would surely remove the lustre from the former unified cruiserweight champion's impressive resume.

Still, given the money on offer and the lack of experience in the opposite corner, it's hardly surprising that Haye would take the money and laugh all the way to his bank.

Haye confirmed he will earn more for this fight than he did for the final two bouts of his career against Tony Bellew.

"It's more than what I got for Bellew "What am I gonna say to that? 'No, I'm not going to fight Joe for that.'

"What would people think if I didn't fight him for that?

"They'd think I've got something wrong with me," Haye claimed.

Anything other than a resounding Haye victory has to be expected. But the unbeaten 38-year-old should still command Haye's respect, even if he has never shared a ring with anyone approaching Haye's skill level.

Indeed, not many will be backing Fournier, available at 9/1, to claim the stunning upset. Still, the unbeaten 10-0 billionaire certainly talks the talk and believes Haye will prove too shopworn to compete, even at this limited level.

"I will shock the world and knock out David Haye," Fournier said.

"Unquestionably one of the hardest challenges of my life, but this is the perfect fight at the perfect time for me."

"Haye is riddled with injuries, ten years past his prime"

"I was a late starter to this pro boxing game - now I'm coming into my fighting prime."

When and where?

The fight will take place on September 11 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

What's the weight limit?

The fight will be held at heavyweight and is scheduled for eight rounds.

How can I watch it?

FITE TV will broadcast the fight card worldwide.

Final thoughts...

Even at almost 41, it's hard to imagine that Fournier, himself no spring-chicken, will be able to roll with Haye over the long haul.

A decorated and excellent champion during his prime, the Londoner is likely to still carry plenty of venom in his punches, and a short night's work at the office is anticipated.

Of course, a similar outcome was expected when Haye last competed, entering the bouts with Bellew as an odds-on-favourite. We all know what happened then.

Whatever the outcome, we expect this bout will prove the last hurrah for the Hayemaker.

While often under-appreciated in his home country, there can be little doubt that the Bellew defeats will have hurt his ego, and even if this contest offers little chance at redemption, it does at least allow the Londoner to finish his career with a much more satisfying W.

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