The London boxer has pulled out of a rescheduled February 8 bout with rival Tyson Fury and now looks set to call time on his career after an operation last week failed to rectify his shoulder problem.
“It’s a crushing blow for me,” he said in a statement issued by his Hayemaker Promotions company. “I had big plans for next year and the ultimate goal was to win back the World Heavyweight title, something my amazing fans deserve.
“What I didn’t anticipate was that this year would be the unluckiest of my career and that a number of injuries would disrupt my plans so much.
“Perhaps it just wasn’t meant to be. The boxing gods keep hinting that maybe enough is enough and that it’s time to finally hang up my gloves.”
The 33-year-old former World Boxing Association (WBA) champion underwent a five-hour operation to reconstruct his right shoulder in Germany on Thursday but has since been told to “seriously consider” retirement.
“I genuinely believed the shoulder injury wasn’t that bad,” Haye insisted. “But the doctor sent me for a detailed MRI scan and within 24 hours I was told the full extent of the damage. Twenty-four hours after that I was in the operating theatre.
The surgery and subsequent results are a bitter pill to swallow because I truly felt I had a lot more to offer and was looking forward to paying back my loyal fans with some great fights in 2014.”