Dave Scores David Haye’s Comeback Fight


LONDON: UKTV has secured the exclusive U.K. rights for Live Boxing: David Haye v Mark De Mori, the highly anticipated comeback fight of former boxing world champion David Haye, due to air on the free-to-air Dave channel later this month.

The match will see Britain’s Haye compete against Australia’s Mark De Mori, who has been undefeated since September 2004. The fight will be Haye’s first since defeating Dereck Chisora at Upton Park more than three years ago. It is slated to broadcast live from The O2 on Saturday, January 16, at 9 p.m. The two-hour special will include highlights from the day’s boxing at The O2, along with music, live studio discussions and ringside action.

Live Boxing: David Haye v Mark De Mori is produced by David Green at Giant Film & TV and Salter Brothers Entertainment for UKTV, and is executive produced by UKTV’s Helen Nightingale. Dave will also air the special half-hour preview show Haye v De Mori: The Countdown on Friday, January 15, at 8 p.m.

Richard Watsham, UKTV’s director of commissioning, said: “We are quickly establishing UKTV as a network able to handle attention-grabbing live events, from the Python’s last ever performance—Monty Python Live (Mostly) for Gold through Really’s Halloween spectacular Most Haunted Live to Dave’s ratings success, the Red Bull Soapbox Race. Our ambition continues to grow in terms of the variety and quality of our programming and appointment to view TV remains at the top of our wish list.”

Steve North, Dave’s general manager, noted: “We are increasingly stretching our offering to Dave viewers, bringing them programs which tap into the news agenda, such as last year’s election special The Pub Landlord vs Nigel Farage. I’m thrilled to be giving our viewers a ringside seat to this hotly-anticipated boxing match and, with Dave’s own spin on the event, helping to show the sport in a brand new light.”

Haye added: “I’m so happy to be stepping back into the ring with my hometown crowd behind me. It’s been a long time out, with many ups and downs, but ‘The Hayemaker’ is finally back, and ready to do what I do best. I’m a young 35, in boxing terms, and still have my explosive speed and punching power. I’m looking forward to putting on a great show for the fans on ‘Haye Day’ at The O2 on January 16 and I’m delighted that my first fight in three and a half years is going to be available free to air on Dave, giving as many people as possible the chance to watch my comeback. I was determined to make this comeback fight free to everybody and fans should sit back and get ready for another fun-fueled ride as I look to regain the heavyweight championship of the world.”