Haye told to quit after surgery
David Haye has been told to seriously consider ending his boxing career after undergoing surgery in Germany to reconstruct his right shoulder.
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This latest injury has also forced the former world heavyweight and cruiserweight champion to pull out of his rescheduled February 8 fight with domestic rival Tyson Fury and now looks set to hang up his gloves permanently.
According to a statement from from his Hayemaker Promotions company, the operation, which lasted five hours, was to the right subscapularis and bicep tendon attachments, both of which were ruptured.
"It's a crushing blow for me," he said. "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 Londonder added: "I genuinely believed the shoulder injury wasn't that bad.
"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.
"But I've been boxing for 23 years now, amateur and pro, and this has clearly taken its toll on my body.
"I can only offer my sincerest apologies to all those fans who have followed me over the years and, like me, wanted to finish on a real high.
"This wasn't how I wanted to end 2013.
"If I'm now destined to have won the European championship, the unified world cruiserweight championship and the WBA heavyweight championship of the world - with a record of 28 fights, 26 wins, 24 victories coming via knockout and only two defeats - then so be it.
"I'm proud of these achievements and consider my boxing career a huge success."
If the Bermondsey fighter does indeed retire, his impressive fifth-round blow-out of Dereck Chisora in July last year will prove to be his final appearance in a boxing ring.
An outstanding amateur, Haye made waves as a promising young professional before seeing his unbeaten record destroyed by veteran underdog Carl Thompson in 2004.
He bounced back to become European cruiserweight champion and went on to claim the WBC, WBO and WBA world titles before stepping up to heavyweight.
He achieved his childhood ambition of claiming a portion of the so-called 'richest prize in sport' by dethroning giant WBA heavyweight champion Nikolai Valuev in Germany in 2009.
However, he will largely be remembered for a feeble showing in his biggest fight, a lop-sided points loss to the dominant Wladimir Klitschko two years ago.
He went on to retire briefly, before an infamous brawl with Chisora prompted his return to the ring to settle their dispute.
He had been due to fight another British rival, Fury, in September but pulled out after suffering a cut in sparring.
It now seems that intriguing fight will never happen, as Haye looks set to hang up the gloves for good.
David Haye factfile:
1980: Born October 13, in Bermondsey.
2001: Reaches final of the World Amateur Championships in Belfast, losing to Cuban Odlanier Solis in the third round.
2002: Turns professional and wins first fight in December, beating fellow Englishman Tony Booth.
2004: September - Loses for the first time, beaten by former WBO champion Carl Thompson at Wembley Arena in an IBO cruiserweight title fight.
2005: December - Wins EBU European cruiserweight belt, beating Alexander Gurov in Bracknell.
2006: Retains European title with wins over Lasse Johansen, Ismail Abdoul and Giacobbe Fragomeni.
2007: Begins his year with a heavyweight fight at Wembley Arena, and a first-round knock-out of Poland's Tomasz Bonin.
November - Wins WBA and WBC cruiserweight titles with victory over Jean-Marc Mormeck in France by seventh-round stoppage.
2008: March - Beats Welshman Enzo Maccarinelli in the second round at the O2 Arena and adds WBO title to his collection. Reveals he is to move up to heavyweight division on a permanent basis, and later gives up his cruiserweight titles.
November - Wins first fight as a full-time heavyweight, with a fifth-round TKO victory over Monte Barrett in London.
2009: June - Pulls out of planned fight with WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko due to injury.
November 7 - Takes on WBA champion Nikolai Valuev in Nuremberg and wins on points, with two judges favouring Haye and another scoring the fight as a draw. Lands first world title as a heavyweight.
2010: April 3 - Retains WBA world heavyweight title after John Ruiz's corner throws in the towel in the ninth round in Manchester.
November 13 - Beats Audley Harrison by third-round stoppage to retain WBA title for a second time.
2011: July 2 - Beaten by Wladimir Klitschko on points in world heavyweight unification bout in Hamburg.
October 11: The British Boxing Board of Control general secretary Robert Smith reveals Haye has emailed the board stating he does not wish to renew his fighting licence.
October 13: Haye officially announces his retirement on his 31st birthday, a date he always maintained would signal the end of his career.
2012: February 19 - Commentates on Dereck Chisora's points defeat to Vitali Klitschko in Munich and becomes involved in a fight with Chisora at the post-match press conference following comments relating to his loss to Wladimir Klitschko. Haye's manager Adam Booth is cut in the fight and a camera tripod is thrown.
May 8 - Signs deal to come out of retirement and fight Chisora. BBBoC refuses to sanction the fight, with neither fighter holding a license due to Haye's retirement and Chisora being banned for the fracas after the Klitschko fight.
May 18 - The fight is announced as a WBO and WBA title bout and licensed by the Luxembourg Boxing Federation.
July 14 - Beats Chisora by fifth-round stoppage.
2013: May 14 - Pulls out of scheduled bout with Germany's Manuel Charr due to a hand injury.
September 21 - Fight against Tyson Fury is cancelled after Haye suffers a deep cut while sparring. The fight is rescheduled for February 8, 2014.
November 17 - Cancels the Fury fight again and reveals he has been advised to consider retirement after surgery on a shoulder problem.