Former heavyweight boxing champion David Haye meets fans at Vauxhall gym


Haye delighted fans by staying until the last boxing glove was signed.


By Alex Christian and Lewis Garfield

David Haye opened his Vauxhall gym doors for the first time yesterday.

The former Heavyweight Champion of the World met his devoted fans and stayed until the last boxing glove was signed.

Fanatics waited for up to four hours outside his Randall Road gym after the British boxing great tweeted the event on Friday.

The Hayemaker told SWLondoner: “Today’s good. It’s great meeting all the fans, the people who have paid to see me all over the world – so I’m trying to give a little something back. 

“I will definitely do something like this again, no doubt. I got a lot of twitter messages from fans who couldn’t get down to South London so I’m definitely doing another one, maybe up North as well.

And the former unified Cruiserweight World Champion, 31, added: “It’s a bit harsh expecting people from all over to come down to London. But it’s crazy – I’ve had fans from Germany, fans from France, fans from all over today.”

There was a buzz along the winding queue as excited fans met Haye for the very first time in a storied decade-long career.

First in line was boxing fanatic Peter Simpson, 26, who travelled all the way from Edinburgh to meet his hero.

He said: “I’ve been to David’s last three fights, including the Wladmir Klitschko one in Germany.

“I travelled from Scotland to be here today but it was too big an opportunity to turn down. I thought David was really friendly and happy to talk about boxing.”

Fans queued for hours outside the Randall Road gym

The Hayemaker is looking for a fight against reining WBC World Heavyweight titlist Vitali Klitschko in 2013, but only if the Ukrainian fails in his political campaign.

Peter added: “I’d like David to fight Vitali and he seems quite confident that it’ll happen.”

Zoe Ludford, 27, who grew up in Bermondsey just streets away from the boxing icon said: “Haye-Chisora at West Ham was the first professional fight I’ve ever seen – I thought it was brilliant.”

With Haye’s biography in-hand, she added: “I got soaked standing ringside but it was a really good fight, he put on a really good show.”

Haye’s trainer and manager Adam Booth was also busy at the open day, arriving in the Mercedes Haye allegedly bought him after the Chisora press-conference brawl in Munich.

Signed fight memorabilia from Haye’s most famous clashes decorated the star’s training gym walls and plenty of past fight posters were handed out to fans.

An old gym-mate of Haye’s and professional boxer Mark “The Flash” Alexander, said: “It’s great to see your old gym buddy. David’s had a great career and is in a great position now – the world is his oyster.

“I believe he will get the fight with Vitali Klitschko. And if he beats Vitali surely the younger brother will want to avenge that. David would get his ‘Lucky Six’ twice by getting two shots at the title, fighting both Klitschkos.”

He added: “But it is Klitschko or retirement for David.”

Regardless, Haye will always be a champion in his fans’ eyes, as they proved on Saturday in their masses.

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