Former world heavyweight champion David Haye has pledged 10 per cent of revenue from ticket sales for his next fight will be donated to seriously injured fellow English fighter Nick Blackwell.
Middleweight Blackwell remains in an induced coma following his 10th-round stoppage by Chris Eubank Jr in their British title fight at Wembley Arena on Saturday night.
Boxing has united in support of the 25-year-old, whose career looks to be over prematurely even if there is hope he may come out of a coma this week, and Haye has now joined the campaign.
The south Londoner made the promise as he announced his next fight would be against Kosovan Arnold Gjergjaj, who is unheralded despite winning all 29 of his fights, at the O2 on 21 May.
Haye said: “Nick is only in that situation because he is so tough and is one of those boxers who goes out there and puts it on the line.”
Fellow British middleweight Adam Etches has launched a crowdfunding page in an attempt to raise £10,000 for Blackwell and his family. As of Wednesday it had registered pledges totalling more than £6,500.
Etches and fellow Sheffield fighter Kell Brook have also vowed to stage a 24-hour exercise marathon that they hope will raise further donations. “Kell and I want to help out as much as we can,” he said.
Haye’s clash with Gjergjaj, who has won 21 of his fights by knockout but has only once fought outside of his adopted home of Switzerland, follows January’s comeback win over Australian Mark de Mori.
The 35-year-old chose Gjergjaj partly because he is 6ft 5ins. He said: “The top guys in the division are taller than me and so I wanted an opponent taller than me, so I’m punching upwards.”
Haye also brushed off an impromptu appearance at his media conference by veteran American former world champion Shannon Briggs, who accused Haye of dodging him for “someone we’ve never heard of”.
The Briton said Briggs, 44, first needed to pass a medical, adding: “He is an interesting character and if the British public want to see me beat this guy up then maybe we can talk about it.”