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David Haye: I've sacrificed Christmas to prove I'm the best heavyweight

David Haye is relishing the chance to challenge a new breed of exciting heavyweights -- even if it did mean having to spend Christmas Day in the gym.

The former world champion is in training ahead of his long-awaited return to the ring against Mark de Mori at the O2 Arena on January 16.

Haye's last fight was when he knocked out Dereck Chisora in 2012 and since then Anthony Joshua has emerged, while Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder have become world champions.

After such a long absence the 35-year-old knows he has to be methodical in his preparation if he is to take on these younger fighters, which is why he is happy to sacrifice his Christmas.

"I've got to be 100 percent because on January 16 at the O2 Arena I'm going to have to show that I'm the best heavyweight on the planet," he told Sky Sports.

"There are some young guys out there: Anthony Joshua is looking amazing; Tyson Fury has just won a title. So we've got a whole new crop of heavyweights, exciting heavyweights and I want to chuck my name in the mix.

"To do that I've not only got to win but I've got to look good doing so."

The rise of Joshua is a prospect that excites Haye, especially because he knows there are plenty of people who would tip the 26-year-old to beat him.

Haye, who suggested Joshua might need one or two more fights before being ready to take him on, made it clear it is a fight he would want.

"He knocked out Dillian Whyte conclusively, no questions asked after it, and I believe that he's one of the best fighters on the planet," he added.

"That's why I'm in the game. I'm in the game to try to compete with these big guys. If I was to fight him I'm sure there would be people who would believe that Anthony Joshua would beat me.

"I love the thought of that, I love the thought of getting into a fight where people aren't quite sure about what happens."

When asked about the chances of him finally facing Fury after the pair's 2013 bout was cancelled due to injury, Haye added: "He said the one person he's never going to fight is me and he'll throw his titles in the bin rather than fight me.

"He's definitely a name that I'm not worrying about."

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