I sparred David Haye, he hit me so hard that he broke my headguard during brutal session

Chris Billam-Smith has recalled an incredible story of his brutal fight with David Haye.

Haye became an icon of British boxing, holding several world titles at cruiserweight before moving up to heavyweight and becoming world champion with an incredible victory over Nikolai Valuev in 2009.


Haye reigned as heavyweight champion during his distinguished career

While the 43-year-old was in the blue division, Billam-Smith visited the champion’s gym to spare him, as he began his own rise to the national stage.

And the 33-year-old named ‘Hayemaker’, alongside current British heavyweight Daniel Dubois, as the toughest he has faced, and described the intense training sessions.

Billam-Smith revealed to “It would probably be Daniel Dubois and David Haye.

“David Haye actually broke my helmet in a fight. It didn’t thrill me about live shooting.

“He hit a really hard shot with me, I think it was three shots.

“I thought my helmet had come apart, but it actually tore the seam from the force of the shot.

“So I went back to my coach and said, ‘Can you pull my helmet up?’ And he said, “No, I can’t.”

“He realized the seam had been completely torn and I had to borrow someone else’s helmet for the rest of the spar.

Haye gained notoriety thanks to his powerful striking style


Haye gained notoriety thanks to his powerful striking style
WBO cruiserweight champion Billam-Smith knows all too well the power Haye possessed.


WBO cruiserweight champion Billam-Smith knows all too well the power Haye possessed.Credit: Getty

“Those two were both heavyweights at the time, so they were the ones who hit me the hardest, that’s for sure.”

Haye was known for his ferocious punching power during his career, boasting a 92% KO ratio during his time in the ring.

David Haye supports Conor Benn in his fight after his return fight was confirmed, following his positive doping test 17 months ago

He retired in 2018 after back-to-back defeats to domestic rival Tony Bellew, but left a remarkable legacy in the sport.

Meanwhile, Billam-Smith is having an extremely positive run in the ring and looks set to defend his WBO title against Richard Riakporhe in a huge domestic rematch this year.

Both men have agreed to fight with a date and venue currently in the works, and the Bournemouth native will be hoping he can redeem himself after his points defeat in 2019.

He continued: “I think he (Riakporhe) lacks experience that I can capitalize on.

“I had a few world title fights and a 12-round war with Isaac Chamberlain, that whole experience, I think, of overcoming things that go wrong, is huge.

“I’m not afraid of a single cruiserweight in the world, I believe I can beat him and everyone else.”

STABLE: The Boxing Game – produced by Lorton Entertainment – airs on BBC One over the Easter weekend and will also be available on BBC iPlayer

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