David Haye retires from professional boxing

David Haye has announced his retirement from professional boxing. Dan Istitene/Getty Images

David Haye announced his retirement from professional boxing on Tuesday morning, calling time on his career following two defeats by Tony Bellew.

The 37-year-old boxer published a lengthy statement, telling his fans of his intentions to hang up his boxing gloves for good and reflecting on the highs and lows of his 16-year career.

"Today (Tuesday, June 12, 2018) I announce my retirement from professional boxing," the statement read.

"Thanks to boxing, I have been able to live my unencumbered childhood dream."

The announcement comes after Haye was beaten by Bellew (30-2-1, 19 KOs) in a humiliating fifth round stoppage at London's O2 Arena at the beginning of May.

On his defeat to Bellew, Haye added: "Despite the pre-fight hype, I can assure you I have a huge amount of respect and admiration for Tony. Whenever I traded punches with him, and whenever I was in his presence, I felt the inner warrior.

"I saw a man who would take the battle as far as necessary to get victory; a man who, like myself, would rather die than give up or quit; a man I'd want on my side of the battlefield if going to war.

"That said, credit where it's due: even 10 years ago - in my 'Haye Day' - I'd have had a hard night fighting the 2018 version of Tony Bellew. He boxed brilliantly."

Bellew, 35, has ruled out fighting unified heavyweight world champion and friend Anthony Joshua, but has expressed interest in a matchup with Andre Ward or Tyson Fury next.