David Haye knocks out Mark De Mori on return to ring

Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images

David Haye showed it is not only the timing of his comeback that is spot on, but also the timing of his punches after his first fight in three-and-a-half years lasted just 131 seconds on Saturday.

The former WBA world heavyweight champion blew away the cobwebs with a stunning first round stoppage win over Croatia-based Australian Mark De Mori at London's O2 Arena.

Haye (27-2, 25 KOs) stopped De Mori (30-2-2, 26 KOs) -- ranked at No.10 with the WBA world governing body -- after detonating an explosive right hook on De Mori's jaw and then following up with a series of hooks.

"I want to unify the titles in the heavyweight division. I fell short a few years ago and I've been hampered by injury since the Dereck Chisora fight, but I'm feeling better than I did before," Haye said.

"I'm going to make a serious run at the heavyweight division, there are titles all over the place and it's possible. Tyson Fury says he won't fight me but there are the WBC and IBF belts."

Despite the lay-off, Haye looked sharp with his timing and the old knockout power is still intact. But De Mori put up as much resistance as a blade of grass to a lawnmower as Haye announced himself back on the heavyweight scene.

Haye's comeback not only demonstrated he can still be a force at 35, after recovering from a serious right shoulder injury, but also that he has star appeal with 16,000 turning up to see his first fight since 35,000 packed out Upton Park in 2012 when he knocked out fellow Londoner Chisora in five rounds.

After once being the No.1 attraction in British boxing, Haye's ring return was screened live on comedy channel Dave, which calls itself "the home of witty banter". But Haye proved his comeback is no joke by sending a message out that he is deadly serious about winning back the world heavyweight title.

And there are some exciting options for Haye, who lost his WBA belt on points to Ukrainian Wladimir Klitschko in a unification title fight in 2011. The heavyweight division has been shaken up since Haye was champion and in November Fury out-pointed Klitschko.

While WBA-WBO champion Fury, 27, says he has no interest in a future clash with Haye, who twice pulled out of fighting him in 2013, there are other big fights looming after he has another warm-up fight.

Haye could face 2012 Olympic gold medallist Anthony Joshua at Wembley Stadium on June 4, but that fight could be delayed until late 2016 if Haye lands a shot at the WBC or IBF titles. And on this evidence, Haye is a very dangerous fight for Joshua.

Haye may be more careful with his words now than he was when he was brawling with Chisora at a press conference in 2012, but he has not lost any of his old spite in the ring. Haye was quickly into his stride, unloading combinations and one big right brushed close to De Mori's chin.

But the Aussie could not avoid a vicious right hook to the jaw in the corner and when Haye saw he was hurt he pounced on him. Haye unloaded a series of fast hooks to send De Mori to the canvas and it took the Aussie longer to get to his feet than the fight lasted.

De Mori then needed oxygen in the ring for a few minutes to recover after a stunning but short comeback from Haye.