David Haye produce another polished display to send a message to the heavyweight division after knocking out Arnold Gjergjaj inside two rounds at the O2 Arena in London. The Bermondsey-born fighter sent the Swiss-based Gjergjaj down three times before the contest was stopped well inside the 10-round distance
Victory sets up a bout with American Shannon Briggs, who himself beat Emilio Ezequiel Zarate inside one round, in September before Haye looks to challenge for the heavyweight title - though there still remain questions after he swatted aside another substandard opponent. Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury remains targets for the 35-year-old but he must surely pass far tougher examinations if he wishes to repeat former glories.
Following his 130-second victory over Mark de Mori in January, following three-and-a-half years away from the sport Haye was back in the ring to reignite his attempts to once again dominate heavyweight boxing. But having since seen Joshua become IBF champion and Tyson Fury book a rematch with Wladimir Klitschko it would take another impressive display to ensure the British duo would take note.
Undefeated opponent Gjergjaj was a fighter whose name was as difficult to pronounce as it was to take seriously, having only once boxed out of his Swiss homeland. Measuring at 6ft 4ins he would at least provide Haye with a physical challenge, if not a technical one but in an environment and atmosphere he had never tasted before it was unlikely he would provide anything but a moving target for the former two-weight world champion.
Though Joshua and Fury are unwilling to contemplate Haye as a serious opponent, it is obvious that the British public continue to hold the 35-year-old in high regard. The O2 Arena was a near-sell out again for a fight which was expected to last no longer than a handful of rounds at best.
Gjergjaj's nerves were clear to see from the outset and Haye made the opening exchanges all the more difficult by display his new-found power by knocking down the Kosovan in the opening round and continually forcing him on to the ropes. He survived the round but hit the canvass for a second time via an innocuous Haye jab.
A flurry of shots followed from the Briton and when Gjergjaj - who offered nothing in response other than desperate glances to his corner - went to the floor for a third time the referee was forced to stop another one-sided bout. Briggs' subsequent appearance ring-side gave an indicator as to what Haye's future holds, but a tilt at a heavyweight champion appears less certain.