What’s On took part in Haye’s attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the biggest ever boxing lesson at Dubai Sports World yesterday


Former WBA heavyweight champion of the world David Haye put hundreds of people through their paces in Dubai yesterday as he attempted to set a new world record for the biggest ever boxing class.

Haye demonstrated his killer jabs, upper cuts, crosses and hooks for the upbeat crowd at Dubai Sports World yesterday, with a little help from the team at his Hayemaker Gym, set to open in Downtown in the coming months.

More than 350 people of all ages filed into the indoor sports venue hoping to shadow box their way to a new world record, but the number of participants fell short of that needed to break the record of 498 people set in Sydney earlier this year.

It is believed to have been the biggest ever boxing lesson in the UAE.

Although the world record attempt was unsuccessful, Haye remained positive yesterday and said he hinted that he would like to make the charity session an annual event.

All participants made a donation to charity in order to take part, with proceeds going to Rashid Centre for the Disabled.

“Obviously I’d love to break the record, but even if it doesn’t the fact that so many people came down here to raise money and awareness for the Rashid Paediatric Centre is great,” said the boxer.

“One of my favourite Muhammed Ali quotes is ‘service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth’. It’s a wonderful sentiment and I believe in it completely,” Haye said ahead of the event. “Giving back is important and we can help so many kids.”

Footage of the event is being sent to Guinness, and official numbers are expected to be verified towards the end of next week.

Yesterday’s class lasted 40 minutes, with all participants urged to keep active and moving at all times to avoid being discounted from the final tally.

Haye stressed the importance of footwork to a boxer, referencing his victory over 7ft2in Russian opponent Nikolai Valuev in 2009. “I wouldn’t have been able to do that if I wasn’t fast on my feet,” the 33-year-old told the crowd.

The boxer has become something of a regular face in Dubai since announcing plans for his state-of-the-art gym adjacent to the Burj Khalifa, cropping up at various events including the opening of the city’s new Sass Cafe in April.