DAVID HAYE has revealed his return to the ring against Joe Fournier came about after a boozy night out in Mykonos.
The former WBA heavyweight champion will throw down with The Billionaire on the undercard of Vitor Belfort's bout with Oscar De La Hoya next month.
Haye and Fournier's September 11 clash surprised many as the duo, 40 and 38 respectively, are good pals.
But the contest came together after their macho bravado came to the fore during a recent night out on holiday.
The Hayemaker said: “This whole fight between us, came into existence when at dinner with a group in Mykonos we were asked who would win in a fight between us.
"I laughed, but out of respect for Joe’s ego suggested it would be close, maybe a draw – whilst winking to Joe.
"Joe’s straight-faced response was very different, he was deadly serious stating he would win in a fight today – I assumed it was just the tequila talking.
"And that’s exactly where it started. A boozy night in Mykonos, two alpha males peacocking with a crowd of girls.
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"Fast forward two weeks, I remain happily retired from boxing, with no intentions to make a traditional comeback to challenge the monsters of the division but am fit and ready to prove my point against my overconfident billionaire buddy.
"I would’ve been more than happy to prove this point behind closed doors, I suggested a 4-round spar in my Hayemaker Gym in London, which would have been more than enough to shut him up.
"But for Fournier, the ‘Ric Flair’ of the boxing world, this would have done nothing for his ‘legacy’.
"Joe asked what it would cost to get me through the ropes one last time for an official fight, on a real stage.
"I told him it would have to be a package rivalling my last PPV blockbusters. A few calls with the lawyers, and here we are."
Haye hasn't fought since his fifth-round TKO loss to Tony Bellew in May 2018.
A boozy night in Mykonos, two alpha males peacocking with a crowd of girls.
Fournier, meanwhile, was last in action on the undercard of Jake Paul's clash with Ben Askren, stopping reggaeton star Reykon in the second round of their six-rounder.
Haye insists the bout is not the beginning of an assault on the heavyweight division, saying: "This is not a comeback, this is about teaching Joe Fournier there are levels to the boxing game.
"One must stay in their lane or risk getting flattened. There are certain things in life you can't buy – Joe 'The Billionaire' Fournier needs to learn that.
"I was the heavyweight champion of the world just 10 years ago. I'm only 40. Joe is delusional. Champions are born not bought."
Fournier is a huge underdog going into his bout with the Hammersmith hitman but is confident of pulling off a major upset.
He said: "I will shock the world and knockout David Haye.
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"Unquestionably one of the hardest challenges of my life, but this is the perfect fight at the perfect time for me.
"Haye is riddled with injuries, 10 years past his prime. I was a late starter to this pro boxing game – now I'm coming into my fighting prime.
"I'm healthy, motivated and ready to prove a point to Haye that on September 11, I will be victorious."
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