David Haye should not retire, says Barry McGuigan

Haye lost on points to Wladimir Klitschko in July

Barry McGuigan believes former world heavyweight champion David Haye would be wrong to step away from boxing.

Haye, 31 on Thursday, informed the British Boxing Board of Control he did not want to renew his licence.

David Haye should fight on - Barry McGuigan

"If it is the end then it's a shame because he had so much more to give," former world featherweight champion McGuigan told BBC Sport.

"As the Klitschkos showed, heavyweights blossom in their 30s. If it's the end then it's a career unfulfilled."

Haye's last fight was a defeat by Wladimir Klitschko in July when he lost his WBA world title by an unamimous points decision in Hamburg.

The Londoner had previously stated that he would not fight beyond the age of 30, but it was expected that he would hold off retirement in order to fight Vitali, the WBC champion and brother of Wladimir.

"It was a non-showing against Wladimir Klitschko. The tale about his toe injury was embarrassing and he boxed very timidly on the backfoot on the night," said McGuigan.

"Does he want to go out on that? I'm not sure. If it means making a big effort, training hard, fighting a couple of contenders and then facing Vitali or maybe Vladimir again, then he deserves that.

"His whole career has been full of bluff, so you don't know whether to believe the news."

Haye moved up from cruiserweight, a division where he was the unified champion, to heavyweight in 2008.

The Londoner beat Russian Nikolay Valuev to win the WBA title and twice retained the belt, beating John Ruiz and Audley Harrison, before losing his crown to Wladimir Klitschko.

"He was a very good cruiserweight and then won the heavyweight title but he was not convincing enough at that level," added McGuigan, 50, who beat Eusebio Pedroza to win the WBA featherweight belt in 1985.

Whether or not Haye confirms his decision to hang up his gloves, McGuigan believes British heavyweight boxing is in rude health.

"There's Tyson Fury, David Price and Anthony Joshua, who beat the Olympic and world champion at the world championships in Baku recently. The future looks very promising," he said.

"We would miss Haye, but the heavyweight division in Britain looks good."

For the latest updates and reaction to this story, read Sportsday Live. Have your say on Twitter via the hashtag #bbcsportsday.