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Page last updated at 16:03 GMT, Tuesday, 16 September 2008 17:03 UK

Opponent no-show frustrates Haye

David Haye
Haye is hoping to prove himself as a heavyweight

David Haye's hopes of securing a top-10 ranked fighter for his heavyweight bout on 15 November are in doubt after his American rival missed a media launch.

The former undisputed cruiserweight champion had been due to present JD Chapman as his opponent.

But Chapman, ranked ninth by the WBA, failed to board his flight to the UK.

"It's pretty unprofessional but I am sure he will be in a ring with me in November so I will just take it out on him then," Haye told BBC Radio 5 Live.

Chapman, 25, has won all 29 of his fights, 26 inside the distance, and had agreed terms before his late no-show.

"He wanted x amount of money, we said ok. He wanted x amount of training expenses, we said ok. He wanted x amount of flights for him and his people, we said ok," added Haye.


"The next thing, he does not take the flight, what more can you do? We agreed everything but he does not get on the flight. Maybe he is holding out for more money but he told us how much he wanted.

"I will be fighting a top-10 fighter come 15 November. No doubt about it."

Haye, 27, said he was keen to face Chapman as he was similar to world champion Wladimir Klitschko and would give him a good idea of how he might fare against the Ukrainian.

"He's a big guy who comes to brawl and has never lost but I guess he looked at me and didn't fancy it. It's pretty frustrating," said Haye.

"He hasn't had any big-name opponents who you would recognise but he's never lost, never been put down and he's strong so I thought he would be the ideal opponent for an exciting fight.

"It has not been easy to find an opponent but we were not expecting it to be easy. Nobody wants to get knocked out and people realise what I dish out is a volume of hard punches. That's what I bring to the table."

And Haye's manager-trainer Adam Booth expressed his anger at Chapman's decision not to travel.

"He's the third top-10 fighter in four days to agree terms then pull out," Booth told said. "I had a phone call 10 minutes ago and I want to reveal my anger and frustration.

"The reason he didn't get on the flight, in his words, is: 'I'm not coming to England to get knocked out'.

We are hoping to chase JD Chapman and snuff him out of his hole

Haye's manager-trainer Adam Booth

"This is after agreeing a substantial amount of money for the fight. When I say substantial, it's more than some fighters get for a heavyweight title challenge.

"These fellows seem to be running away from, allegedly, a chinny cruiserweight."

Booth said there were two other top-10 fighters "waiting in the wings" but Chapman remained his preferred opponent for next month's bout at the O2 Arena.

"We are hoping to chase JD Chapman and snuff him out of his hole," he said.

"At 18 stone and standing 6ft 6ins, with a 29-fight unbeaten record, including 26 knockouts, what the hell is he running from a cruiserweight for? Hopefully he'll turn up on 15 November."

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The Sun Haye closes in on the champ - 21 hrs ago
Sky Sports Haye's hopes hit snag - 37 hrs ago
Channel 4 News Haye fight collapses - 38 hrs ago Haye can't find a heavyweight opponent - 41 hrs ago
Sporting Life HAYE HOPES DASHED BY NO-SHOW - 42 hrs ago