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Haye plots dual London showdowns

Haye sets sights on Klitschkos

By Frank Keogh

British boxer David Haye hopes to have two London title defences in 2010 after becoming new WBA heavyweight champion.

The O2 Arena in Greenwich is believed to be a leading venue to host a fight against mandatory challenger John Ruiz.

And Haye's manager, Adam Booth, says talks will take place over fighting one of the Klitschkos at Wembley Stadium.

"Wembley have already been on to me," said Booth. "Haye against a Klitschko, Wladimir or Vitali, would be one of the biggest fights in heavyweight history."

It is also understood a bout in the United States could also be on the cards if Haye continues his winning run.


Richard Schaefer, Haye's American promoter, says he has already been contacted by US broadcaster HBO and the Las Vegas hotel and casino MGM Mirage in the wake of the 29-year-old Briton's win over Nikolay Valuev.

"These are all very strong signs that David will be huge," said Schaefer.

"The Klitschkos have really failed to capture the American market. They have become more like German champions than world champions.

"The world will embrace David because of his skills and because of his charisma. The American fight fans have waited for so long to get that kind of heavyweight champion again."

Haye is a Millwall football fan and the club's New Den ground is also thought to be a potential option for his first title defence against former WBA champion Ruiz.

David Haye's road to success

"Ruiz is a good fighter, very under-rated," said Haye, who became champion by outpointing giant Russian Valuev in Nuremberg on Saturday.

"I don't feel I'd struggle with him in any way, though. He's pretty much the same size as me and I think I'd just be way too fast and knock him out.

"He's not the most entertaining of former champions but he's won championships on several occasions, and you don't do that through being a bad fighter."

If he gets past American Ruiz, Haye could face either WBC champion Vitali Klitschko or younger brother Wladimir, who holds the IBF and WBO belts.

Booth, though, says the plan is for Haye to recover from the damaged right hand he sustained against Valuev before taking on Ruiz, possibly in March or April.

"As far as the Klitschkos are concerned, they can just sit back and watch us enjoy our moment. They are not on my radar for any phone calls," said Booth.

"They have to win their fights first and David has to beat Ruiz. Then, if they can speak respectfully and sensibly, Richard and I can sit down and make the deal happen."

Haye has not ruled out another clash with the 22-stone Valuev, nicknamed the 'Beast from the East', either.

"I want to fight whoever the public wants me to fight," said the 'Hayemaker', who is Britain's first heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis retired in 2003.

"If Valuev somehow gets back in a position where it's possible, then it could happen, but he'd have to beat a few people and I'd slay 'the Beast' again.

"I know everyone loved the fight and I'm sure he'll come with a better strategy next time. But so will I. So if the fight happens again, I'll be more than happy to do it.

"I'm looking forward to cleaning up the division. I said I want to be unified champion and the Klitschkos are definitely in my sights. This is the start of big things to come."

Having being greeted at Stansted Airport by more than 100 fans after returning from Germany on Sunday night, Haye admitted he has found his new sudden stardom "weird".


"This time yesterday I was in my hotel waiting for the fight but now, boom, I'm world champion. I was expecting about 10 or 12 of my close mates here tonight, but this is strange," he added.

Haye, who was unable to wear his belt because it was being resized to fit him, sported a badly disfigured hand after injuring it in the victory over Valuev.

"It was like hitting bricks, but it was a small price for being heavyweight champion of the world," revealed Haye, who is set to have an X-ray on the injury on Monday afternoon.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown led the praise for Haye on his victory.

"Congratulations to David Haye for his superb, courageous and determined performance in Germany last night to win the WBA Heavyweight crown - Britain's first heavyweight champion for six years," he said.

Sports Minister Gerry Sutcliffe said: "It's great that in the run-up to London 2012 we have the first British heavyweight champion for six years, something which can only raise the profile of boxing in the UK."

David Haye lands a right hook

Moment Haye clinches crown

see also
Ten to Tackle - Haye special
10 Nov 09 |  Fun and Games
The making of Haye
09 Nov 09 |  Boxing
Haye & Klitschko target showdown
08 Nov 09 |  Boxing
British fans inspired win - Haye
08 Nov 09 |  Boxing
Haye shocks Valuev to take title
07 Nov 09 |  Boxing
Haye v Valuev photos
08 Nov 09 |  Boxing
Haye v Valuev - as it happened
07 Nov 09 |  Boxing
Haye v Valuev build-up photos
06 Nov 09 |  Boxing

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