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Page last updated at 09:22 GMT, Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Haye bound for prime-time defence

David Haye
Haye was introduced to the Millwall crowd during their FA Cup win

David Haye's homecoming title defence against mandatory challenger John Ruiz should be on prime-time television, according to his American promoter.

Britain's new WBA heavyweight champion is likely to take on Ruiz at the O2 Arena in Greenwich next spring.

"The Ruiz fight should be at prime time in the UK," Haye's US promoter Richard Schaefer told BBC Radio 5 live.

Schaefer predicts Haye could earn £72m ($120m) by fighting one of the champion Klitschko brothers in the US.

Despite having to take on Ruiz in his first defence, there is already talk of a high-profile clash against WBC champion Vitali Klitschko or younger brother Wladimir, who holds the IBF and WBO belts.

Schaefer says Haye could earn a massive sum of money by fighting in the US but admits he would prefer a Klitschko contest at Wembley Stadium.

"This is the kind of event which is not a boxing event, it's a global event," added Schaefer.

"If he comes and fights in the United States against one of the Klitschkos, I have no doubt that the total global receipts could be close to $120m for one fight.

"If I had my choice the perfect place for that, there is only one place, and that's Wembley Stadium. It really is a showdown of global proportions between the two best heavyweights."


Schaefer believes Haye's charisma is a welcome boost to the heavyweight division and predicts that the Londoner will be a big success in America.

"The Americans will embrace David because of his skills inside the ring but equally important are his skills outside the ring," he said.

"He is charismatic, he is good-looking, he is well-spoken. He knows how to entertain and that is what we were looking for - not just in the US but around the world.

"The world has been waiting for a heavyweight champion who cannot just fight but who is charismatic and here he is and his name is David Haye."

The 29-year-old became Britain's first heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis retired in 2003 with victory over Russian giant Nikolay Valuev in Germany on Saturday night.

And 10-time world champion Oscar de la Hoya, whose Golden Boy Promotions company, of which Schaefer is chief executive officer, represents Haye in the United States, believes the victory is the beginning of a new era for the heavyweight division.

"We're very proud of David and what he accomplished on Saturday night," he said.

"The odds were stacked against him, but he kept his focus, stuck to his gameplan and put that title belt around his waist.

"This is a new era for the heavyweight division and I can't wait to see what mountains David will climb next."

Haye's triumph has made the Londoner a household name and on his arrival back in England early on Sunday night, he made a whirlwind tour of media outlets on Monday.

He appeared on numerous television and radio shows before attending a news conference at the Riverside Plaza in London.

Haye was then interviewed on more TV programmes before celebrating another victory when watching his beloved Millwall defeat AFC Wimbledon 4-1 in the FA Cup first round.

He was introduced to the fans at half-time and was given a standing ovation by the 9,453 crowd.

see also
Ten to Tackle - Haye special
10 Nov 09 |  Fun and Games
Millwall 4-1 AFC Wimbledon
09 Nov 09 |  FA Cup
Monday football photos
09 Nov 09 |  Football
Haye plots dual London showdowns
09 Nov 09 |  Boxing
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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