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Haye downbeat on Wladimir Klitschko fight prospects

David Haye
Haye last fought against Audley Harrison in November

WBA world heavyweight champion David Haye claims he has all but given up on fighting Wladimir Klitschko after his decision to face Dereck Chisora.

Britain's Haye said he had hoped to face the Ukrainian, who holds the IBF and WBO heavyweight titles, on 2 July.

But the Londoner thinks Klitschko's rescheduled bout with Chisora on 30 April means the fights are too close.

"If he doesn't fight me on 2 July he'll never fight me," said Haye, who plans to retire when he turns 31 in October.

"I know I can retire later this year with my head held high knowing I did everything in my power to make these fights happen."

Speaking to BBC Radio 5 live, Haye added: "Klitschko brought the 2 July date up, he never mentioned Dereck Chisora until Wednesday.

"I know how hard it is to make certain fights happen and we finally agreed on it. There is no other reason why he should fight someone else before me. He's had similar gaps between fights in his career, it's not like he is going to be out of the ring for too long."

Sugar Boy Sweetie

If the Klitschko-Chisora fight goes ahead, Haye will have to take on a mandatory challenger or face having his WBA title stripped from him, whereas if he were to take on the German-based Ukrainian for a unification fight in the summer, he could apply for an extension to avoid that happening.

"It can [still] happen," said Haye. "Hopefully in the next few days Wladimir will realise the stick that he is getting by choosing to fight somebody else and do a u-turn."

Klitschko's camp said a fight in April was close to being agreed, but negotiations broke down, with manager Bernd Boente saying that British broadcaster Sky did not want a clash with an Amir Khan bout scheduled for the same month.

Boente said 2 July was also agreed on but claimed Haye's camp were unhappy with the 34-year-old Ukrainian taking on Chisora in the meantime, something they were keen on given that Klitschko's last fight was against Sam Peter in September.

The former cruiserweight said: "Klitschko claims he'll fight both me and Chisora, but it's nonsense. Are we expected to believe that a fighter who competed only once in the whole of 2009 and twice in 2010 is now going to box twice in a matter of nine weeks?

"A bout with me is the most lucrative, meaningful and dangerous fight Wladimir's ever had, not some throwaway tune-up. Wladimir won't fight anybody nine weeks after Chisora, let alone me."

The latest development could also now open up the possibility of Haye taking on the Ukrainian's brother Vitali, who is the WBC champion, in April or May.

But the rescheduling of Chisora's bout with Klitschko will dent Haye's hopes of unifying the division before he hangs up his gloves this autumn.

"It should never have come to this," said Haye. "I was available to fight in May and June, yet Klitschko only gave me dates of 30 April and 2 July. The April date would be too close to Amir Khan's next fight, and prove problematic with Sky Box Office, so we settled for July.

"Everybody appeared happy with the deal. We made a few concessions to remove past stumbling blocks and were happy to do so, as it finally looked like the fight would get made.

I've had defining fights and beaten the best in the world as a cruiserweight but, without me, Wladimir can never say he's done the same as a heavyweight

David Haye

"Even through negotiations, though, it was clear Wladimir was looking for the coward's way out. He would often come up with new obstacles and problems to overcome, and I never once sensed he fancied it.

"They demanded 50:50 right from the start and we eventually agreed and gave them all they wanted, despite the fact that our side brought three times as much money to the overall pot.

"We had venues available for May and June, but Wladimir had no intention of ever coming to England. He claimed he had no venues available in Germany for May and June, and that's why we find ourselves in the situation we're in right now."

Haye, who last fought in November, beating fellow Briton Audley Harrison, had been due to face Wladimir Klitschko in 2009 but pulled out of the fight because of a back injury.

Klitschko on the other hand was originally supposed to face Britain's Chisora in December but also pulled out because of a back problem.

"I've had defining fights and beaten the best in the world as a cruiserweight," Haye added. "But, without me, Wladimir can never say he's done the same as a heavyweight."

see also
Chisora & Klitschko bout back on
05 Jan 11 |  Boxing
Klitschkos ready to take on Haye
25 Dec 10 |  Boxing
Haye offers Wladimir 50-50 split
21 Dec 10 |  Boxing
Haye-Klitschko talks held in US
12 Dec 10 |  Boxing
Klitschko calls off Chisora fight
08 Dec 10 |  Boxing
Klitschkos next on Haye's agenda
14 Nov 10 |  Boxing

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