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David Haye targets Wladimir Klitschko for July bout

David Haye hopeful of facing Wladimir Klitschko

WBA heavyweight champion David Haye hopes to take on WBO and IBF champion Wladimir Klitschko in July after rescheduling his next fight.

Haye claims a mandatory defence against Ruslan Chagaev in May has been cancelled, allowing time for the bout.

The Briton, 30, aims to unify the titles before retiring later this year.

"One way or another my next fight is going to be in July. I am hoping it is going to be against Wladimir Klitschko," he told BBC Sport.

Negotiations over the staging of the fight stalled in December with the two camps wrangling over the details of the contest.

But Haye is hopeful that a deal could now be struck, with a 2 July date most likely.

"I believe we are pretty close to agreeing. That's what I believe. Whether we are or not is a whole different matter," he added.

"It seems at this stage that we are ready to do it, so hopefully they are. We should know something more in the next few days."

Haye confirmed that he still intends to take on Wladimir's brother Vitali, the WBC champion, in his final fight before retiring ahead of turning 31 in October.

The Londoner was due to fight Chagaev in May, but the Uzbek has had problems obtaining a boxing licence in Britain as he suffers from hepatitis B.

A potential obstacle to Haye's plans is Wladimir's voluntary defence against Britain's Derek Chisora on 30 April - a little over two months before a proposed fight with Haye.

Haye admitted in January that a 2 July meeting was "effectively impossible" unless Wladimir stepped away from his fight with Chisora.

see also
Haye hopes dented by Adamek deal
26 Jan 11 |  Boxing
Haye downbeat on Klitschko fight
06 Jan 11 |  Boxing
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

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