David Haye believes Wladimir Klitschko’s decision to take on Dereck Chisora proves the WBO/IBF titlist is afraid of him.
Yesterday, the potential Haye-Klitschko unification fight hit another stumbling block over Klitschko’s announcement that he will take on Dereck Chisora on April 30. That fight had been cancelled last month after Klitschko suffered a stomach injury.
Both Haye and Klitschko had agreed to face each other on July 2 in Germany, will all proceeds from Klitschko’s German TV deal with RTL, and Haye’s UK Sky Sports agreement, to be split 50-50. The talks broke down after Klitschko decided he wanted an interim bout before Haye, concerned that he would have been out of ring 10 months before the anticipated showdown.
Haye balked at Klitschko’s request to have a fight roughly eight weeks before their contest, since an errant injury would jeopardize their megafight. In addition, Haye would have to wait until May if he wanted to take his own interim bout, which would have to be against his WBA mandatory opponent, Ruslan Chagaev.
In a prepared statement, Haye theorized that Klitschko never truly wanted the bout, and was looking for the first opportunity to bow out.
“We agreed to a date of July 2 at a venue in Germany, with both Sky Sports and RTL, and everybody appeared happy with the deal,” Haye detailed. “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. 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.”
According to Haye, he’s conceded to multiple Klitschko demands to make this fight happen. He did so in hopes of being able to face both brothers before his targeted retirement date, which is October of this year.
“He refused to come to England, wanted to pick his own gloves, enter the ring second, box out of the red corner and demanded a German doctor,” Haye continued. “He also wanted his name to feature first on any promotional material ahead of the event. We bowed to each and every one of his demands. I didn’t want to potentially jeopardize anything this time around.”
While neither man has publicly said the July 2 date is off the table, Haye warned that if the fight doesn’t happen on that date, he’s not optimistic about rescheduling.
“If the fight doesn’t happen now, it never will. I’m done with the Klitschkos,” Haye fumed. “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.”
At press time, Wladimir Klitschko has not addressed Haye’s accusations.
I certainly understand Haye’s stance in not wanting a Klitschko tune-up bout so close to their mega-fight. Aside from the possibility of an injury, Wladimir Klitschko has been sparked out before in shocking upsets to Corrie Sanders and Lamon Brewster. Those were years ago, but it’s still historical precedent. The convoluted issues between their two PPV networks makes it difficult to juggle dates around, and everything essentially had to be perfect to get these two in the ring. July was the earliest date available on both networks.
Facing Chisora, who fights completely different from Haye, isn’t exactly an ideal tune-up to get Wladimir ready. He’s also had 9-10 month breaks before in his career. But something in Klitschko feels strong enough that he’s not willing to bend here.
The heavyweight division has been in shambles for years. The sooner Haye and Klitschko end their Mayweather-Pacquiao imitation, the better.
What’s your take? Do you blame one fighter more than the other for this latest issue?