Haye asks for three-week delay
David Haye said he will have healed sufficiently to fight Wladimir Klitschko in three weeks. Thus, he is asking Klitschko to push their June 20 fight in Gelsenkirchen, Germany back to July 11 rather than seek another opponent for the original date.
Haye pulled out of the fight Wednesday because of a back injury. Early reports indicated he suffered a hand injury.
“It looks like there will be only a three week delay from the original fight date with respect to David's readiness, which hopefully means that Wladimir will only postpone the fight, rather than cancel it,” said Adam Booth, Haye’s trainer and manager.
However, Klitschko apparently is in negotiations to fight Ruslan Chagaev for THE RING heavyweight championship on June 20.
Chagev was set to fight Nikolai Valuev last Saturday in Finland but was found to have a hepatitis antigen in his system and was not allowed to fight. Most of Chagaev’s fights have taken place in Germany and he would likely be cleared to fight there again.
“At the moment, the first priority is Chagaev because Wladimir doesn't want to wait any longer,” Klitschko’s manager, Bernd B├Ânte, told The Sun. “When all is said and done, we don't even know whether Haye will be ready for July 11 because of this injury he has told us about.
“The stadium in Gelsenkirchen will be OK for July 11 but we don't know whether the German TV companies will be OK. It's still possible the Haye fight will happen. Our first priority is Ruslan Chagaev, but that's not a done deal.”
Booth described Haye’s problems to The Sun.
“David has had a backache for two to three weeks,” he said. “It hadn't stopped him training but he was just complaining about it sometimes. A couple of days ago the symptoms were more of a concern and he couldn't do certain sessions that were important, so we sent him off to have a scan and it showed a condition that needs some aggressive physiotherapy and then rest for about two weeks. He has had to have some strong painkillers and these have to take effect before the treatment begins.
“When we knew he wasn't going to fight, we told the Klitschko camp immediately. The consultant has told us that realistically there will be a three-week delay. David will be ready to step into the ring on July 11. I'm working on David getting back in the gym. David's message to the fans is that he is absolutely gutted and wants to give them what they want, which is a world heavyweight champion from England.”
Haye expressed his disappointment.
“I'm sorry to disappoint all my fans across the world and I hope that once I have had the sufficient treatment, I will be able to start training again and we can get the fight on as soon as possible,” he said. “I know this is the fight the fans want and I will do everything to make sure it happens.”
Michael Rosenthal can be reached at [email protected]