Friday, March 24, 2023  |



Haye, Klitschko apparently going separate directions


Wladimir Klitschko and David Haye, who seemed to near a deal only a few days ago to fight on July 2, now appear to be going their separate ways.

Sources close to Thomas Adamek told that he has reached a deal to fight Klitschko late in September in Poland if THE RING champion beats Dereck Chisora on April 16. And Richard Schaefer of Golden Boy Promotions, Haye’s U.S. representative, expects the WBA titleholder to pursue a fight against mandatory challenger Ruslan Chagaev.

Chagaev was outclassed and then stopped in nine rounds by Klitschko in 2009 but bounced back with victories over Kali Meehan and Travis Walker.

“After that? Who knows?” Schaefer said. “We’ll see. First things first. I’ll never say never [in regard to a showdown with Klitschko] even though David was really disgusted. He made it clear that he never wants to fight Klitschko.”

Schaefer also was still angry on Thursday that negotiations fell through.

“I’m really disgusted myself,” he said, “ÔǪ We’ve been negotiating the last three weeks and David gave in on everything. Klitschko got everything he wanted. The corner, the gloves, the building, everything. David was willing to go to Germany. We finally agree on July 2. [The German TV network] RTL was available on that date. We checked with [British] Sky Sports. Sky said no problem. We checked in the U.S. HBO was interested even though it wasn’t the best date, being the 4th of July weekend.

“Everyone was on board. The next morning, I wake up and find an e-mail from [Klitschko’s manager] Bernd Bonte saying they’d agreed to fight Chisora on April 16 [in a tune-up fight]. I can’t tell you how pissed off I was.”

The April 16 date is only nine weeks before July 2, which Schaefer said wouldn’t have been enough time to promote a fight as significant as Klitschko-Haye.

“That shows you how little they know about boxing,” Schaefer said. “What network would commit to do the pay per view with eight weeks of marketing? You can’t do a fight of that magnitude in eight weeks. It’s not possible.

“And what if Klitschko gets cut or suffers another injury? The network would’ve already spent a lot of money and David would be without a fight.”

Klitschko knows what that feels like, advisor Tom Loeffler pointed out. Haye once pulled out of a fight against Klitschko and later, after coming to terms with Vitali Klitschko, did it again.

Loeffler said Klitschko wanted the fight with Chisora in part because he wasn’t convinced that Haye would actually fight him, which would’ve kept the Ukrainian out of the ring for a long period of time.

“Wladimir wasn’t going to wait around for Haye because of what he did before,” Loeffler said. “It didn’t make sense to go through the same process and then have Haye pull out one more time.”

Loeffler also wouldn’t use the term “never.”

“Haye is talking about retiring,” he said. “I don’t know if that means he doesn’t want a career-defining fight against Wladimir. He has to fight a Klitschko to become the legitimate heavyweight champion. The ball is in his court.”