Heavyweight Division Heats Up: Haye To Return Full-Time, Vitali Says “Get In Line”
by Johnny Walker
As David “Hayemaker” Haye prepares to make his return to full-time heavyweight fighting official tomorrow, his main target, WBC heavyweight champion Vitali “Dr. Ironfist” Klitschko, has re-entered the fray to both scotch rumors of his immiment retirement and to put Haye in his place.
While Tuesday gave us another episode of Internet silliness, with a couple of un-sourced stories making it sound as if Vitali’s retirement was only seconds away, today we have a new BBC interview with the champion, who sounds like a man not ready to hang up his boxing gloves for quite awhile.
Vitali makes it clear in the interview that to his mind, Haye walked away from a title shot when he chose to take on Dereck Chisora in London last summer instead of the WBC champion in a proposed Moscow date. Klitschko says that Haye will now have to improve his ranking and get in line for a title shot, after he fights his next mandatory challenger.
“Last September I gave a proposal to David Haye to fight me in Moscow. David Haye had a contract and didn’t want to do that and instead of fighting me he fought Chisora,” Vitali explained to BBC Sport.
“How long [should] I have to wait for David Haye? I gave him a proposal and he didn’t take it.
“If David wants to fight, he has to wait because I have to defend my title against an official contender,” Vitali continued.
“After that maybe, if David Haye has high position on the world rankings, we can fight each other, but it will not be soon. The fight against David Haye is not everything for me.”
Of course, Haye’s loquacious trainer, Adam Booth, sees things differently, and it wasn’t long before he was weighing in on the situation with Vitali.
Booth says there was indeed a deal for Vitali and Haye to meet in Moscow. But the Haye camp also wanted the Chisora fight, which was massive in the UK due to the “grudge” built up between the two men after a press conference altercation in Munich.
“We had a deal, a contract that we were happy with, for a fight to take place [last] September [in Moscow],” Booth told The Guardian.
“We were going to do [Dereck] Chisora first. They said: ‘No you can’t. If you do Chisora, we’ll go somewhere else.’
“But I told them: ‘You can’t restrict us. I want this [Chisora] fight; David will win that, won’t be injured – which is what happened – and then we’ll do that.’ They said no – and went and did Manuel Charr.”
Booth opines that Vitali is shaken because Haye knocked out the sturdy Chisora while the latter man took Klitschko the distance and pressed him at times (Chisora also rattled Haye hard more than once, but whatever). He also says Vitali looked poor against Charr, giving the aging champion pause regarding a fight with the power-punching Haye.
“Now they’re saying: ‘David was offered the fight for September, he said no, now we don’t want it,'” says Booth.
“They wanted it in September; why don’t they want it now? Is it because David blasted out Dereck and Vitali looked shit against Manuel Charr?”
Booth goes on to needle the WBC champ by saying he’s too old and infirm to compete with Haye, and that the odds of the fight ever happening have dropped.
“I don’t think it would go past six rounds,” Booth says of a fight between his charge and Vitali.
“I’ve been told his trainer has told him not to take a fight with David. So I don’t think it will happen.
“I think Vitali would struggle to last the distance with David. In that fight, speed kills.”