By Johnny Walker
Former WBA heavyweight champion of the world David Haye has apparently signaled to the British Boxing Board of Control (BBBoC) that he intends to retire, but a fight between Haye and WBC champion Vitali Klitschko is still very much alive, according to Klitschko spokesman Bernd Boente.
Haye has been trumpeting his arbitrary date for retirement as October 13, the day he turns 31 years old (the fighter had vowed to retire while he is still 30). But if he retires for good now, he goes out as a loser, as a man who utterly failed to back up his numerous threats against a fighter he professed to utterly despise, The Ring magazine recognized heavyweight champion of the world, Wladimir Klitschko. Yet he also goes out as a very rich man, thanks to the 50-50 financial split he secured for himself against Wladimir.
Haye was given a shot a possible pugilistic redemption when WBC heavyweight champ (and brother to Wladimir) Vitali Klitschko repeatedly expressed dissatisfaction that his brother easily won, but also failed to really hurt the man who had repeatedly insulted the Klitschko family. Vitali, considered by many to be the meaner and tougher of the Klitschko brothers, has vowed to put David Haye “to the floor” and “into the dust” should they ever meet in the squared circle.
In an interview with BBC Radio 5 today, Boente was unfazed by Haye’s retirement plans, and left the door wide open for a Haye vs Vitali matchup when the WBC champ next fights in the spring of 2012.
“I always knew from Adam Booth, David Haye’s manager, that he will officially retire on his 31st birthday, but that a rematch with Wladimir or a fight against his brother, WBC heavyweight champion Vitali, is a possibility, and would bring him back to the ring, and that is still an option,” Boente told the BBC.
“It would be against Vitali because there is a third twist in that fight. After the first fight between Wladimir and David, there were no questions open, Wladimir won each and every round, was dominating the fight, but with Vitali it’s a different story. [Vitali] said. ‘for me it’s unfinished business, I want to see David Haye flat on the floor,’ and David said, ‘Vitali’s style fits more for me, and I want to beat him and then have a unification against his brother. ‘
“So everything is possible here. In the end, it’s really up to the business case. If, or when, the fight would happen would be spring next year, meaning end of winter, beginning of March, that is what we had as a date for Vitali’s next fight anyway, either against David Haye or another opponent,” Boente states.
Boente further claims that Haye will retire for now to avoid “fights that make no sense for him,” such as with Cristobal Arreola, Tomasz Adamek and Alexander Povetkin.
Haye fought Wladimir, the “best in the division,” and “can’t redeem himself in a mediocre fight against Arreola, Povetkin or whoever,” claims Boente. “So he wants to fight again on the top level [and] the only fight for him is to come back against one of the brothers. And that is still a possibility.
“I’m still talking to Adam Booth, the only difference to another opponent for Vitali is the business case in the UK, meaning the TV situation, and if we have the right offer there, from one of the competitors, then we could see the fight happen.”
Indeed, David Haye can go ahead and retire this Thursday – nothing is stopping him from unretiring when the time to fight Vitali arrives.
It’s not the like the BBBoC is going to deny him a license to do so.
In the meantime, as Boente suggests, the “retired” David Haye neatly avoids all the questions as to why he isn’t fighting some other top heavyweight contenders while he waits for Vitali.
Haye is clearly uninterested in fighting anyone who doesn’t make him the maximum amount of money.
He approaches the sport of boxing in a purely mercenary fashion, and thus far, it has paid off handsomely for him–in a purely monetary sense.
As far as his legacy in the sport goes, David Haye doesn’t seem to really care one way or the other.