David Haye and Tyson Fury could be a match sometime this year, at least if Haye’s manager / trainer has anything to say about it.
Adam Booth, speaking for the former cruiserweight and WBA heavyweight champ, said he would like to see the bout happen because “it’s the most natural heavyweight fight out there.”
Haye, who had given up his license following a one-sided decision loss to Wladimir Klitschko in July 2011, last fought in July of last year, as he pounded out a fifth-round TKO over Dereck Chisora in a fight that, if you recall, was not sanctioned by the British Boxing Board of Control, and has not been in the ring since.
Fury fought this past Saturday, scoring a seventh-round knockout at Madison Square Garden over the much smaller Steve Cunningham, getting up off the deck to do so. It was his first appearance on U.S. soil, and turned out to be one of his biggest tests, for certain.
Fury, who is, by all accounts, an affable type in private, but gets nasty when he figures the situation calls for it, has referred to Haye as a “pathetic loser” and just prior to his last fight said, “If David Haye fights me, he won’t fight again. I’ll destroy him.”
Booth wants the undefeated behemoth to put his money where his mouth is, so to speak. He’ll be contacting Fury’s people, if he hasn’t already, to determine whether Fury means to back up his boasts or whether it is “just hot air from a young fighter.”
Haye’s plans for this summer include a ring return, and Booth has indicated that there was an opponent about to be named for June 29, although if Fury shows some eagerness to get together, he could change any tentative arrangements. The more likely scenario would be for Haye to have a tuneup this summer and then tackle Fury in the fall; that is, if the parties could come to an agreement as to who gets what.
Fury is a towering individual, standing 6’9″, but Haye is one of the few people in boxing who can say he has taken the measure of someone even bigger, since he scored a majority decision over seven-footer Nikolay Valuev in November 2009 to win the WBA version of the heavyweight crown.
Haye lost in a bid to win the IBO cruiser title in 2004 when he was stopped by Carl Thompson, but went undefeated for the next seven years, winning the WBA “Super” and WBC belts over Jean Marc Mormeck in 2007, then adding the WBO title with a destruction of Enzo Maccarinelli the next year. After moving up to heavyweight and beating Valuev, he defended successfully with stoppages over John Ruiz and Audley Harrison before running into the younger Klitschko. He has taunted both brothers in an effort to get himself another payday, which in this case would probably have to come against Vitali, but hasn’t been able to do that.
Of course, Haye, as a rather undersized heavyweight, may have been licking his chops when he saw Steve Cunningham, a natural cruiserweight who no reputation as a puncher, floor Fury with a right hand in the second round of their bout last Saturday. Eventually Fury wore Cunningham down with his size, but a more devastating result may have had Booth and Haye thinking twice about it.
Instead, Booth is talking about how “massive” the fight could be, and would have it ticketed for a football stadium in, perhaps, London or Manchester. There’s plenty of money to be found there, for sure, but Fury, the #2 IBF heavyweight, could also elect to pursue something he has every right to pursue, which would be a final eliminator with Kubrat Pulev, with the winner getting a mandatory title shot against Wladimir Klitschko.