BY Johnny Walker
Well, that didn’t take long.
In my last column for this publication, I played the part of a wet blanket, expressing my doubts that, even though the deal had supposedly been (finally) nailed down, the heavyweight unification title fight between WBA champion David Haye, and IBF, IBO and WBO champ Wladimir Klitschko, would ever take place.
Not helping matters was the fact that Klitschko himself was quoted expressing much the same doubts, this AFTER the fight date and venue had been finalized. Then, yesterday, as if on cue, former WBA heavyweight champion Nikolai Valuev, always a thoughtful type not given to making wild statements, also said in a Russian publication that he thought Haye would ultimately pass on the fight with Wladimir.
Now comes the news from the UK that next week’s scheduled press conferences to formally announce the Klitschko-Haye fight in Europe have been called off. According to UK newspapers The Guardian and The Telegraph, “unresolved issues” have caused the postponement of pressers in Hamburg and London, ostensibly for another week, while said “issues” are hashed over.
Who knows what these “issues” are, specifically, and frankly, who really cares at this point?
Though Haye has just now taken to his Twitter account (@mrdavidhaye) to assure the world the fight is still “100% ON!!!,” as this latest snag goes to show, that assertion and a quarter will buy you a phone call (if you can still find a pay phone anywhere). Even after taping an HBO special with Max Kellerman to hype the fight, the participants here are constantly giving off mixed signals, and giving everyone else the jitters.
More than ever, it is beginning to seem like this fight is a mirage that will fade from view as soon as we get closer to it.
And if that’s not the case, the people involved are doing a lousy job at convincing the world otherwise.