by Johnny Walker
World Boxing Council president Jose Sulaiman was so outraged by the Munich press conference brawl between heavyweight boxers David Haye and Dereck “Del Boy” Chisora back in February that he later threatened to ban anyone involved in the London ring meeting between the two fighters from his organization for life.
Sulaiman also said following the brawl that Haye would not be suitable as a candidate for fighting his WBC champion Vitali Klitschko in the future.
“The WBC will not accept David Haye,” Sulaiman said back then.
“It would be setting a bad example for boxing if we accepted him. Haye is not a good example for boxing.”
However, between the time of those remarks and the present, Sulaiman has had a change of heart. After a media uproar in which Sulaiman played a part, the Chisora vs Haye showdown in London, which promoter Frank Warren put on in defiance of the WBC-backed British Boxing Board of Control, went off without a hitch, with Haye winning via an impressive knockout.
The much ballyhooed “demise of boxing” as a result of the Haye vs Chisora bout then epically failed to come about.
And now, with visions of a lucrative showdown between Klitschko and Haye dancing in his head, Sulaiman has apparently forgiven the British fighter for his past transgressions.
“WBC President Jose Sulaiman during his staying in London, spoke with British boxer David Haye, who wants to return to fight for our organization,” reads a statement on the WBC website.
“The WBC was the first boxing organization in recognizing David as world champion, when he conquered the cruiserweight title in 2007.
“Then Haye fought in the heavyweight division, and now he wants a fresh championship shot against current champion Vitali Klitschko.
“The talk was amicable and David Haye is welcome to return to the WBC.”
Rumors have circulated that Klitschko, who is back in action with a September 8 title defense in Russia against the unbeaten and obscure Syrian Manuel Charr, is already looking to book another title defense late this year.
Some close to Klitschko have spoken of his imminent retirement to attend to political concerns in his native Ukraine, but the fighter himself recently said he feels “twenty-five” instead of his actual age of forty-one, and will box until his beloved trainer, Fritz Sdunek, tells him he is slipping.
Sulaiman’s clearance of Haye to return brings the heavyweight match the majority of fans long to see, Vitali vs Haye, one step closer to becoming a reality.