“You can’t run away from me forever, and you need to follow through with this fight to get respect. I’m ready – what are you waiting for?” — Wladimir Klitschko 55-3 49 KO’s, calls out David Haye 25-1, 23 KO’s, on Facebook – April 2010
“We want this fight at all costs.” — Brothers Wladimir and Vitali Klitschko, 41-2 38 KO’s, through German newspaper “Bild,” December 2010
If I could see into the future, I would not be surprised if in 10 years time someone asked me to write a column asking: If David Haye had fought either Klitschko which one would he have beaten and why? The further we go into 2011, the further distant the possibility of the fight between a Haye and ANY Klitschko becomes.
According to Haye’s manager, Adam Booth, the Haye camp conceded on the red corner, the doctors, the venue, the date, the split and then Klitschko announced he was fighting Chisora 9 weeks before the 2nd July date for Haye. That was enough for the Haye camp. There is not enough time for all the tours and the paraphernalia that accompany a World Title fight and they pulled out of the side show.
The idea that beating Chisora is taken as read is more than slightly patronizing but Haye now has a mandatory defense to fit in and it looks like we shall have plenty of fights but none of the caliber to re ignite the division. Put that beside the muscle tear on Wladimir that had cleared up within a fortnight – I am no clinician but I have heard from some who say that is impossible – and things appear very strange.
We know that Vitali won’t fight Wladimir – I wonder if that was always the way in the playpen or playground as they grew up in Soviet Russia? Thanks to the joy of trash talking your opponents and negotiating through the media or social networking we were lead to believe that there would beat David Haye versus Klitschko fight in 2011.
Thank God, we all thought!
We know, as fans, that what we want is not dictated by sense or what would make the best fight but by economics – the desire to make as much money as possible within a short career. Sometimes we just do not get what we want. The Klitschkos, according to Adam Booth, Haye’s manager, got what they wanted including a 50-50 split of all revenues including UK television revenues which apparently dwarf the German revenues.
Wladimir has the most belts to lose and made the most noise about fighting Haye despite being contracted to fight Dereck Chisora. Chisora’s wily management team have negotiated the fight for their guy so would it make much more sense for Haye to fight the older Vitali first and then make it two belts versus two belts against Wladimir. Mandatory fights are now in play for both Vitali and Haye and remember this was about uniting the division as much as it was about who was the best boxer.
We hoped – all of us who love this weight division –that Haye would do us all a favor.
The Heavyweight Division has been weak for years and interest in the Division in the US is not what it once was. For most US based boxing fans there has not been, for almost a decade now, a real contender to cheer. Instead there have been a sequence of freak shows that have been held in Europe by the two giant Ukrainians keeping the belts in their German bunkers.
It pains us Europeans to admit it but the lack of a US Heavyweight of note costs the Division. Less interest in the contests and no access to the likes of Vegas or Madison Square Gardens and PPV becomes a hard sell. Less attention means less cash for both fighters and that can be a real killer. We all know that legacy is a lot better when cushioned by hard cash.
If Haye had united the field and retired as the undisputed Heavyweight Champion it, would have cleared the way for some genuine battles?
Could Haye have done what 22 previous opponents over 7 years have failed to do to either Ukrainian? Haye is quick, his cruiserweight experience balancing quick hands atop a physique that is honed and cleverly trained. Haye likes to come in and scrap. Neither Klitschko likes that. Neither Klitschko has been boxed and bullied since the heyday of Lewis and others who were, for many, head and shoulders above either brother. When you consider that there has not really been a serious contender against either brother for years it shows you how paltry the opposition in what was once the greatest fight on Earth.
The first battle, had it been outside of Germany – Wembley, London and Las Vegas had been mentioned – would have given I believe, Haye his first win inside the distance.
A late Summer, early Fall bout against dear old Vitali would have followed. Little brother would step in the ring to settle the undisputed tag and again it would probably have been outside of Germany, probably in the US. It is inconceivable that Vitali would have ducked that fight. I would think that would have been a closer call than the Wladimir fight, if only because there are more unpredictable factors involved. How would Vitali have reacted to his brother’s loss? Would the hand of history on Haye’s shoulders have proven too much of a pressure for him?
So Adam Booth has declared the Klitschko fight is dead. There shall be no Haye – Klitschko fight in 2011.
Are we clear?
Pure fantasy to suggest it and anyone who does shall be put in a nice white jacket that does up at the back… unless of course….