Thursday, February 16, 2012
Vitali Klitschko still eyeing David Haye
By Dan Rafael
Heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko has a fight right in front of him, but a possible defense against former titleholder David Haye -- who embarrassed himself in a lopsided loss to Klitschko's brother, fellow champ Wladimir Klitschko, this past summer -- is still a regular topic of conversation.
One of the reasons Klitschko's eighth title defense is scheduled against Dereck Chisora, Haye's British countryman, on Saturday (Epix and EpixHD.com, 4:30 p.m. ET) in Munich, Germany, is because negotiations for a fight with Haye bogged down due to Haye's indecision.
Even with Chisora in front of their fighter, Klitschko's team continues to try to make a deal for him to take on Haye next. Klitschko, however, said it doesn't look very promising.
"David Haye is so unpredictable and we tried to make a deal and I hope the fight comes through, but right now we are miles apart from making the contract," Klitschko said on a teleconference on Wednesday. "Right now, I don't want to talk about it. I am focused totally for the Chisora fight and I hope that after Dereck Chisora, David Haye changes his mind and I can give a chance to David Haye to fight for a world title.
"Everyone, every fighter, has a dream to fight for a world title, and I tell every time to David Haye: 'Please fight me. Please fight for the world title.' It's the most prestigious title in the world. And then, if he doesn't want to do that, it's OK. David Haye always tries to find excuses why fights do not happen. I hope David Haye one day makes a decision to fight me."
A few months after Wladimir Klitschko made Haye look like a fool after all of the challenger's trash-talking, Haye announced a retirement nobody believed would stick. Not long after, he began talking about a fight with Vitali, who would be a massive favorite over Haye in a fight that I don't have much interest in. Had Haye lost to Wladimir but at least turned in a top effort, that would be a different story. Instead, Haye took the money and ran. He flopped to the canvas time and again, and then blamed his miserable performance on a sore pinkie toe. In my view, he doesn't deserve another title shot or a big payday until he earns it.
Vitali Klitschko (43-2, 40 KOs) said he expects Chisora (15-2, 9 KOs) to put up a better fight against him than Haye did against his brother. (Is it possible to put up a worse fight?)
"David Haye didn't want to fight. He just kept running away from my brother," Vitali said. "He didn't come in to fight. I expect a better fight from Dereck Chisora. He's actually a fighter. He wants to go in and fight and to go the distance. He tries to challenge his opponent, and I didn't see that in the last fight between David Haye against Wladimir Klitschko. And that's why they both have totally different styles. Dereck Chisora is more aggressive than David Haye."