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Tuesday, July 9, 2013
Haye vs. Fury showdown set Sept. 28

By Dan Rafael
ESPN.com

On Monday, former heavyweight titlist David Haye posted a video on Instagram in which he signed a piece of paper -- purportedly a contract to fight fellow brash British contender Tyson Fury -- and said, "We've re-jigged the contract so he's nice and happy. All done."

Fury did not make a video in response but on Tuesday, he followed suit by signing to fight Haye and setting up a big-time heavyweight showdown between two of boxing's most polarizing big men.

Haye and Fury, two of the biggest trash talkers in boxing, have been going at it on Twitter and now they will get their wish to fight each other when they meet Sept. 28 at the Manchester Arena in Manchester, England.

The two will meet the media at a news conference on Thursday in London to discuss the fight but a joint statement from Haye's Hayemaker Boxing and Hennessy Sports, which promotes Fury, announced the bout on Tuesday.

"Tyson Fury and David Haye, both world-ranked, charismatic and dangerous, have agreed to a highly anticipated domestic showdown," the statement read. "It marks not only the biggest heavyweight encounter of 2013, but also the biggest fight staged in Britain for many years."

If the actual fight is as entertaining as their verbal battle it should be a tremendous battle, but Haye was quiet on social media after the announcement was made. Fury, however, took to Twitter to send a message to Haye:

@mrdavidhaye I'm a happy boy now! #YouRGettingIt! U better bring a shotgun bro coz that's what you'll need to beat me! #manposesed

— Tyson Fury (@Tyson_Fury) July 9, 2013

The 32-year-old Haye (26-2, 24 KOs) will be at a vast size disadvantage. The former cruiserweight champion is 6-foot-3 and 210 pounds, although he is very heavy-handed. Fury (21-0, 15 KOs), 25, is 6-9 and 254 pounds, although not known as that big of a hitter.

Haye won a version of the heavyweight title in 2009 by outpointing 7-footer Nikolai Valuev in Germany and went on to make two defenses, against former titleholder John Ruiz and countryman Audley Harrison. But then Haye faced champion Wladimir Klitschko in a July 2011 unification fight and was routed in an uncompetitive decision loss, which Haye blamed on an injured pinkie toe.

Haye has fought just once since the Klitschko fight, a fifth-round knockout of British countryman Dereck Chisora last July.

Haye had been scheduled to face Manuel Charr on June 29 in Manchester but withdrew from the bout, claiming a left hand injury. There was discussion that the fight would be rescheduled but when Haye and Fury began their war of words it was clear that they were headed to a fight with each other and that the fight with Charr was not going to be rescheduled.

Fury, who won a decision against former world title challenger Chisora in 2011, made his American debut in his last fight. He stopped Philadelphia's Steve Cunningham, a former cruiserweight titlist, in the seventh round in New York on April 20, although Cunningham dropped Fury in the second round and nearly knocked him out.