By Kevin Francis, courtesy of The Daily Star
DAVID HAYE is “ready and willing” to challenge WBC world heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko.
Haye bounced back from a short-lived retirement to claim a fifth-round victory over arch enemy Dereck Chisora in London.
Now the 31-year-old wants the elder of the two Klitschko brothers next, claiming: “He’s the only fighter who can make my return a prolonged one.”
But Haye believes Vitali, 40, who is due to meet Syrian Manuel Charr on September 8, may be too worried to meet him.
He said: “The likelihood is that he fights Charr and then retires, getting out just before his body breaks down and I take his belt.
“The Charr fight is a low risk, low reward contest. Most people reckon Vitali is the toughest heavyweight in the world. He’s the guy I want next.
“Whether my performance against Chisora inspires him to accept a fight with me or run in the other direction instead, I have no idea.
“But I am ready and willing should pride get the better of politics with Vitali Klitschko deciding to accept a fight with me.”
Klitschko has won 44 of his 46 fights and has hinted at retiring for a career in politics – but the prospect of fighting Haye could be too tempting.
Haye quit briely after losing a unification battle in Hamburg last July to Vitali’s brother Wladimir, who now holds the WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO belts.
But he added: “If a fight with Vitali happens, that would be fantastic. If it doesn’t, so be it.
“ I’ve achieved more than I anticipated. I’m happy.”