Negotiations between David Haye and Vitali Klitschko over a possible mega-fight this summer have hit an impasse.
Former WBA champion Haye announced his retirement in October following his points defeat to Wladimir Klitschko in Hamburg last summer, but revealed earlier this month that he is actively seeking a return to the ring.
The 31-year-old said he would only come out of retirement to face Klitschko, who holds the WBC title, or for a rematch with his younger brother Wladimir, the WBA, IBF and WBO champion.
Talks between the two camps - who have never hidden their dislike of each other - began at the end of last year, but appear to have stalled, according to Haye's trainer and manager Adam Booth.
Booth had thought the two parties had been making good progress on negotiations to set up a summer fight with Vitali, but he now admits talks are far from completion and has suggested that the Ukrainian brothers are merely using Haye's name to gain publicity.
"Vitali piped up saying he wants to fight and since then I have had communication with them, but the contract from them has been much less forthcoming than the propaganda Vitali has been spouting," Booth said.
"It's in their hands. As far as I am concerned all the points have been agreed verbally, but subsequently Vitali came out and said the fight was 'miles away' from being made. I don't understand why he would say that. Maybe they are just using David's name just to get some publicity."
Booth and Haye have enjoyed a colourful relationship with the Klitschkos and their management since the Briton moved up to the heavyweight division in 2008.
Haye courted controversy by getting a T-shirt printed depicting him holding up the decapitated heads of both brothers, while Booth has clashed with the Klitschkos' representatives in the past and is not surprised negotiations are dragging once again.
"Until they send the contract and until it is signed, I will try not to waste too much time on it because you have to remember, I have negotiated with them four times now and there has only been one fight," Booth added.
"They probably say the same about us, but they are the hardest people I have ever dealt with."
Vitali has opted to defend his crown against Dereck Chisora in Munich next month despite the unfancied Londoner losing his last two fights while Wladimir takes on Haye victim Jean-Marc Mormeck a fortnight later in Dusseldorf.
Booth reckons neither Klitschko has any chance of losing their next fight and attacked the brothers' choice of opponent.
" Vitali has to get through the Chisora fight, but he won't struggle against him. Neither will Wladimir against Mormeck," Booth said.
"David knocked Mormeck out in seven rounds and he was a blown up light-heavy moving in to cruiserweight. He was past his prime then.
"Now he is a blown up light-heavy who is a few years past his prime. If they are happy fighting people like that then good luck to them.
"These guys are three stone heavier and five inches taller than their opponents and they expect to be lauded as all-time greats, but I don't buy it.
"Any fighter who fought someone who was three stone lighter and fives inches smaller, and they didn't deal with them easily would be kicking themselves.
"They would be disgusted with themselves. They wouldn't be lauding themselves."
Tags: Wladimir Klitschko , Vitali Klitschko , David Haye , Klitschko-Haye , Klitschko vs Haye