By Rick Reeno
Bernd Boente, the manager of heavyweight champions Wladimir and Vitali Klitschko, reached out to BoxingScene.com to respond to an earlier story, where Adam Booth, manager of David Haye, claimed Vitali was unwilling to face Haye in September.
According to Booth, Team Klitschko sent him a contract for a September fight between Vitali and Haye. But then, Booth alleges, that Vitali and his team backed away from the contest when they failed to respond to his further inquiries.
Boente told BoxingScene that Booth is only presenting "half the truth." According to Boente, a contract was indeed sent over to Booth - but there were two important contract clauses. The first, Haye had to obtain a license to fight and get himself ranked by the WBC with a tuneup bout. The second clause, the tuneup had to happen no later than June 2nd.
Haye disregarded the deadline, says Boente, by signing a contract to face Dereck Chisora on July 14th in West Ham - six weeks after the proposed deadline of June 2.
"As very often with Adam Booth, he is only giving people half of the truth. We sent a contract to them, which is true. We sent a contract a couple of weeks ago, but in the contract we said the fight with Vitali is on [based] on two pre-conditions. One, that Haye gets a boxing license and is ranked again. Therefore has to do a fight, which is fine for us," Boente told BoxingScene.com.
"But the fight has to be done by June 2nd, by that time. That is the last Saturday before the European championship where soccer starts on June 9 or 10. Because Vitali always made clear that he wanted to fight on September 1 or September 8 at the latest, because after that he wants to go on the campaign trail for the elections in Ukraine. We always told them that. We told them in April."
"We can not do a fight on September 1 or September 8, as you can imagine, where we don't know the opponent because their fight is July 14, six weeks later than the deadline we gave Haye for a warm-up fight - because first of all we don't know if he's winning that fight and will he get out of that fight without an injury, because otherwise we would have to look for another opponent six weeks before a fight. Also, the WBC's Jose Sulaiman said that they will not accept him as a challenger for the WBC title in the future [if he goes through with the Chisora fight]. It really doesn't make no sense anymore."
"Now Booth is saying that we didn't do it because of the performance against Chisora and Vitali is over the hill. It's all nonsense. We all know that Vitali was winning that fight [with Chisora] from the second round on with one arm. And does anybody really believe that Vitali is afraid of Haye and would not fight him? After that performance against Wladimir, not one person on our team thinks he has a chance against Vitali."
Some have called Haye-Chisora the brainchild of Boente. Last February in Munich, during the post-fight press conference which followed Vitali's decision win over Chisora, Boente floated the idea of a possible Haye-Chisora encounter - where the winner might land a Klitschko fight. However, Boente had no idea that a few moments later Haye and Chisora would engage in a violent brawl.
"That was all before the brawl, if you remember. When I said that, I had no idea that these two guys would attack each other and Chisora would be banned [by the British Board]. We would certainly not go against the ruling of the BBBoC. Like Wladimir said recently, this is the worst example that you can give to children. We have to protect the sport that we all love and this fight is a freak show. They say its the fight of the year but its the fight of two losers. The one guy, Chisora, lost three fights in a row and Haye lost every round against Wladimir and now says Vitali is afraid of him, and after the fight [with Wladmir] he uses the excuse that his little toe was hurt. I will tell you one thing, Haye's heart is in his little toe and that's why he is not accepting that fight with Vitali," Boente said.