By Inna Lagun (Allboxing.ru) and Alexey Sukachev
The situation around the WBA heavyweight championship remains uncertain as the next opponent of the reigning beltholder David Haye (25-1, 23 KOs) is still to be announced. Ruslan Chagaev (27-1-1, 17 KOs), who won the WBA eliminator over Australian Kali Meehan last year, is listed as the World Boxing Association's mandatory challenger, while rumors have it that undefeated Russian power hitter Alexander Povetkin (21-0, 15 KOs), ranked #2 by the WBA, can get the inside track to the champion. BoxingScene.com/Allboxing.ru contacted Chagaev to know more about his current feelings and thoughts in this exclusive conversation.
About David Haye: "There's been no response from Team Haye. It seems that a lot depends on the decision of the British Boxing Board of Control, but they have been sitting down on this for over three weeks already and the answer or any rulings are still to be announced. I don't get this hidden fuss. Until that accident in Finland, I had been boxing all over the world! If the United Kingdom is ruled out, I'm ready to fight Haye anywhere outside of it - even in Honduras. I don't care about the exact place of the contest. I don't care about its conditions. I am the mandatory challenger, and David Haye must fight me. Now David says he wants to fight the Klitschkos this autumn. Let it be if he is so delusional to overlook me and to deny my presence. But it would be correct for him to get the job done in May and only then to think about planning anything for the future".
About problems with the possible fight: "If all of these problems and delays are all about money, then what is the goal of boxing at large? Is there any sense in boxing at all? Where's the sportive nature of this art? I understand it's all about show and business but boxing must be the first order of business nevertheless. Rules read as follows: A champion must defend his title against his mandatory challenger. Everybody speaks about Haye vs. Povetkin now. I have nothing against Alexander, no beef at all. He is a worthy boxer but let's honestly separate the sheep from the goat. Mandatory challenger isn't called by that term for nothing. If not for the title shot, why would I have battled Kali Meehan in the eliminator? That time they (WBA) approved me as a participant and now they are still thinking. What for? It appears that I can box only when WBA is pleased. If the real reason had been an injury then I would have no objections and no doubts about the legitimacy of this castling. Thank God I'm alive and doing well so there's no right to prevent me from fighting for the title. Sauerland's comments about my health issues are annoying: it was him who gave a push to all this mess. Now they appear time and again whenever I want to fight".
About his health: "I have a constant nausea over this Hepatitis gossip. We sent the results of the medical examination of both me and my wife Victoria to England over a month ago. Still there's no reaction. I have been living with Victoria for thirteen years, and there's no trace of Hepatitis in her blood and in the blood of our children. This antigen had been found in my blood overseas and it surprised me a lot as I had never contracted neither Hepatitis nor any other form of this disease. If I hadn't been a boxer I would have never known about this antigen as it cannot be revealed by standard medical procedures. All of this mess during the second Valuev fight spoils my living and doesn't help me in doing my work, in boxing which is my favorite sport. I'm fully healthy, I'm not dangerous for others and I'm ready to fight. What is the problem? Wladimir (Klitschko) wasn't afraid to sign the contract. We had reached the deal in shortest time possible".
About his training: "I'm doing some conditioning now as I don't want to get caught by surprise with a possible shot at the title. I had recently conducted some power training in Heidelberg. Uncertainty betrays me, it makes me sick. I need to know either to wait for something lucrative or to fully dedicate myself to training. Either you wouldn't have enough time for preparations or you would be emotionally exhausted over the prolonged camp. I'm impatiently waiting for the news from Britain to start a full-fledged training camp."