By Lem Satterfield
WBA heavyweight champion David Haye of England insists that he will retire by October, this, being on or before his 31st birthday.
Haye (25-1, 23 knockouts) had said that his exit plans were set in stone, whether or not he had secured a lucrative bout opposite either of the siblining Ukrainian champions, 34-year-old WBO, IBF and IBO counter part, Wladimir Klitschko (55-3, 49 KOs), or 39-year-old brother, Vitali Klitschko (41-2, 38 KOs).
That won't be the case, however, since a deal was struck recently for Haye to face one of the brothers -- likely Wladimir Klitschko -- in Germany on either on June 25 or July 2, in accordance with an agreement reported by BoxingScene.com.
The Klitschko brothers also have a deal in place that will allow one of them to face 34-year-old Polish-born former light heavyweight and cruiserweight titlist Tomasz Adamek (43-1, 28 KOs) in September in a European soccer stadium that borders Germany, that is, if the siblings continue to win.
All of the above are contingent on Vitali Klitschko and Adamek winning bouts that they already have scheculed.
Vitali Klitschko must get beyond a March 19 bout against Cuban-born Odlanier Solis (17-0, 12 KOs), a former 2004 Olympic gold medalist, and Adammek, of Jersey City, N.J., has Kevin McBride (35-8-1, 29 KOs) on April 23.
Haye prefers to meet Wladimir Klitschko, but will gladly face Vitali, he told BoxingScene.com in this last of three Q&As.
BoxingScene.com: How was this most recent deal to fight Wladimir Klitschko or Vitali Klitschko resolved?
David Haye: Well, initially, he said that we couldn't fight in April because Amir Khan is fighting in April and United Kingdom television, which brings most of the money to the table, was doing Amir Khan in April. We said that we were available in May, June and July. Any of those dates would have suited us. So he said, okay, then let's do it on July 2. I said 'Okay, let's do it on July 2.'
Then we agreed on all of the terms, and in the last minute, when it came time to announce the fight, he said, 'Well, okay, I'm now going to fight Dereck Chisora in April.' I was like, 'When was this talked about?' It was never mentioned until the day that we were supposed to announce it that he had had a whole, other fight.
Low and behold, though, he gets injured, and the fight doesn't happen.
BoxingScene.com: Why do you believe that the fight has been made now?
David Haye: Well, I had started to look for my mandatory in May, I think that it was. But Wladimir came back and said, 'Dereck Chisora, I'm injured now, so the chances are that the fight's not happening.'
So, he was like, 'Let us do the fight on July 2,' and I was like, 'Great, let's do it.' But I don't think that he wanted the fight. It's just that after he announced the Dereck Chisora fight, I think that the boxing press and the public finally realized that he was becoming a fraud.
It became harder and harder for those journalists to justify his actions. And then he realized that I may have to drop Chisora and I have to fight David Haye now. So he gets an injury, and then, me and him, it gets announced. We were always ready to fight. I said, 'as long as the Dereck Chisora fight doesn't happen, we can fight on July 2.'
We were fit and ready to go. But if Wladimir was to fight Dereck Chisora, you know, then, in my mind, the fight's not happening. Because in now way is eight weeks enough time to promote a fight and the likelihood of Wladimir getting injured is too high being as he got injured in his prior fight.
And he's proven that right because he's already injured. So I was 100 per cent right in not accepting those terms.
BoxingScene.com: Can you compare and contrast the Klitschko brothers' styles?
David Haye: I think that Vitali would come at me a little bit more aggressively than Wladimir does. Wladimir's quite a bit more tentative in trying to close down on the range. I wouldn't have to go looking for Vitali as much, because he would walk on to punches a lot more. But then, Vitali's got a little bit more punch-resistance than Wladimir.
But then again, Vitali's getting older, and he's slowing down a bit more as time goes on. So, hopefully, Vitali can beat Odlanier Solis. Hopefully Solis doesn't lose too much weight and comes in at a nice, fat, 260 and won't be that impressive and that will keep our fights alive.
BoxingScene.com: How do you believe that you would be accepted in America should you decide to fight here?
David Haye: Unfortunately there are no Americans for me to fight. There are no young, hungry Americans out there. When I say hungry, you might say, 'Chris Arreola.' But that's not the type of hungry I'm talking about. I'm not talking about hungry for food, I'm talking about hungry for success.
I wish there were more hungry fighters out there -- as hungry as Chris Arreola is for food -- that were hungry for success. But there isn't at the moment. You don't have hardly anyone. You don't have guys that can generate much hype or profile as I'm getting right now. You only have Wladimir and Vitali.
Plus I'm retiring this year. I'm retiring in October. My schedule only allows me a couple of more fights. So they're going to have to be, keeping my fingers crossed, big fights. No chance that I will extend that time frame, unless you could put Evander Holyfield into a time machine and reverse it 20 years.
BoxingScene.com: Your thoughts on Seth Mitchell?
David Haye: I've seen a few clips of him and he looks really good, I mean, he's been sparring with Tony Thompson, a guy that I've done some work with in the past. He looks talented and I think that if there is any American coming through, then it will probably be someone like him.
But I don't think that he will be ready for world level for a couple of years yet. He's building a nice record up and Golden Boy is moving him along nicely and steadily. But I definitely think that some one like him has the ability. I think that he is the guy to do it.