By Ben Carey
Reports of a bout agreement reached between world heavyweight titleholders David Haye and Vitali Klitschko are wide of the mark, insist ‘The Hayemaker’s trainer and manager Adam Booth.
It had been reported that WBC champion Klitschko claimed a ‘preliminary agreement’ was struck with Haye to meet at some stage in 2010. However, Booth has strongly disputed these comments, reiterating that no contact has been made with the Klitschko camp since Haye’s November WBA title triumph over Nikolai Valuev.
“There is absolutely no agreement in place for David Haye to face Vitali Klitschko next year,” said Booth. “We have had no contact with Vitali Klitschko or his team and were surprised to see him make those comments over the weekend.
“David’s next fight will be against American mandatory (number one) challenger John Ruiz, and that will go ahead in either April or May. It will take place in England and David will need to be at his best to come through that.
“The Klitschkos are very much on our agenda for 2010, but nothing is set in place and nothing has been agreed or arranged. We haven’t heard anything from the Klitschko camp since David won the WBA title and subsequently strengthened his bargaining position.”
Given the acrimony between both camps, fuelled by Haye pulling out of two separate title challenges against Wladimir (in June, due to a hand injury) and subsequently Vitali (in September, after Haye claimed the terms of his contract were derisory and instead chose to fight Valuev) it remains to be seen whether the Londoner will enter the Klitschko brothers radar next year.
Vitali’s one-sided points win over back-pedalling American Kevin Johnson at the weekend is sure to increase the clamour for a Haye-Klitschko clash in order to bring some much needed intrigue into the heavyweight division. First, Haye must see off awkward banana skin and former two-time WBA champion John Ruiz.