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“It was the carrot of the Klitschko fight that got me back in the ring against Chisora,” says Haye. “Boente said: ‘If David fights Dereck, Vitali will fight the winner.’ So I thought: ‘Okay, I can beat Chisora. About two minutes after that, we had that mad scuffle and it went viral – CNN, NBC, Fox News. I got more coverage for beating someone up in a press conference than for any of the fights I’ve ever had. “I never thought I’d fight someone like Chisora for a non-world title fight. I’m a world-title fighter – I have been for many years now. But this was one of those one-off occasions when it wasn’t about the title. It was big news, and news means interest. Interest means ticket sales, and ticket sales mean money. All of that makes for a high-profile fight, and I’m only in the game for high-profile fights.”

One-man shOw

And yet, Haye is not in the game at all right now. Having repeatedly insisted that Vitali is the only opponent motivating enough to coax him back into the ring, Haye has not only left the ball in the Ukrainian’s court; he has effectively given him permission to clear off and do as he damn well pleases with it. But ask Haye now what he thinks the chances are of Vitali taking him on, and he says it’s not as distant a dream as some believe it to be. “There’s not much to sort,” he says. “We just need a date and a venue. We agreed the financial terms and contractual terms months ago, but then all of a sudden he fought a guy called Manuel Charr last September who no one had ever heard of. “I’d said I was willing to fight on that date and he said: ‘No, you fought Dereck instead.’ But Vitali said to fight Dereck! He used that as an excuse not to fight me. But it’s up to him – he does what he wants to do. If he doesn’t want to do it, then he doesn’t want to do it. He said he does, though. So hopefully he’s a man of his word.” Boxers are used to periods of inactivity between fights. They relish the time to recover and repair their bruised and battered bodies. But Haye is well beyond that point now. If he still considers himself >

Haye lands one on Chisora in the latter’s post-Klitschko press conference in Munich

Action Images/Andrew Couldridge/Livepic

“BOente said: ‘if david fights dereck, vitali will fight the winner.’ twO minutes after that, we had that mad scuffle. i gOt mOre cOverage fOr Beating sOmeOne up in a press cOnference than fOr any Of the fights i’ve ever had”

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Sport magazine - issue 294  
Sport magazine - issue 294  

Sport magazine - issue 294