Wladimir Klitschko's management has told the world that the show will go on with or without David Haye, and that they will find another top heavyweight to take his place. Their attitude is that Wlad is the main attraction anyway, which may be true, but doesn't make me much less disappointed. There are only so many fighters who would be willing to take on such a dangerous opponent on such short notice, and chances are that it will need to be someone already in training camp or who just finished a training camp.
- According to Sportone (link in Polish), Wlad's camp approached Tomasz Adamek as the replacement. This apparently happened just before the Gunn fight was officially announced, so his camp has probably known that Haye was going to pull out for a few days now, at least. Adamek's a smallish cruiserweight, and would make little sense to take on any heavyweight, much less a huge one, on short notice.
- Wladimir has called out Cristobal Arreola. This seems like a ploy more than anything. While you could make the argument that Cris is always out of shape, he still does take off a fair amount of weight before fights, and it's pretty obvious that he doesn't train full-time like some guys do. Dan Goossen says he isn't ready...
- ...but that James Toney is. I'm not sure how good Goossen's information is, since he and Toney split up not too long ago, but he says that Toney would be ready to go. Sadly, I could see the networks approving this one, although it would go from being the most exciting heavyweight fight in years to the most boring. A fight between those two, and probably not more than 10 punches land a round.
Kevin Johnson wants his shot. Uh, that would be the step up we're looking for Kingpin. There's a big difference between Devin Vargas and Wladimir Klitschko. I guess that's one way to cash out, but KJ hasn't fought a top 100 heavyweight yet, and couldn't possibly be close to prepared for Wlad. But frankly, STILL nobody knows who the hell you are.
Odlanier Solis also says he's ready and willing. I'm not sure Solis could go a hard 12 if he wanted to. Right now he has a 10 rounder scheduled with Fres Oquendo coming up. Seems more like a ploy to me than anything. If K2 called him up and made a legitimate offer, I doubt Solis would take it up.
- According to news reports on German television, Nicolai Valuev is officially out. On one hand, it's hard to blame him because he'd get his ass kicked, and as long as he can hold onto a belt, he can probably negotiate a big fight later on for which he would have full time to prepare. On the other hand, it's just a wimpy move. He just seems to have very little desire to prove that he's the best, probably because he knows he's not even close to being the best.
- No actual rumors here, but my speculation says that the other candidates who make sense include Ruslan Chagaev (he just finished camp, and has been medically cleared in Germany before), Kali Meehan (already trained for a fight on the Chagaev undercard), Lamon Brewster (we don't need a trilogy), Oliver McCall (just had a relatively easy fight), Taras Bidenko (has a 12-rounder this weekend, if his promoters want to cancel it), and if worse really comes to worse, Tye Fields (who's training for a fight the same night, but who probably wouldn't last a round). Eddie Chambers and Alexander Dimitrenko are also possibilities, but I really doubt that's in the cards - neither one is far enough into training camp to cut it short, and the winner's going to get a title shot anyway, so why push it to try before you're in shape?
- Haye himself hopes the card just gets cancelled, since he thinks he could reschedule for July.