Vitali Klitschko has announced that 2010 will be his final year as an active boxer, surprising almost nobody who has followed the careers of the Klitschko brothers.
And the WBC heavyweight titlist really only has one fight on his mind: David Haye.
In typical ice-cold Klitschko fashion, Vitali said, "I only have one belt left to win. So this year, I will hang up my boxing gloves. And I’ll stop visiting different cities to beat somebody’s face in."
The only belt in the heavyweight division that isn't controlled by Vitali or his brother Wladimir is the WBA title currently held by David Haye, who faces John Ruiz on April 3. Should Haye beat Ruiz, the money is going to be there to stage Vitali-Haye, especially with the idea that it could be Vitali's final fight. Unless Haye is genuinely afraid to fight Vitali, there's no way he could pass up the money and the chance to retire one of the best heavyweights of the last 20 years.
Vitali (39-2, 37 KO) was recently in negotiations to face Russian giant Nikolai Valuev, but that went sour pretty quickly when the Valuev side (led by Sauerland Event and Don King) felt slighted in the money department and began making pretty outlandish demands meant only to end the negotiations outright.
The Ukrainian -- who turns 39 in July -- fought three times last year, bashing Juan Carlos Gomez and Cristobal Arreola, and winning a nightmarish 12-round decision in an all-time stinker of a heavyweight title fight against the woeful Kevin Johnson in December.
Vitali-Haye could be an enormous fight in London or in Germany, and I think it would even do very well at Madison Square Garden, though obviously it wouldn't draw the same money it would in London or Germany. I hope if Haye beats Ruiz, it happens, because otherwise Vitali will leave the sport fighting guys everyone knows he's going to beat.