World heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko has dismissed the idea of fighting David Haye again, and named some potential opponents for his next fight, which should come before the end of the year barring any injuries or other setbacks. Here's what he said to Sports Illustrated:
"There are a lot of guys out there for me to fight," Klitschko said. "Alexander Povetkin, Dereck Chisora, Denis Boytsov, Tyson Fury. I don't need David Haye now. You know, he doesn't know how to fight at this level. He doesn't understand it. ... He's the type of fighter who fights great in the gym, but psychologically he couldn't handle it when it got real. There was too much public pressure on him."
Klitschko desperately wants another fight in the U.S. -- he hasn't fought here since defeating (Sultan) Ibragimov at Madison Square Garden -- and says he has the "perfect" opponent to face in his return: American Chris Arreola.
Klitschko (56-3, 49 KO) won't be short on potential suitors, but you'll have to forgive boxing fans if they don't exactly get excited over this list. Boytsov is a good fighter, but more or less still a prospect. Povetkin has twice signed to fight Klitschko and bailed on both occasions. Chisora wasn't received warmly when Klitschko signed to fight him before, and a win over Tyson Fury -- who himself is years away from being ready for Wladimir, if he ever could be -- isn't likely to make that any more appealing.
Arreola (32-2, 28 KO) isn't much different a story, sadly. This is really a case of the Klitschkos simply being too good, too big, too strong, too smart for anyone out there. But Arreola does provide decent fights pretty much every time out. We saw Vitali demolish him in 2009, but Arreola was still game the whole way through, and he's now around 30 pounds lighter than he was then, and has obviously started taking himself and his career more seriously.
Honestly, I'm all for the Arreola fight. I want to see it as much as I want to see any potential Wladimir fight, which is not to say I'm dreading fights with the Klitschko brothers, but rather that I'm pretty certain the end result isn't changing no matter who they fight.
It does seem like Wladimir vs Arreola could in fact be coming next for the champ, so here's the question: Are you interested in that matchup?