David Haye has an interest that may be more than passing in today's WBA heavyweight title fight between Ruslan Chagaev and Alexander Povetkin, and says he's rooting for the Sauerland-promoted Povetkin to win:
"Povetkin is really strong, he is a former European, World and Olympic champ as an amateur and destroyed Chris Byrd and Eddie Chambers as a pro - that tells you all about his class. To this day Chagaev and I are the only fighters who have slayed the giant Nikolai Valuev. So I give Chagaev credit for that. As Povetkin is backed by my partners and friends Sauerland I will of course be rooting for him."
I would quibble with a couple of things:
- Povetkin did not "destroy" Eddie Chambers.
- There were others who deserved "slayings" over "the giant Nikolai Valuev." I do like that Nikolai Valuev is the hook that heavyweight Haye hangs his hat upon, though. That's kind of...sad.
Since David Haye is about as likely to actually retire as Terry Funk, one has to wonder if Haye isn't further interested in this fight's winner as a potential next opponent. The Klitschko camp has said repeatedly that Wlaidmir will not be giving Haye a rematch any time soon, but that Vitali would be happy to fight Haye. Of course, Wladimir now holds the "super" WBA belt, having lifted the "regular" belt from Haye and, combining it with the forces of his other trinkets, charging it with molten lava or something. Wladimir holds the WBO, IBF, WBA ("super!") and Ring Magazine belts, while Vitali holds the WBC title. So Povetkin and Chagaev are fighting for the only title Haye could win without having to face a Klitschko, and a deal between Haye and Poevtkin could be easy to make, with both associated with Sauerland.
Povetkin vs Chagaev starts at 4:30 EDT on ARD in Germany, and 5 EDT on Epix and streaming live on EpixHD.com. We'll have live coverage of that fight, and Robert Helenius vs Sergei Liakhovich, later this afternoon.