Adam Booth believes that David Haye is being used for publicity by Vitali Klitschko. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Bongarts/Getty Images)
Trainer and manager Adam Booth believes that Vitali Klitschko doesn't actually want a fight with "retired" former heavyweight titlist and one-time cruiserweight champion David Haye, and that the elder Klitschko brother is simply using Haye's name to bring publicity to himself. (Video from Daily Mail, transcribed by myself - this is exactly what Booth said, unedited.)
Booth on Vitali vs Haye negotiations:
"Vitali has piped up saying he wants the fight. Since then we've had communication with them, but the contract from them has been much less forthcoming than Vitali's bit of propaganda he's been spouting using his name. If it happens, it happens, if it doesn't, it doesn't. David's happy. I'm happy. Until there's something else to consider, at the moment he's just happy and overweight.
... "As far as I'm concerned, all the points have been agreed verbally, but subsequently, Vitali came out and said the fight was a million miles away from being made. So I don't understand why he would say that other than the fact, maybe they're just trying to use David's name for a bit of publicity."
Booth also spoke about negotiating with the Klitschkos:
"I've negotiated with them four times now. There's only been one fight. This is the fourth occasion I've negotiated with them, so -- they're not easy people to deal with. But then they probably think the same thing about us."
Booth on Wladimir Klitschko vs Jean Marc Mormeck:
"David knocked Mormeck in seven rounds a few years ago, and he was a blown up light heavy moving up to cruiserweight. He was past his prime then. Now he's a blown up light heavy that's come to heavy, who's a few more years past his prime. Listen, if the Klitschkos are happy with fights like that, good luck to them."
I suppose it would be reasonable to dispute Booth's claim that Mormeck was a blown up light heavyweight, since he was the lineal cruiserweight champion entering his fight with Haye, and did all of his career damage north of 175. But he also did a bit of that as sort of a tweener, fighting at 185-190 pounds for bouts against Virgil Hill, Dale Brown, and Alexander Gurov. Mormeck was a legitimate cruiserweight, but definitely not a big cruiserweight by any stretch, and he's a midget for a modern heavyweight.
The little dig at Wladimir vs Mormeck is entirely deserved. It's a truly awful fight that Wladimir is selling, and he deserves all the criticism that comes with making that ghastly mismatch and acting as if it's a legitimate fight. He might as well fight Chris Byrd again.
As for the negotiations, I'm sure he's right. I really am. I am quite certain the Klitschkos are tough to deal with, because they believe they are head and shoulders above the pack. The trouble is, they're right, and while negotiations from Haye's team to make the fight with Wladimir were legitimately tough simply because Haye really did deserve a bigger piece of the pie than most of their opponents, because David Haye has/had legitimate public interest and a fanbase, and brought TV money to the table, too, this time around, it's not the same. David Haye took a dump against Wladimir and deserves the big short end, same as anyone else they face anymore.
Is Vitali using Haye for publicity? I don't know. Maybe, I guess. I'm sure he wants the fight, but he's got other business to attend to at the moment -- his February 18 fight with Dereck Chisora -- and it's not as if David Haye is going to risk fighting someone else or anything of the sort. That will be there in two months when Vitali is ready to look at his next fight.