David Haye wants to come out his retirement to face Vitali Klitschko, but it looks as if Team Klitschko is looking elsewhere. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Bongarts/Getty Images)
David Haye has made apparent his desire to come out of retirement for a shot at Vitali Klitschko, but it seems as though the England-born heavyweight has priced himself out of that opportunity. According to Rick Reeno of Boxing Scene, Klitschko's manager Bernd Boente and his fighter have moved on from trying to negotiate with Haye, and will look forward to other opponents after Vitali (43-2, 40 KO) defends his WBC Heavyweight crown this Saturday against Dereck Chisora in Munich, Germany.
"We made an offer two weeks ago and he turned it down. We are not even negotiating anymore. He wants a huge guarantee and there is too much risk. We don't know how the British pay-pre-view will do because Haye is not a superstar anymore because of his performance with Wladimir. As of now the fight is off. Knock on wood that Vitali beats Chisora on Saturday night, we will start negotiating with some opponents but it won't be David Haye."
-Bernd Boente, to BoxingScene.com
It's interesting to hear that Haye (25-2, 23 KO) is no longer a "superstar" in England, as I suppose he was pre-Wladimir fight, when he was dominated over 12 rounds last July. I live in New Jersey, so I have no idea what the public sentiment on Haye is in the UK, and how it changed based on the loss and post-fight excuses against Wladimir. (I know we have some readers from across the pond, so if anyone who has a better idea on this could give an opinion, that would be great.) Either way, I don't think there's a huge clamoring for Haye to come back to fight Vitali throughout the global boxing public. I also don't think that has that much to do with him being unlikeable because of his broken toe excuse in the post-fight interview.
Mainly, the underwhelming sentiment for a Vitali-Haye fight comes from the fact that it would likely be a mirror-image of Wladimir-Haye, and who really wants to sit through that again? (Other than the 65,000 people who would fill a German soccer stadium to see one of the Klitschko's fight a horse.) Unless you really buy that Haye's broken right toe had a huge impact in the one-sided Wladimir win, and most don't, a significantly different performance from Haye would be unlikely at best. Also, things seem to hopefully be turning a bit - a very slight bit - in the heavyweight division these days, and there are some decent potential opponents for Vitali and Wladimir to face before picking from each other's scrap heaps.
One of the names at the top of that list is Robert Helenius. We'll see how competitive Chisora (15-2, 10 KO) is on Saturday against Vitali, as many thought Chisora soundly defeated Helenius on Dec. 3 despite getting the bad end of a rotten split decision. Helenius' name certainly took a hit after what most believed to be a legitimate loss. If Chisora is uncompetitive on Saturday, Helenius' chances at getting a fight with Vitali could sour. Also, Chris Arreola has kept busy and has won his last six fights against marginal competition since losing to Tomasz Adamek in April of 2010. While Arreola isn't turning many heads, you know he'll come to fight regardless of who he's in with. The winner of the Feb. 25 match between Alexander Povetkin and Marco Huck will also be on the fast track towards a crack at one of the brothers. American heavyweight prospect Seth Mitchell is making strides, and we'll get a better idea of where he is after his April 28 fight on the undercard of the Bernard Hopkins-Chad Dawson fight in Atlantic City.
Despite there being a good amount of names for Vitali or Wladimir to choose from, none of them exactly excites anyone, as the brothers would be rightly and widely favored over everyone I just mentioned. Point being, Vitali Klitschko certainly doesn't need David Haye, nor would Haye pose anymore of a challenge than most of the rest of the "top" of the heavyweight division. Heck, Tony Thompson probably has as good a chance against Vitali than Haye, Helenius or Arreola. Haye is simply in no position to be making steep financial demands, and it seems as though Team Klitschko has moved on. That's probably the best for all involved.