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David Haye will retire from boxing if he can't fight Vitali Klitschko

David Haye still wants Vitali Klitschko in the ring, but says if he can't get the 41-year-old WBC champion to fight him, he'll probably retire from the sport.

Matthew Lewis

David Haye is still banging on about a fight with Vitali Klitschko, which has been his main goal since his one-sided dud of a loss to Wladimir Klitschko in 2011, and says that if he can't get the elder brother to fight him, he'll probably retire from boxing.

From the Daily Star:

"I’ve not closed the door on boxing but if Vitali doesn’t want to do it, it looks like I won’t box again. I want a Klitschko on my record. Wladimir has already said he won’t fight me – and I can understand that – but Vitali has said on numerous occasions that he wants to knock me out. When he fights me people will remember it, especially when I leave him on his back.”

Haye (26-2, 24 KO) did fight once this year, knocking out Dereck Chisora in one of the bigger events of the year, a few months after Klitschko beat Chisora in Germany.

There is still some demand for Vitali to face Haye, but contract negotiations between the Klitschko and Haye camps have been notoriously difficult. When Wladimir and Haye fought, it took a couple of years, really, for them to come to terms, and that was Wladimir and Team Klitschko acquiescing to the Haye demands, and for good reason. It was a huge fight.

But following that loss, Haye, though still one of the biggest names in the division and the sport overall, doesn't have the same bargaining power he had before. Vitali (45-2, 41 KO) is almost surely not going to give Haye a 50-50 deal, unless the urge to beat Haye becomes overwhelming.

I still think it's a good fight -- a hell of a lot better than Vitali against Manuel Charr or the like -- but I'm not confident any deal can be made, even if the 41-year-old Klitschko does continue fighting, which is not a guarantee yet.