• Steve Bunce

Vitali v Haye agreed months ago

Steve Bunce March 6, 2012
Wladimir Klitschko an all-time great?

Over the weekend we had David Haye telling his Twitter followers that he would be Vitali Klitschko's next fight - but I'm convinced the bout has been made for months. The pair of them have just been messing around.

I reckon the reason Haye was at the Vitali v Dereck Chisora press conference was because RTL, the German TV company which will be paying the bulk of the Haye-Vitali cash, wanted him to be there. They wanted him to start selling a big summer blockbuster between himself and the WBC heavyweight champion. And now, fast forward a couple of weeks, and Vitali has been talking about it too.

David has probably been told by the Klitschkos' promoters to keep his mouth shut. But he does a very bad job of that, and instead tells people close to him that the fight is sealed.

Bear in mind that when David was meant to fight Wladimir in 2009, the Klitschkos' manager Bernd Bonte went ballistic when David released the details of the contract. David is a loose cannon, so he's been told he can't officially announce anything until the Germans have, because they tend to do things like that live on TV.

As you can see, when it comes to Haye v one of the Klitschkos, it's never easy. And on that note, I'm not sure how or where Haye can get himself a boxing licence after the brawl with Chisora. The Germans won't give him a licence unless the British Boxing Board of Control (BBBC) have given him one first - I can assure you of that.

Any fighter can go to Germany and say, "I need a licence." And the German federations would say, "Have you got a licence in your home country? And if not, why not?" - they would be duty-bound to find out why the fighter does not have a licence.

BBBC would tell their German counterparts that Haye doesn't have a licence because he hasn't applied for one - and add that when he does, he will have to answer certain questions regarding the incident with Chisora.

Wladimir stopped Jean-Marc Mormeck early on in their fight on Saturday © PA Photos

There's no way the Germans will just give him a licence. It's such a dreadful break with protocol.

People keep talking about German police pouncing on Haye when he returns to that country, but that's madness. Where do they think we are? It's 2012! Someone who speaks brilliant English will go to David's hotel the minute he lands in Germany, and ask him to accompany them to the police station, where he'll answer some questions in between signing autographs and posing for a load of pictures.

He's not some fugitive terrorist who's on the FBI's wanted list and has suddenly landed in New York.

Wlad's well running dry
I was deeply disappointed with Jean-Marc Mormeck's effort against Wladimir Klitschko at the weekend. I thought Mormeck might take a leaf out of Chisora's book and actually have a go - but he fell under the spell of Wladimir, and as soon as you do that you only give him ammunition. Wladimir was so confident that he did what he hasn't for a long time: went forward, over his front foot, and smashed Mormeck up to secure a stoppage win.

Where next for Wladimir? I'm afraid to say I think it'll be one of the failed Americans: Tony Thompson, Hasim Rahman, Chris Arreola, maybe.

The interesting thing is that last week Bonte claimed Chisora is an option for Wladimir's future - and he said that more than once.

As for the likes of David Price and Tyson Fury, it's still too soon for them to have a realistic chance against a Klitschko. Price is three or four 'hard fights' away. You need rounds: rounds you lose, rounds where you come back from the edge of defeat. You have to have been up against it.

That's why Fury's an outsider: he's had some tough bouts. He may have made them harder than they should have been, but they've been hard. He's been hurt, rocked, down, and he's come back. He's been closer to hardship, and that's what you need. You can't get in the ring with a Klitschko having knocked out 21 bums.

I think Tyson will be seriously tempted, and if the money's right they may have to take it. I think it's too early, but it might make business sense.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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Steve Bunce has been ringside in Las Vegas over 50 times, he has been at five Olympics and has been writing about boxing for over 25 years for a variety of national newspapers in Britain, including four which folded! It is possible that his face and voice have appeared on over 60 channels worldwide in a variety of languages - his first novel The Fixer was published in 2010 to no acclaim; amazingly it has been shortlisted for Sports Book of the Year.