• Steve Bunce

Haye takes the fall as blame game goes full tilt

Steve Bunce November 19, 2013
David Haye had an operation on the weekend © PA Photos

Our Heavyweights.

David Haye took some pictures from his hotel bed in Germany of his shoulder in a sling, Tyson Fury called him some nasty names, David Price signed with German promoter Sauerland and Audley Harrison started issuing challenges. It was a mixed weekend for British heavyweights.

Haye went under the surgeon's knife for five hours to fix his right shoulder where there is damage to his subscapularis and bicep tendon attachments, both of which were ruptured. He emerged from the surgery to announce that his fight with Fury, which was re-scheduled for February 8, 2014, when Haye suffered a cut in September, was off. It also emerged that he had been advised to retire and I assume that it was not his accountant that gave him that advice: Haye has lost over £5 million with the loss of the Fury fight.

"It was easy money, it would have been an easy fight," Haye repeatedly said.

Fury was said to be upset but resigned to the news that Haye had withdrawn from their fight. Fury and his uncle Peter Fury, who also trains him, have repeatedly told me on my podcast that the fight will never happen. "Haye never had any intention of fighting us," said Peter, who remains convinced that the postponement opens the way for Haye to fight Vitali Klitschko, the WBC heavyweight champion, at some point next year.

"I feel like we have been used as a bargaining tool," said Peter.

It is easy to see the logic in Peter Fury's theory but it just seems such an elaborate plan and plot by Haye to get a giant payday against the ageing but still dangerous Klitschko brother. However, I draw the line at the conspiracy merchants that believe there is no injury and that there was no surgery. One fistic sleuth was online checking all available hospitals in Germany for a patient called Mr. David Haye!

However, Haye paid out a lot of money to world-class sparring partners during the long lost summer of his camp for the original fight with Fury, which was meant to take place in September. The evidence is hefty supporting the accidental nature of the cut brow, which put an end to the first date, and it appears equally persuasive that the shoulder injury is also genuine.

It is awful luck for everybody, but if Haye suddenly starts lifting weights like Hercules and signs to fight Vitali in the next three months I will hold my hands up and admit to being gullible. Haye has been pulling out of fights with injuries since he was a 16-year-old amateur and realises that it is part of the process, an annoyance that causes a few problems. I just wonder if he regrets not pulling out of his world title fight with Wladimir Klitschko in 2011 when he fought with a broken toe. He was ridiculed at the time for appearing to blame the toe for his defeat; we will never know how much of a factor the injury was in what was a dreadful night.

Meanwhile, Fury is still clinging to the February 8 date at the MEN in Manchester and is chasing down unbeaten American Deontay Wilder. Fury's determined mission is likely to include a trip to America to try and persuade Wilder and his people to make the fight happen. Wilder, by the way, has won all 30 of his fights by knockout or stoppage. "He's a real man, I know that he will fight me," said Fury.

Wilder would be a fantastic replacement and the fight a genuine 50-50 shootout of unbeaten, proven punchers with too much heart and not enough boxing sense. However, Wilder is closing in on a Klitschko fight and was recently mentioned by Vitali, which was seen as form of endorsement; a fight against Fury probably carries too much risk and not enough cash.

In a year there is every chance that Liverpool's David Price will be at the top of Fury's shopping list. Price beat Fury when they were amateurs and this time last year looked like he was slightly in front of his great rival. However, a veteran American slugger called Tony Thompson twice stopped Price this year to both shatter his confidence, which is essential in a heavyweight, and leave him with far fewer options in the heavyweight division.

On Monday, Price confirmed that he has done a deal with German promotional company Sauerland and that he will now become an international boxer; Sauerland promote in Germany, Denmark, Finland and Russia and they have a big lump in each country just waiting to help Pricey get his confidence back. The real road to redemption could start next month in Germany and in a year Price v Fury could be massive.

In other heavyweight news Audley Harrison, who now lives in California, is planning a return to a British ring.

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Steve Bunce Close
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.