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Wladimir should feel ashamed of himself - Booth

ESPN staff
January 5, 2011
David Haye is running out of time to add to his WBA heavyweight strap if he is to realise his dream of unifying the division and quitting the sport before his 31st birthday © PA Photos

Adam Booth has slammed Wladimir Klitschko for turning down a fight with David Haye in favour of a clash with Dereck Chisora, labelling the decision as "disgraceful" and insisting the Ukrainian should "feel ashamed of himself".

After originally pulling out of the December 11 clash with an abdominal injury, it was announced on Wednesday that Klitschko had agreed to fight Chisora in Germany on April 30.

With Haye confident a deal to step into the ring with Wladimir was nearing completion, Klitschko's decision to opt for fellow Londoner Chisora has left Haye's trainer, Booth, seething.

"There were lots of things that let me know Wladimir really didn't want his fight yet," he told Sky Sports News. "It's a shame, a sad day and an embarrassment for boxing that the unification fight isn't happening.

"David's bent over backwards, we conceded to every single ridiculous demand that they made because they wanted it all their own way. David conceded to all of them to get the fight made and having agreed the date they put in front of us in the end they said 'great we're going to do Chisora'."

"They said we're not coming to England, David said 'fine, I'll come to Germany. They said 'Wladimir has to be in the red corner, Wladimir has to come in second, Wladimir's name has to be first on the poster and all these other ridiculous egotistical things and David said fine'. Then they turn around and say 'we want Chisora'.

"Strategically on a daily basis they've tried to backtrack and put obstacles in the way and stall negotiations. Every obstacle they've put in the way, we've cleared out of the way by agreeing their demands. Wladimir should feel ashamed of himself.

"I just hope boxing fans around the world; the TV networks that pay for boxing really put the pressure on and demand the biggest fight in the heavyweight division for years happens. Greed, ego and control are killing the sport."

A fight between Haye and Wladimir had been agreed for June 30 in 2009 but the 'Hayemaker' was forced to withdraw because of a hand injury. Booth believes the younger Klitschko brother is not as confident of victory as he once was but, should a fight never materialise, he is adamant there are other options for his charge before he hangs up his gloves before his 31st birthday in October.

"When Wladimir first made the fight with David when David was still a cruiserweight I think he was confident," he said. "But now as a heavyweight I don't think he's as confident. If he was why does he want to fight Chisora for a fraction of the money he'd earn if he fought David? It makes no sense to me.

"The plan has always been for David to retire by the age of 31. There's a mandatory challenger that we have to look at from the WBA and there are still a couple of meaningful fights out there for David but the Klitschko fights are the only fights people really want to see. We will keep striving to do everything we can to make the biggest fight in heavyweight boxing."

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