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Haye only has to say 'yes' to July 2 fight - Klitschko

ESPN staff
February 7, 2011

Heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko has once again made it clear he is ready and willing to fight David Haye on July 2 - all the WBA title holder has to do is say yes.

A unification fight between Haye and Klitschko - or his older brother Vitali - has long been discussed, with the trio combining to hold all the belts in their weight division. But ever since Haye pulled out of a scheduled fight with Wladimir in 2009 through injury, negotiations over a re-arranged fight have consistently hit snags preventing an agreement, with fears now growing that it will be impossible to arrange what would be a blockbuster fight before Haye's scheduled retirement later this year.

However, 34-year-old Klitschko has made it clear he is ready and willing to fight the Englishman at the beginning of July - all he is waiting for is Haye's confirmation.

"I'm right here and I'm confirming that July 2, as I said before, is the date for the fight. Either David Haye takes it or he leaves the whole thing there," Klitschko told the BBC. "I think after talking so much, he has to show up in the ring. He has been trying to be smart but eventually he has put himself in the corner. He is talking about legacy but I don't see any legacy. I'm sorry, but that is my opinion and I think the opinion of a lot of fans.

"I know a lot of British fans are looking forward to this fight, and I am looking forward to satisfying the British fans and fighting David Haye."

Reports had suggested that disagreements over the financial arrangements of the contest had ensured it could not be agreed - with Klitschko subsequently signing to fight Haye's compatriot Derek Chisora on April 30 instead - but the Ukrainian denies that is the case.

"We were great on the money - we split things 50/50," he said. "Of course there is a lot of money to be made, but that is not the concern right now. As I said July 2 is the date. Haye was saying 'I don't want you to fight before' or whatever, but I'm not going to let David Haye tell me what to do. The date is confirmed - he has to say yes."

Another rumoured problem has been the location of the bout. The Klitschkos regularly fight on German soil where they have lucrative agreements with television companies in place and a large base of support, whereas Haye would prefer to fight on home soil. But Klitschko, publicly at least, is adamant that is also not an issue.

"It doesn't matter [where the fight is]," he said.

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