• Heavyweight

Haye calls out Vitali for 'flagship fight'

ESPN staff
January 9, 2013
David Haye has been on reality TV since his win over Dereck Chisora in July © PA Photos

David Haye has moved to lure Vitali Klitschko from out of the shadows by claiming the Ukrainian still does not have a "flagship fight" to cap his career.

Klitschko and his brother Wladimir, who beat Haye in 2011, have dominated the heavyweight division for a decade.

They have, though, been accused of cherry-picking opponents and Haye has sent a reminder of this to Vitali.

Haye, who claims he is ready to put his name on a contract and will fight at any venue, says RTL - the German TV channel which shows the Klitschko fights - wants the bout to happen. And with that in mind, Haye has called on Vitali to step up in a bid to seal his legacy in the sport.

"He's never had that flagship fight, that one megafight that people will always remember him for," Haye told the Daily Telegraph. "The only one people remember is the fight with Lennox Lewis, in which he came off second best (Klitschko was stopped in the sixth round).

"He's a proud man, and I'm sure he wants that big victory that he's never had. He's fought a lot of people, but for 10 years he's been a huge favourite. I guarantee the smart money would be on someone like myself with power and speed and youth beating him, and he is going to have to pull off the upset. Whether he wants to put himself in that position remains to be seen."

Haye claims he would have no regrets if he walked away from the ring, but has a burning desire to take down Vitali.

He said: "I achieved my goals, which were to become world champion. I've got enough money in the bank to be comfortable and I've still got my faculties in tact. But there is that obsessive thing still there, about facing Vitali in the ring."

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