So, Who WILL Haye Fight Next?


by James Slater – As we now know, WBA heavyweight champion David Haye’s next fight will not be against Wladimir Klitschko, the Ring magazine, IBF, WBO, IBO ruler; because “Dr Steel Hammer” is to defend against his IBF mandatory, Alexander Povetkin in September. It seems, then, that the long talks Team-Haye had with Team-Klitschko, came to nothing – regarding Haye fighting Wladimir any time soon, anyway.

But with The recognised #1 big man in the world now busy until some time next year, is there a chance Haye will fight the recognised #2 big man in the world, Vitali Klitschko? The chances of this fight taking place any time soon are also slim, seeing as how Vitali and his group are (or were) in talks with Nikolai Valuev and his main man Don King, about the possibility of the two giants getting it on.. So, if this fight happens, or if “Dr. Iron Fist” takes on someone else instead in his next fight, the question becomes: just WHO will Haye face next?

Before you scream out the name of Audley Harrison, it must be remembered that Haye was quoted by a certain publication, only last week, as saying it was news to him he was taking on “A-Force” next. Haye even went as far as to say how amused he was when he read that “one particular web site even had a date for the fight!”

Haye went on to say that he is not interested in a fight with Harrison, and that Harrison was merely trying to get some free publicity. So, again, who will Haye fight next, now that both Klitschkos appear “unavailable” and Harrison is not deemed a worthy enough challenger (still, I wouldn’t be surprised if Haye-Harrison DID take place, just as the rumours persist to tell us will be the case – easy money for Haye and all that)?

It’s already been a few hours short of three months since Haye’s last fight, the dominant 9th-round stoppage of a game John Ruiz; yet fans are still in the dark as to who “The Hayemaker” will make his second title defence against. Haye himself has said he will retire from boxing “before he turns 31,” and that he will have to be “very careful” when deciding who he will fight in his remaining year-and-a-bit. Haye says he wants to leave as much of a mark on boxing as he can, and that he only wants meaningful fights.

But looking at the current heavyweight top-ten as written by “The Bible of Boxing,” Ring magazine, there aren’t a whole lot of meaningful fights out there for Haye – minus the two Klitschkos, of course. #3 Povetkin is out for obvious reasons, #4 Tomasz Adamek is busy with his upcoming fight with Michael Grant, #6 Eddie Chambers has yet to be seen after being KO’d by the younger of the two Klitschkos, #7 Denis Boystov is still too green, #8 Nikolai Valuev may well face Vitali next (and who really wants to see Haye-Valuev II anyway!), #9 Alexander Dimitrenko is all set to box for the vacant European title and #10 Chris Arreola has a pencilled in August date on ESPN. That leaves just #5 Ruslan Chagaev as a possible, credible challenger for Haye.

Could it be, that the former holder of the WBA strap Haye now holds will soon get the chance to fight to regain it? Unless Haye either faces a fighter who is unranked by Ring, or unless he does actually take that risky (in the sense of hurting his reputation) fight with Harrison, I can se no-one else but the man from Uzbekistan. Or perhaps Haye will surprise us all and not fight again at all until next year. Now there’s a thought!

The WBA heavyweight champion, or someone from his team, will hopefully put us straight by announcing something, ANYTHING – soon.