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Haye Skips Out On Vitali, Will Fight Valuev Now – Boxing

By Matt Stein: Former cruiserweight champion David Haye continued with his unpredictable actions by suddenly bailing on his fight with WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko, whom he had a verbal agreement to fight on September 12th, to turn around and sign for a fight with World Boxing Association heavyweight champion Nikolai Valuev instead. The bout, if Haye makes it to the starting gate without pulling up lame or running off, will be taking place on November 7th.

According to ESPN, Klitschko’s manager Bernd Boente and adviser Shelly Finkel were attempting to contact Haye earlier today to compete their deal with him for the September 12th fight with Vitali. However, they were unable to make contact with Haye and there was no word or warning that Haye was going to pull out and sign for a fight with Valuev. Boente says that Haye had agreed verbally on the final contract but hadn’t signed it.

It’s unknown how long Haye and his manager Adam Booth had been meeting with Valuev and his team. Perhaps they’ve been in talks with them for some time while at the same time stringing Vitali along to see which fighter would give him the best deal.

By the choice of Valuev, it looks as if Haye found the better deal. Even if Haye makes less money in a fight with Valuev, he still might be better off than having to face Vitali, because that’s a fight that Haye wouldn’t have much of a chance to win.

Getting beaten by Vitali, especially if it were a bad knockout loss, would hurt Haye’s heavyweight career and cause him to have to work his way into another title shot the hard way by actually having to face top 10 opposition rather than skipping past them and not having to earn his way into title shot. There are a lot of boxing experts who question whether Haye is good enough to work his way into a title shot if it meant that he would have to beat a couple of solid top 10 fighters.

Boente was irate about Haye skipping out on the fight, calling him “amateurish” and saying that Haye had little “class.”

Haye, however, had a different thought on the matter, calling the contract for the Vitali fight feeling that he had been disrespected during the negotiation process. Haye feels that if he beats the seven foot Valuev on November 7th, then maybe Klitschko will feel that he has to meet him half way during negotiations for a fight, if Vitali is still interested in fighting him, that is.

My guess is yes, Vitali will still be interested in a fight with Haye. Naturally, Vitali will be angry about it, but money is money, and he’ll likely jump at the chance at fighting Haye, even if it means that he has to sign for a sharing of revenue rather than him getting the lions share. There’s little doubt that Haye will beat Valuev. The big Russian fighter looked really bad in his last fight, a controversial 12 round majority decision win over Evander Holyfield in December 2008.

Last month, Haye dropped out suddenly with a fight with IBF/WBO heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko, saying that he had injured his back and couldn’t make the June 20th fight. Rumors swirled around the boxing world afterwards suggesting that Haye was never injured and was concerned that he wouldn’t be paid by Setanta. Wladimir was turned off by the cancellation, saying he didn’t trust Haye and was going to move on. Vitali, however, was more than willing to go ahead with a fight with Haye.

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