The anticipated heavyweight showdown between RING champ Wladimir Klitschko and beltholder David Haye, which was finalized weeks ago, has finally found a home and a date, the 57,000-seat Hamburg Imtech Arena in Germany on July 2.
Haye, a 30-year-old former cruiserweight champ from Britain rated No. 2 at heavyweight by THE RING (behind Klitschko’s older brother Vitali), told the AP that he has no problem facing Klitschko in the champ's adopted home country.
“By the time I’ve finished with Wladimir, he won’t know where he is anyway,” said Haye (23-1, 22 knockouts), who won his heavyweight belt by out-pointing 7-foot, 300-pound Nikolai Valuev in November of 2009.
The brash Brit verbally challenged Klitschko even before he stepped up to heavyweight, often insulting and belittling both Ukrainian brothers to the media.
Haye really got under Klitschko’s skin when he pulled out of scheduled matches with both he and his brother, who holds one of the major titles. The 35-year-old veteran views July 2 as his day of reckoning with his smaller-but-powerful antagonist.
“I’m delighted that Haye is finally now competing,” Klitschko (55-3, 49 KOs) said in a statement. “Twice already, he has steered clear of a fight against one of the Klitschkos. Haye has been talking rubbish for years, or showing up in moronic T-shirts. Now he has to show what he’s really made of in the ring.
“I’ll be ready, I’ve been waiting for this evening for two years. To have Hamburg as the venue for my settlement with Haye makes the whole thing even more beautiful.”