Alexey Potapov

Klitschko wanted to fight Haye in Ukraine

Wladimir Klitschko wanted to fight David Haye in his home country of Ukraine before agreeing to meet the Briton on July 2 in Hamburg, Germany.

THE RING heavyweight champion was speaking this week at a news conference in Kiev, the capital of Ukraine.

"We did everything to fight David in Ukraine,” Klitschko said. “Unfortunately, Haye refused. We offered him big money, but maybe Haye was scared. My brother and I cannot get David to come to Ukraine.”

Klitschko acknowledged that Ukraine has a limited capacity to stage big events.

“Professional boxing is a combination of sports and business,” he said, “so if Ukraine wants to conduct such fights, it is necessary to develop the economy to build new sports arenas.

“We said many times that we want to fight in Ukraine, but now it is possible only in the summer and at one of two public arenas – the Donetsk soccer stadium in Kiev … or in Dnepropetrovsk" 

Also, Klitschko confirmed that he and girlfriend Hayden Panettiere have split up after 18 month together. 

Vitali Klitschko, Wladimir’s brother, said he is sure the breakup will not be a problem for Wladimir as he prepares to fight Haye. 

"Fans worry that Wladimir will fall into a depression and could not concentrate on this fight, that instead of Haye he will think about Hayden,” Vitali said with a smile. “I can assure you that Wladimir, no stranger to boxing, has good experience and knows how to concentrate on the match.

“I hope that this soap opera will not affect the outcome of battle. Everything is going according to plan. Wladimir already left for training camp more than six weeks before the fight. Hopefully we'll see him in the best shape of his career." 

Meanwhile, Vitali could have faced Tomasz Adamek in Ukraine but chose a soccer stadium in Wroclaw, Poland, Adamek’s native country.

"I thought about having the fight against Adamek in Ukraine, but the proposal of the Poles was very profitable for me,” he said. “Of course, it will have huge support, but in the ring it does not matter."

The first Klitschko-Adamek news conferences are scheduled for May 24 and 25.

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