Former heavyweight titleholder David Haye, who signed with Matchroom Sport last month, suffered an injury to his left hand during training on Sunday that will force the postponement of his scheduled June 29 bout with Manuel Charr that was slated for MEN Arena in Manchester, England, according to The Daily Mail in London.
“I’m absolutely gutted to have to pull out of this fight on June 29. I pick up injuries now and again in training, and sometimes carry them into fights, but this was one I simply couldn’t recover from in time. I need to rest it up for at least four weeks,” said Haye, 32, according to The Daily Mail.
“I apologize to Manuel Charr and to everybody involved with the promotion. But most of all, I want to say sorry to the thousands of fans who bought tickets to the fight. I felt it was important to let them know about the cancellation as soon as possible, so they can now make other plans. As soon as I am told I can resume full training, my loyal fans will be the first to know.”
Haye (26-2, 24 knockouts) was last in the ring for July’s fourth-round stoppage of Derek Chisora that helped him to rebound from being dethroned as WBA titleholder by RING champion and IBF, WBA and WBO beltholder Wladimir Klitschko via unanimous decision in July of 2011.
Charr (23-1, 13 KOs), who is 28, has won two straight since falling by fourth-round stoppage againss WBC titleholder Vitali Klitschko in September.
“David have you a toe injury again?” wrote Charr on his Twitter account, referring to the injury Haye professed against Klitschko. “He is scared to fight me because he knows I will knock him out.”
MARCOS MAIDANA TO ‘GO TOE-TO-TOE’ WITH JOSESITO LOPEZ
If there was any doubt when their June 8 welterweight bout was announced in February that Marcos Maidana–Josesito Lopez was going to be anything less than a brawl, the fighters themselves predicted an all-out slugfest during a Monday press conference at La Fonda Restaurant in Los Angeles.
“I know Josesito is a great fighter. I know he likes to stand and trade and fight,” said Maidana (33-3, 30 KOs), of an event promoted by Golden Boy.
“That’s what I do and that’s why it’s going to be such an exciting fight. My plan is to go toe-to-toe. I don’t know what Josesito is going to do, but that’s what I plan to do. Pressure is the key to the fight.”
Maidana will meet Lopez (30-5, 18 KOs) as part of a Showtime-televised triple-header at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., with Lopez attempting to rebound from September’s fifth-round stoppage loss to unbeaten WBC junior middleweight titleholder Saul “Canelo” Alvarez.
“When you’re fighting a heavy puncher like Maidana, you have to be smart,” said Lopez. “The move up to 154 pounds helped me now that I’m back at 147. Now I feel I’m a true welterweight. I feel great in the gym, stronger and faster.”
Prior to facing Alvarez, Lopez broke Victor Ortiz’s jaw on the way to a ninth-round knockout. Three years earlier, Ortiz had lost to Maidana by sixth-round knockout, during which he was dropped twice and floored Maidana three times.
“I’m so excited about this fight and I’m the one receiving the punches. I can only imagine how excited the fans are. Years ago before I was at this level I thought, ‘Man, this would be an exciting fight. I would love to get in there and bang with him.’ Now we’re here. It’s a hell of a matchup. It could be the fight of the year.”
“The 147-pound division is where I feel best. I didn’t feel that way at 140,” said Maidana. “Now I’m free and I can eat more. My body is different, and you can see the definition.”
ALFREDO ANGULO ON ERISLANDY LARA: ‘HE MAY THINK HE’S GOING TO BOX; HE’S GOING TO FIGHT’
Angulo rode a streak of five straight knockout victories into his last loss, against James Kirkland in November of 2011, his only previous setback having been a unanimous decision favoring Kermit Cintron in May of 2009.
The Kirkland fight was prior to Angulo’s long layoff due to an eight-month stay at the El Centro Detention Center, located just under 14 miles from the U.S.-Mexico border, for having “overstayed his U.S. visa,” according to his manager and counsel, Michael Miller.
Angulo will face Lara in his third fight under 2011 Trainer of the Year Virgil Hunter, who is most known for guiding the career of RING and Showtime Super Six World Super Middleweight Boxing Classic Champion Andre Ward, a 2004 Olympic gold medalist who was named Fighter of The Year for 2011 by the Boxing Writers’ Association of America.
“This is my third fight after my time off, and conditioning-wise, I’m feeling like my old self, feeling like I used to feel,” said Angulo, who, like Lara, is 30. “There’s no doubt I’ll be in better condition than I was for my last two fights. There was just too much time off. Now, I’m in a rhythm.”
Angulo will be facing a tough task in Lara, whose last fight ended in a technical draw with unbeaten Vanes Martirosyan in November. Lara also battled to a draw with Carlos Molina in July of 2011, and lost a majority decision to ex-beltholder Paul Williams that most thought he won in June of 2012.
“Angulo is a good fighter. I give him a lot of credit. He always comes to fight. I’ve worked very hard, and am preparing for the best Angulo possible. The fact that I’m favored to win means nothing,” said Lara.
“Once the bell rings, it doesn’t matter what the odds are. It’s what you do in the ring that counts. Style-wise this is a perfect fight for me because Angulo likes to come forward. It’s the classic boxer versus the puncher. I expect to put on a boxing clinic, so you can expect a smart fight from me.”
Angulo promises to bring the action to Lara.
“It’s going to be a very good fight, the bull versus the matador. I have a lot of respect for Lara,” said Angulo. “He’s a really good fighter and he wants to show he’s the best, but he’s going to have to come out and fight. He may think he’s just going to box, but he’s going to fight.”
A junior middleweight bout between unbeaten Jermell Charlo (20-0, 10 KOs), of Houston, and Demetrius Hopkins (33-2-1, 13 KOs), of Philadelphia, has been added to the Maidana-Lopez card, according to Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer.
Photos: Scott Heavey-Getty Images; Gene Blevins-Hoganphotos
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org