David Haye trainer: Path clear for fight

Updated: December 21, 2010, 12:38 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

LONDON -- David Haye is offering Wladimir Klitschko a 50-50 split of the earnings in order to secure a heavyweight unification fight next year.

A back injury forced Haye, the WBA champion, to withdraw from a fight with the younger of the Klitschko brothers in 2009. Haye has since been unable to negotiate another matchup with the Ukrainian boxer, who holds the IBF and WBO belts.

The major stumbling block was believed to have been how to split the purse, but Haye and his management team said Tuesday they have offered Klitschko "50-50 on everything."

Haye said there was no reason their much-anticipated fight shouldn't take place next year.

"We have now ticked every box they have asked us to tick and I just hope Wladimir is as eager to fight as he tells everyone he is," Haye said. "We have removed every possible excuse and have shown we are serious about making this fight become a reality.

"I only pray Wladimir is as serious as we are," Haye added, "because this fight needs to happen for the good of the sport."

After retaining his belt with a third-round stoppage of fellow British boxer Audley Harrison last month, the 30-year-old Haye immediately set his sights on unifying the sport's flagship division. He wants to fight both Wladimir and his brother Vitali, who is the WBC champion, before retiring next October.

"We are now perfectly positioned to get together and make this fight with Wladimir Klitschko," said Adam Booth, Haye's trainer and manager. "We have sorted out all the old problems and disagreements and are ready to sign the deal.

"David and I are happy to split the entire pot 50-50 and grant Wladimir the deal he has wanted since day one. We have offered them 50-50 on everything -- just as they requested -- and now see no reason why this tremendous fight can't happen. The path is clear."

Wladimir Klitschko was scheduled to defend his title against Britain's Dereck Chisora in Germany on Dec. 11, but withdrew three days before the fight after tearing a stomach muscle.

The 34-year-old Klitschko must now decide whether to renegotiate a deal with Chisora or turn his attentions to Haye, which would be a far more lucrative fight.

Klitschko was due to make his 10th title defense against the little-known Chisora. However, during his final workout hitting the pads with trainer Emanuel Steward, Klitschko suffered the injury.

Klitschko, 34, underwent a CT scan and was diagnosed with a 2-inch tear on the left side of his abdominal muscle near the bottom of his rib cage.

"The doctor said he needs four to six weeks to heal," manager Bernd Boente told ESPN.com earlier this month. "Wladimir has never had to cancel a fight before. He is totally upset. He had a great training camp in the Austrian mountains. He was in fantastic shape and he's very, very upset and very sad. And not only for him but for all the people who bought tickets to the sold-out arena. We were all looking forward to the fight. We are sorry for the fans and for our TV partners. What can you do?"

Boente said he was not sure if the fight with Chisora (14-0, 9 KOs) would be rescheduled. However, Chisora told the BBC earlier this month that he is confident the fight will happen. "He offered the fight and he has to fight me," he said.

Information from The Associated Press and ESPN.com's Dan Rafael was used in this report.

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