Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.


Boxing: David Haye 'always believed' Klitschko fight would happen

David Haye "always believed" he would secure a heavyweight unification showdown with Wladimir Klitschko after finally signing to meet his Ukrainian rival over the weekend.

The Londoner has agreed the fight in Germany, with his WBA title and Klitschko's IBF and WBO belts on the line following years of on-off talks.

Should he be victorious against 34-year-old Klitschko and in the meantime Wladimir's older brother Vitali retains his WBC title, they will then meet later this year with the undisputed linear heavyweight championship on the line. Haye insists he will then retire in October, when he turns 31.

While the finances will be split 50-50, Press Association Sport understands Haye's camp made concessions on several minor sticking points to make the fight happen, meaning Klitschko's name will appear first on promotional material and the Englishman will enter the ring first.

The exact location and date of the fight should be announced in the coming days, with football grounds in Gelsenkirchen, Dortmund and Kaiserslautern in the running.

"I always believed we'd one day fight and I'm glad we've cut through the nonsense and put together the most important fight in the heavyweight division," Haye said.

"This is the match the boxing world has been calling for since I first decided to step into the heavyweight division, and I feel it is my destiny to fight and beat Wladimir Klitschko.

"We are the best two heavyweights in the world and it would have been a travesty for us to have never fought.

"This is an inevitable fight with an inevitable conclusion. Wladimir Klitschko is getting violently knocked out."

There is genuine animosity between the pair after two years of sniping in the media and outspoken Haye has wasted no time elevating the trash talk.

"I have been chasing this fight since day one, because I know boxing styles and I know which styles I have success against.

"Klitschko is ready-made for me. I eat tall, chinny eastern European heavyweights for breakfast. Wladimir is a fighter that doesn't like to fight, and he has admitted that fact in the past.

"Unfortunately for him, I am a fighter that loves nothing more than fighting.

"I have the heart of lion, whereas Wladimir has the heart of a hyena. He cries and squeals and slips into the wilderness at the first sign of danger. Wladimir has proven this over the years, and I'm certain he will want no part of this lion when it finally comes time to go to war."

The two have signed to fight before, only for Haye to pull out with a back injury in 2009.