Boxing: 'It is Klitschko time' declares Haye after sad Harrison farce

Pressure builds for £20m title showdown to compensate for Saturday's mismatch

David Haye will fight Wladimir Klitschko next April or May for a purse in excess of £20m in a contest that is possibly the only salvation for boxing's heavyweight division after the latest disaster.

On Saturday night just under 20,000 people watched the very public humiliation of fallen idol Audley Harrison in Manchester as Haye's fists finally ended the tragic spectacle after 1:53 of the third and last round of Harrison's career.

It was not an unexpected outcome to the World Boxing Association championship bout but the sorry fight unfolded like a slow and inevitable execution with Harrison once again unable to overcome his fears and deliver on any of his words.

Harrison left the ring immediately the débâcle was over to chants from the crowd of: "You're shit and you know you are." It was, admittedly, a disgraceful effort by a challenger in a title fight but, at the same time, it was impossible not to feel a huge degree of sadness for 2000 Olympic champion as he walked away surrounded by his devoted family. As final ignominious exits go, it will take some beating.

Haye never wasted a single punch, and ignored the sell-out crowd's boos for two rounds before ending the fight with his first attack.

It needs to be pointed out that bigger mismatches involving greats like Joe Louis, Muhammad Ali, Lennox Lewis and Joe Frazier have hurt the sport as much in the past but this fight was under an unusually heavy degree of scrutiny at a time when the heavyweight division so desperately needs a hero. However, when Ali, Lewis, Frazier and Louis met bums it was established that at some point very soon after their callous adventures they would have a real fight, and that is what separates modern boxing from its glorious history.

"I knew it would be the third round," said Haye. "I promised to get rid of Audley to help the public out and that is what I have done. Now it is Klitschko time and we are getting closer to doing a deal; it will be done."

A deal was done last year for Haye to fight Wladimir Klitschko, the younger of the two towering Ukrainians who hold versions of the world heavyweight title, but it collapsed and instead Haye won the WBA belt. Haye, by the way, was due to make about £1m last June and had agreed to surrender three options to get the chance, which is a fact or two that is conveniently neglected by people when they accuse Haye of running scared.

It is a time-dishonoured boxing tradition for fighters to avoid each other until they are forced to the table. It is not an invention of Haye and other modern champions. Now the London fighter and his trainer and business partner Adam Booth can sit down with the Klitschkos and their razor-sharp manager Bernd Boente and reach an agreement for a bout that will generate a small fortune, and should reward both boxers with millions more than last year's failed outing. Amazingly, Haye and Booth are often still criticised for not taking last year's contest.

"We will fight Haye at the venue which offers the most money – in Germany, at Wembley Stadium, in Abu Dhabi or Dubai," said Boente, who had previously stated that Germany was the only venue. "The deal is now 50-50 with no options but still Haye has not signed."

Haye is temporarily reluctant because his TV revenue from Sky's pay-per-view arm is far in excess of the figure that the Klitschko brothers can generate on German TV. "It is the problem," admitted Boente about the shortfall, which is more than countered by viewing figures in excess of 17m in Germany.

"Haye wants to keep 100 per cent of his British TV money and he wants us to keep 100 per cent of the German money. We want it all to be collected and then divided 50-50."

The pay-per-view revenue from Saturday's fight is thought to be about £11m. A Klitschko fight would be double that figure and that means the negotiations will continue until a compromise is reached.

"We are getting very, very close and I believe that it will happen," said Booth. "David has won the title, he's made a couple of defences, the interest in a Klitschko fight is higher than ever – it's everything that I told you it would be. Now, we can make the fight."

Boente believes that it can be made by Christmas and Booth is willing to start talking again. The sooner they sit down and the sooner a date and venue is found the better it will be for everybody who follows boxing.

The heavyweight division needs a Haye and Klitschko fight right now possibly more than it has ever needed any fight and, hopefully, a deal can be agreed soon to avoid any repeat of Saturday night.

Pacquiao shows class

Manny Pacquiao cemented his place among boxing's greats by recording a unanimous points victory over Antonio Margarito on Saturday to claim the vacant WBC super-welterweight title.

The 31-year-old landed an eighth world title in a unique eighth weight class. "It was a really hard fight, the hardest fight in my boxing career," he said after his 13th consecutive winning bout.

Arts and Entertainment
filmPoldark production team claims innocence of viewers' ab frenzy
Life and Style
Google marks the 81st anniversary of the Loch Ness Monster's most famous photograph
techIt's the 81st anniversary of THAT iconic photograph
News
Katie Hopkins makes a living out of courting controversy
people
News
General Election
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Office Administrator

£14000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Office Administrator is requ...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - Commercial Vehicles - OTE £40,000

£12000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Due to expansion and growth of ...

Ashdown Group: Senior PHP Developer - Sheffield - £50,000

£40000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Senior PHP Developer position with a...

Recruitment Genius: Operations Leader - Plasma Processing

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: An Operations Leader is required to join a lea...

Day In a Page

Revealed: Why Mohammed Emwazi chose the 'safe option' of fighting for Isis, rather than following his friends to al-Shabaab in Somalia

Why Mohammed Emwazi chose Isis

His friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
'The solution can never be to impassively watch on while desperate people drown'
An open letter to David Cameron: Building fortress Europe has had deadly results

Open letter to David Cameron

Building the walls of fortress Europe has had deadly results
Tory candidates' tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they seem - you don't say!

You don't say!

Tory candidates' election tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they appear
Mubi: Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash

So what is Mubi?

Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash all the time
The impossible job: how to follow Kevin Spacey?

The hardest job in theatre?

How to follow Kevin Spacey
Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

This human tragedy has been brewing for years

EU states can't say they were not warned
Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

Women's sportswear

From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

Clinton's clothes

Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders