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Boxing

Haye targets Klitschko after Chisora victory

Britain's David Haye, right, hits compatriot Dereck Chisora during their international heavyweight boxing match at Upton Park stadium, London, Saturday, July 14, 2012. (AP Photo/Tom Hevezi)

LONDON: David Haye declared he wants to face Vitali Klitschko next after his fifth round demolition of British heavyweight rival Dereck Chisora Saturday.

The former world heavyweight and light-welterweight world champion managed to do what Vitali failed to do in the last defense of his World Boxing Council heavyweight title in February: stop Chisora.

Haye, 31, lost a version of the world title to Vitali’s younger brother Wladimir a year ago and was criticized for his passive performance and post-fight excuse of a broken toe.

But Haye felt an amount of redemption after twice leaving Chisora slumped on the canvas at Upton Park, the home of West Ham football club, from left hooks and hopes it will earn him another crack at a Klitschko.

Wladimir insists he is not interested in a rematch with Haye for the moment.

Vitali was linked with a defence against Haye earlier this year.

But WBC champion Vitali’s next challenger on Sept. 10 is Germany-based Syrian Manuel Charr, who gate-crashed the Haye-Chisora post-fight press conference to announce he would be prepared to fight Haye once he beats the WBC champion.

Haye, however, expects Vitali to prevail and hopes to face the Ukrainian later this year or in 2013.

“I held a version of the world heavyweight championship and I would like to regain a version of the world heavyweight championship,” Haye told a news conference.

“If Vitali beats this gentleman [Charr] I would love to challenge him for his title. If it’s not meant to be, so be it.

“If this was my last performance, I have gone out with a bang and everyone is happy. After a performance like that and him getting on, if you were one of his advisers you wouldn’t tell Vitali to fight me.

“I’ve proved my punching power against someone who pushed Vitali to the wire. It was a measuring stick to show how I performed against his last opponent. I would be very confident of beating Vitali.”

Vitali, 40, may well retire after facing Charr to pursue a full-time political career, which would leave Haye trying to convince Wladimir, 36, to give him a rematch.

Haye’s rediscovered his knockout power – he has stopped 24 of 25 opponents – against Chisora and was well ahead on all three scorecards at the time of the stoppage, with one judge scoring it 40-36 and the other two seeing it 39-37.

But Haye had to take some shots from Chisora, who kept marching forward until he was caught by a brilliant left hook in the fifth round. Another quick right sent Chisora stumbling backward onto the canvas.

He got to his feet at the count of seven but after a ferocious onslaught, he was left open and Haye seized his chance with a left hook to the jaw.

Meanwhile, Britain’s Amir Khan should think about retirement following his defeat by Danny Garcia, according to his world champion compatriot Carl Froch.

Khan was stopped in just the fourth round by Garcia in Las Vegas Saturday, and suffered three knockdowns in total, as the American added the World Boxing Association light-welterweight title to the World Boxing Council belt he already held in a dramatic unification bout.

It was Englishman Khan’s second straight defeat following his controversial loss to Lamont Peterson, with the American failing a subsequent drug test – and third of his career following an earlier reverse at the hands of Breidis Prescott.

Froch, the current International Boxing Federation super-middleweight champion, said Sunday he would quit if he was in the same position as Khan.

“I would retire if that happened to me,” Froch told BBC Radio 5 Live’s Sportsweek program. “Why? Because I am not in this sport to get beaten, knocked out, or outclassed.

“I’ve lost twice, I lost a very, very close points decision to one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world in Andre Ward and I’ve come back and beaten an unbeaten fighter, Lucian Bute, the very next time so I’m world champion,” he said.

“If I had lost to Lucian Bute I would probably have retired, because I am in this game to be at the very top and stay at the top. I’m not in this game to make up the numbers.

“It’s a personal decision whether or not you retire, but to get stopped in the fourth round and to be previously knocked out, it’s just very, very damaging,” Froch insisted.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on July 16, 2012, on page 15.

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