IBF/WBO world champion Klitschko was forced to pull out of his defence against Chisora last month when he suffered a torn stomach muscle during a session on the pads with trainer Emmanuel Steward just a week before the scheduled fight. The cancellation led to frantic efforts from WBA heavyweight king David Haye’s manager Adam Booth to arrange a Klitschko v Haye unification bout, but despite agreeing to a 50-50 split of all revenue including Sky TV money, the fight has not been made.
An angry Booth said; “There were lots of people that know Wladimir really didn’t want this fight yet. It’s a shame. It’s embarrassing for boxing that the unification fight isn’t going to happen now because David’s bent over backwards. We’ve conceded to every single ridiculous demand they made. From the start they said 50-50. David said fine, even though potentially we’re putting in the pot three or four times more than they’re putting into the pot because of pay-per-view Sky Box Office. David still said ‘let’s get the fight done 50-50’. They said the fight had to be on their German broadcaster even though our German broadcaster was prepared to pay more. We said fine. They said ‘we’re not coming to England for the fight’. David said ‘fine, I’ll go to Germany’. They said Wladimir has to be in the red corner, Wladimir has to come in second, Wladimir’s name has to be first on the poster and all these other ridiculous, egotistical things, and David said ‘fine, have it, just get him in the ring with me’. The last thing was, here is the date we now have, we said yes, Sky have approved that date and they turn round and say ‘we’re now doing Chisora’. Wladimir should feel ashamed of himself.”
Booth added: “When Wladimir first spoke of fighting David, when David was still a cruiserweight, I think he was confident but now as a heavyweight I genuinely don’t think he’s as confident. If he was, why would he want to go out and fight Chisora? If he’s confident of beating David, and he’s got it all his own way, and we’ve agreed to all of his terms, if he’s confident of beating David, why is he fighting Derek Chisora for a fraction of the money that he would make to fight David? It makes no sense to me.”
However, Klitschko claims he still intends to fight Haye after he has defends his belts against Chisora.
“The fight with Haye is not off, the fight is on. We had to get clearance on a date with Sky TV for pay per view in the UK and they we were concerned about conflicting with the upcoming Royal wedding. So the wedding is set for the end of April and we got clearance on a fight date of July 2, for sure.”
27 year old Chisora (14-0, 9 ko’s) will now give up his British heavyweight title to face the formidable Klitschko (55-3, 49 ko’s), who at age 34 shows no signs of slipping, and will be making his 15th title defense in two reigns as champion.
Klitschko said: ”I am very happy that we have found a new date for the fight so quickly. Chisora insulted me many times and that is why I still have unfinished business with him. He is a very good boxer but as a person he is a loser. Like I would have done in December, I will now teach him a lesson at the end of April.”
An ecstatic Chisora said; “This news is a fantastic late Christmas present. I always believed that I would fight Klitschko, and my faith has been repaid. I was a bit worried that he might try and fight an easier touch, but I think I’ve earned my opportunity. I was gutted when Wladimir pulled out of our fight just a couple of days beforehand. But now I’ve got another chance to take his titles away. He’s a great world champion, but his time at the top is well and truly up. My promoter Frank Warren has done a great job in getting me this opportunity because there was no guarantee Wladimir would fight me again after he got injured.”