The fight between WBC Heavyweight Champion Vitali Klitschko and Briton David Haye has been canceled. It was scheduled for September, 12, in the Commerzbank-Arena in Frankfurt, Germany.
“First of all, I feel sorry for the team of the Commerzbank-Arena and for the boxing fans in the Frankfurt region," said Bernd Böente, Managing Director of the Klitschko Management Group.
"We will try to set up another Klitschko fight in this wonderful arena as soon as possible. Also for us, the cancellation was very surprising as we got informed about it through the media.
"Haye’s manager, Adam Booth, did not even have the courage to give me a call personally and tell me about their decision – for me a sign of his inexistent class. Background of the pull-out are definitely the bad pay-per-view-TV figures of BSkyB in England.
"The last fights of Ricky Hatton and new English shooting star Amir Khan last weekend against Andreas Kotelnik both had very poor sales on TV. Khan vs. Kotelnik less than 30,000 viewers. It was Haye’s desire to base his purse on the British TV earnings.
“Haye and his manager, whose home base is in the Turkish part of Cyprus for fiscal reasons, seem to have realized all of a sudden, that we have a global economic depression and English boxing fans are not that easily willing to pay 15 pounds for a bout.
"All the excuses of adhesion contracts are complete rubbish as Haye had already signed the same contract for the fight against Wladimir in June, which also contained a usual rematch clause and a pure Klitschko option. And for that fight he also pulled out.
"By the way, Vitali and myself attended Haye’s last fight against Monte Barrett at the O2 Arena in London. There were possibly 6.000 fans in a 20.000 seat arena. The guy is not a big draw in England at all. We were always surprised that he expected to get 2.7 million pounds out of the English pay-per-view sales for a fight against Vitali or Wladimir,” Böente added.
Wladimir Klitschko: “During the negotiations for my June fight, we realized quickly that Haye and Booth are very unprofessional. Booth might be a good trainer but as a manager he is simply incompetent. David always had a big mouth and tried to offend us with ridiculous self-made t-shirts.
"But when it comes up to step into the ring and show what he’s got, he runs away. He even admits that fighting Valuev is the easier way. For me, Haye is a little, inexperienced kid who is afraid of his own courage. Doubtless, my brother would have knocked him out within the first four rounds.”
Klitschko Management Group has already started negotiating with potential opponents for Vitali’s next title defense.