Bermondsey's David Haye will make the third defence of his European crown against unbeaten Italian Giacobbe Fragomeni on Friday, November 13 at the world-renowned York Hall in Bethnal Green, London.
In an announcement made earlier this week, promoter Frank Maloney confirmed that the cruiserweight clash has been sanctioned as a final eliminator for the WBC title. Either Haye or Fragomeni will meet the winner of the upcoming rematch between current champion O'Neil Bell and Frenchman Jean Marc Mormeck.
The 25-year-old Londoner speaks very highly of Fragomeni, and knows first hand what the squat Italian brings to the table. They have crossed paths once before, in 1999 at an Olympic qualifying tournament. Fragomeni beat Haye handily on that occasion, and in doing so shattered the precocious Englishman's dream of representing his country at the 2000 Sydney Games.
With that as a subtext, Haye claims that he is delighted to be facing Fragomeni at such an important juncture in his career. The chance to avenge the defeat which ruined his Olympic medal hopes and on the same night secure his first major world title shot couldn't be more appealing, he told the media on Monday.
"As soon as I heard his name I was so happy," enthused the now 17-1 (16 KO's) Haye. "I boxed Fragomeni in 1999 â€” at an Olympic qualifying tournament â€” and he beat me 11-1. That was pretty hard to stomach because I'd trained my whole life gearing up for the 2000 Olympics.
"I was 19 years old and he was the guy who stopped me getting there. It's always been on my mind. Getting the chance to get revenge over him in a WBC final eliminator means so much to me."