WBA heavyweight champion David 'The Hayemaker' Haye has brandished rival titleholder Wladimir Klitschko a 'coward', following the Ukrainian's decision not to unify the belts in a 2011 showdown.
A bout between IBF and WBO kingpin Klitschko and Haye appeared close to completion earlier this week, but Wladimir instead decided to announce an April 30 defence against Britain's Dereck Chisora on Wednesday.
"We agreed to a date of July 2nd and a venue in Germany with both Sky Sports and RTL and everybody appeared happy with the deal," said a bemused Haye. "We made a few concessions to remove past stumbling blocks and were happy to do so, as it finally looked like the fight would get made.
"Even through negotiations, though, it was clear Wladimir was uneasy about taking the fight. He would often come up with new obstacles and problems to overcome, and I never sensed he fancied the fight.
"He refused to come to England, wanted to pick his own gloves, enter the ring second, box out of the red corner and demanded a German doctor. He also wanted his name to feature first on any promotional material ahead of the event. We bowed to each and every one of his demands. I didn't want to potentially jeopardise anything this time around."
With everything in place for a Haye bout, Klitschko nevertheless settled for Chisora, the unproven British champion. Still adamant the unification clash will happen, Klitschko informed Haye that he plans to deal with both Britons in 2011.
"It should never have come to this," said Haye, 25-1 (23 KO). "I was available to fight in May and June, and yet Klitschko only gave me dates of April 30 and July 2. The April date would be too close to Amir Khan's next fight, and would prove problematic with Sky Box Office, so we settled for July.
"Klitschko claims he'll fight both Chisora and I, but it's nonsense. Are we expected to believe that a fighter that competed only once in the whole of 2009 and twice in 2010 is now going to box twice in a matter of nine weeks? A bout with me is the most lucrative, meaningful and dangerous fight Wladimir's ever had, not some throwaway tune-up. Wladimir won't fight anybody nine weeks after Chisora, let alone me.
"I now need to look for a fight of my own beyond April, as Amir Khan has that month tied up with his bout. Presumably Wladimir is expecting me to fight in either May or June and then face him in early July. It's ridiculous."
This latest twist in the Haye-Klitschko saga has angered the Brit more than any other and, as he now looks for a title challenger of his own, the WBA champion is resigned to never getting the fight he so desperately wants.
"They demanded 50:50 right from the start and we eventually agreed and gave them all they wanted, despite the fact that our side brought three times as much money to the overall pot," recalled Haye.
"We had venues available for May and June, yet Wladimir had no intention of ever coming to England. Unfortunately, he had no venues available in Germany for May and June and that's why we find ourselves in the situation we're in right now."
Haye added: "If the fight doesn't happen now, it never will. I'm done with the Klitschkos. I know I can retire later this year with my head held high, knowing I did everything in my power to make these fights happen. I've had defining fights and beaten the best in the world as a cruiserweight, but, without me, Wladimir can never say he's done the same as a heavyweight."