Wladimir Klitschko calls out Haye for title fight

Wladimir Klitschko wants a heavyweight title unification fight

with David Haye, and he doesn’t want to hear any more excuses.

Klitschko is calling out the British WBA champion, who has never

followed through on repeated vows to take the title belts of

Klitschko and his brother, Vitali. Wladimir is the IBF and WBO

champion, while Vitali holds the WBC belt.

Although Wladimir Klitschko’s representatives initiated talks

with Haye’s promoters Tuesday, Klitschko told The Associated Press

he believes Haye will once again find a way to back out of the

matchup.

“I understand he’s scared, but just get yourself together, and

maybe you’ll get a lucky punch or whatever,” Klitschko said over

lunch at a Greek restaurant in the picturesque Larchmont Village

section of Los Angeles.

“I think he’s frightened and he won’t be willing to take the

chance, but it’s important for me to say that nothing is in the

way. There are no other fights. There will be enough money for

everybody. He just has to do what he says he will.”

With a rising voice and a clear disdain for Haye, the normally

decorous Klitschko called him a liar and a fraud who has built his

career on unfulfilled promises of challenging the Klitschko

brothers, who have reigned unbeaten atop the heavyweight division

since 2004.

“I just don’t like anything about the guy,” Klitschko said.

“How he talks, how he walks, anything. He’s basically betraying

the audience and the sport. Every division deserves a true

champion, and how can he claim to be a champion if he won’t fight

me?”

Haye has been to the verge of fighting both Klitschko brothers,

getting their attention with incendiary statements about what he

planned to do in both words and pictures. He memorably attended a

news conference wearing a T-shirt with a rendering of Haye holding

the brothers’ severed heads.

But Haye never got in the ring with either brother. A potential

fight against Vitali Klitschko at Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge arena

was scrapped, and Haye pulled out of a June 20 fight with Wladimir

Klitschko, citing a back injury, two weeks before they were

scheduled to meet in Gelsenkirchen, Germany.

“It’s obvious now that his back injury was just garbage, and

he’s a liar,” Klitschko said.

Haye eventually took on 7-foot-2 Russian Nikolai Valuev,

claiming the WBA belt last year. Haye hasn’t stopped talking trash

about the Klitschko brothers, who rarely deign to say anything

negative about any opponent.

“This is the first time I’ve seen him this animated, this

motivated, to fight just one guy,” said Tom Loeffler, the managing

director of the Klitschko brothers’ K-2 Promotions.

Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer, who helps to promote Haye, said

earlier this week he would discuss the possibility of a bout in

England or in Germany, where the Klitschko brothers live and fight

before enormous crowds.

Haye defended his title earlier this month by stopping John

Ruiz, the overachieving former champion. Immediately after the

fight, Haye dismissed the notion of fighting Bernard Hopkins, but

said he might have to make a title defense against Valuev.

Nonsense, says Klitschko, adding that if he can get an exception

to his mandatory IBF title defense against Alexander Povetkin,

whose trainer says he isn’t yet skilled enough to face Klitschko,

Haye could fight Klitschko if he really wanted the bout.

“He says he’s going to fight Valuev, but everybody realizes I’m

the most exciting fight right now,” Klitschko said. “He did

create a lot of buzz with his nonsense, but he has to back up his

words instead of (weaseling) out.”

Klitschko referred to a bout with Haye, the former cruiserweight

champion, as “a signature fight for me. My brother had a signature

fight with Lennox Lewis. That’s what I want. I’ve fought a lot of

guys, but no signature fights.”

Klitschko has defended his IBF title eight times, most recently

stopping Eddie Chambers in Dusseldorf on March 20. He hasn’t lost

since April 2004, and just two of his last 12 fights have even gone

the distance.

“I want to be active, so I won’t rely on the liar to fight me

next,” Klitschko said. “But when only one person talks, people

will start to believe things that person tells them. I just decided

I need to get over my conservative style of handling things. I need

to make it as straight as possible: David ‘The Loser’ Haye won’t

fight me.”