Date, venue set for Klitschko-Haye bout

Date, venue set for Klitschko-Haye bout

Published Apr. 20, 2011 1:00 a.m. ET

The long-awaited heavyweight title unification between Wladimir Klitschko (55-3, 49 KOs) and David Haye (25-1, 23 KOs) finally has a date and a venue.

The bout, pitting the two bitter rivals, will take place on July 2 at the Hamburg Imtech Arena in Germany. Sky Box Office PPV will have broadcast rights in the UK, free TV, RTL, will handle the broadcast duties in Germany, and HBO will carry the contest live in the U.S.

Klitschko, who will be defending his IBF and WBO titles, was the last heavyweight titlist to engage in a unification bout when he beat then-WBO champ, Sultan Ibragimov in a lackluster 2008 contest.

Reigning WBA champ Haye has made two successful defenses of the belt he won from Nikolai Valuev in 2009, stopping John Ruiz via TKO 9 in April of last year and then beating a tentative fellow-Brit, Audley Harrison in November.

Klitschko-Haye has been the second-most-demanded bout in the sport, behind Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao, and has been at the forefront of boxing’s collective unconscious since former cruiserweight champ Haye officially moved up to heavyweight and challenged Klitschko in a widely-reported face-to-face confrontation.

Two previous attempts to make the bout had fallen apart over money issues stemming from TV rights. The current deal is a 50-50 split across the board.