Haye challenges Klitscko to 50-50 split

Published Dec. 21, 2010 12:00 a.m. ET

David Haye is offering Wladimir Klitschko a 50-50 split of the earnings in order to secure a heavyweight fight next year.

A back injury forced Haye, the WBA champion, to withdraw from a fight with the younger of the Klitschko brothers in 2009. Haye has since been unable to negotiate another matchup with the Ukrainian boxer, who holds the IBF and WBO belts.

The major stumbling block was believed to have been how to split the purse but Haye and his management team said Tuesday they have offered Klitschko ''50-50 on everything.''

Haye said there was no reason why their much-anticipated fight shouldn't take place next year.

''We have now ticked every box they have asked us to tick and I just hope Wladimir is as eager to fight as he tells everyone he is,'' Haye said. ''We have removed every possible excuse and have shown we are serious about making this fight become a reality.

''I only pray Wladimir is as serious as we are because this fight needs to happen for the good of the sport.''

After retaining his belt with a third-round stoppage of fellow British boxer Audley Harrison last month, the 30-year-old Haye immediately set his sights on unifying the sport's flagship division. He wants to fight both Wladimir and his brother Vitali, who is the WBC champion, before retiring in October 2011.


''We are now perfectly positioned to get together and make this fight with Wladimir Klitschko,'' said Adam Booth, Haye's trainer and manager. ''We have sorted out all the old problems and disagreements and are ready to sign the deal.''

''David and I are happy to split the entire pot 50-50 and grant Wladimir the deal he has wanted since day one. We have offered them 50-50 on everything — just as they requested — and now see no reason why this tremendous fight can't happen. The path is clear.''

Wladimir Klitschko was scheduled to defend his title against Britain's Dereck Chisora in Germany on Dec. 11 but withdrew three days before the fight after pulling a stomach muscle.

The 34-year-old Klitschko must now decide whether to renegotiate a deal with Chisora or turn his attentions to Haye.