Klitschko to fight Haye on July 2

Klitschko to fight Haye on July 2

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

Wladimir Klitschko and David Haye will finally fight on July 2 in Hamburger SV's football stadium.

The fighters' managers had already agreed last month on a date - only a venue was in question.

The Klitschko Management Group announced on Wednesday that a deal was reached with the Bundesliga team to use its 57,000-seat Imtech Arena in Hamburg for a fight which was originally down for June 2009.

''We're all very happy that this mega fight has finally been confirmed,'' KMG executive Bernd Boente said. ''We are expecting this event to be shown live or delayed in well over 150 countries. This duel is one of the world's absolute sporting highlights.''


Klitschko (55-3, 49 knockouts) will put up his IBF and minor WBO heavyweight titles, and Haye (23-1, 23 KOs) will defend his WBA belt.

''I've been training for this fight since the end of 2010 and it's nice to now have a concrete date to work towards,'' Haye said. ''We're going to have an army of Brits invading Germany on July 2nd and I can't wait to sample the atmosphere.''

The 30-year-old Londoner said he would have fought the younger Klitschko brother anywhere, and ''wasn't bothered'' where the fight took place.

''By the time I've finished with Wladimir, he won't know where he is anyway,'' he said.

Haye won his WBA belt in 2009 in Nuremberg, Germany, where he defeated Nikolay Valuev. He has twice successfully defended it.

Klitschko has held the IBF title since knocking out Chris Byrd in 2006, and has successfully defended it nine times, the last a 10th-round knockout of Samuel Peter in November. He regained the lesser regarded WBO title, which he held from 2000-03, when he outpointed Sultan Ibragimov in 2008.

''I'm delighted that Haye is finally now competing,'' Klitschko said in a statement. ''Twice already, he has steered clear of a fight against one of the Klitschkos. Haye has been talking rubbish for years, or showing up in moronic T-shirts. Now he has to show what he's really made of in the ring.''

The 35-year-old from Ukraine added: ''I'll be ready, I've been waiting for this evening for two years. To have Hamburg as the venue for my settlement with Haye makes the whole thing even more beautiful.''