Klitschko-Chagaev On - So Where Does David Haye Go From Here?

Klitschko-Chagaev On - So Where Does David Haye Go From Here?

by James Slater - With IBF and WBO heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko opting to go ahead and fight the unbeaten Ruslan Chagaev on the June 20th date that was originally set for his voluntary defence against David Haye, the plans Haye had of "becoming a legend" have been severely compromised. As we know, Haye asked for Klitschko to delay the fight with him for three weeks, so that the two could then fight when the challenger's back problem had been sorted out. But Wladimir said no to this proposal..

No-one can blame Wladmir one bit for choosing not to wait around in the hope that the talked about July 11th date would be one Haye actually managed to fight on (Bernd Boente asked, quite rightly, what would happen if Haye re-injured his back some time prior to the new date?)

So, as Klitschko gets ready to face Chagaev for Ring magazine's illustrious heavyweight championship belt, where does Haye go from here? It's not likely he will get too much sympathy from the fans - even though any fighter can suffer a training injury as he has - but Haye may well find himself having to wait months before another world title shot materialises for him.

From being one win away from becoming the main man at the top of the heavyweight division (begging Vitali Klitschko's pardon), Haye now finds himself on the outside looking in. Wladimir, who so badly wanted to punish Haye for all the disrespectful things he said about him, may still be hoping to get the chance to do so one day - but it's doubtful the fight will take place this year.

First of all, what if the talented southpaw from Uzbekistan beats "Dr. Steel Hammer?" Haye would likely never get a fight with the giant from Ukraine then. But even if Klitschko does beat Chagaev, he will surely then have to accommodate his IBF mandatory challenger Alexander Povetkin in his next fight. No, the more you look at it, the more clear it becomes that Haye's next fight will not now be a world title affair. Very much having to get back in line, "The Hayemaker" will be like the rest of the world's big men, in that he will be in the hunt for a title shot.

This could prove to be very risky for Haye. Unless he chooses to remain idle and fight no-one at all - an unlikely option, that if taken would cause Haye to become covered in ring-rust - Haye will run the risk of being beaten by whoever it is he fights while he waits to see if another title fight can be arranged for him. Haye is a talented fighter, but he remains a question mark up at heavyweight. Would he risk taking on a top-ten opponent such as a Chris Arreola, a Kevin Johnson or a Tony Thompson? Or will Haye pick on relatively "safe" opposition instead?

Haye had very much put all his eggs in one basket by focusing on the Klitschko brothers. It's unlikely he'll get a shot at that other claimant of the fractured heavyweight title - Nikolai Valuev - and Haye has already said such a fight does not interest him anyway. Besides, the Russian colossus doesn't really seem too keen on fighting anyone at the moment - or so it seems; what with his refusal to box either the man Wladimir Klitschko will fight in three week's time or Klitschko himself.

What it all boils down to, is the fact that Haye will have to do what many fans said he should have had to do in the first place; earn a world heavyweight title shot.

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