Boxing News: Haye-Klitschko, Arthur-Cook
“Get to the back of the line,” were the words of world heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko when former cruiserweight king David ‘The Hayemaker’ Haye called out the giant Ukrainian in London this past April. Four months on, that ‘line’ has now substantially shortened in light of the World Boxing Organisation’s (WBO) decision to hand Haye a number three heavyweight ranking.
Article posted on 14.08.2008
This latest twist in the Haye and Klitschko saga means there is no longer any obstacle – nor reason – why the two most exciting commodities in the heavyweight division should not meet in 2009. Also ranked at number five by the World Boxing Council (WBC), Haye’s new WBO rating is the more pivotal one given that Klitschko currently holds that organisation’s version of the world title..
“There can be no more excuses or reasons why this fight cannot happen,” explains Haye, 21-1 (20 KO). “According to the organisations that matter, I am as deserving of a title shot as any other heavyweight out there. I knew that already, but now it’s down there in writing.
“I have two top five rankings as a heavyweight and have only boxed 105 seconds as a heavyweight. What does that tell you about the state of the heavyweight division? What does it say about the organisations’ confidence in me dethroning Klitschko? They think I’m ready.”
Former WBC/WBA and WBO cruiserweight titleholder Haye has only previously competed in one bout up at heavyweight – an April 2007 first-round demolition of the normally-durable Tomasz Bonin. Nevertheless, the impressive and swift nature of Haye’s victory over Bonin, complimented by his cruiserweight portfolio, moves the Londoner to the front of the heavyweight hunting pack.
“Klitschko should choose to fight me above the rest for a number of reasons,” says the 27-year-old Haye. “Firstly, a fight between us two is the only heavyweight fight that can bring excitement to the division. Aside from the personal reasons why I want the fight, Klitschko versus Haye should simply be made because it’s a great fight. There are no other current heavyweight match-ups that have got people talking like this one. The division, and boxing as a whole, needs a heavyweight super-fight like this.
“Secondly, unlike some other recent Klitschko challengers, I bring three key ingredients to the table – ambition, punch power and a six-pack.”
With Klitschko tied up for the remainder of 2008, fulfilling mandatory obligations with the International Boxing Federation (IBF), Haye must bide his time patiently. In the interim, Haye - always looking to make a statement – will tackle a well-respected top 10-ranked heavyweight opponent on November 15 at London’s magnificent O2 Arena. The non-title bout, screened live on Setanta Sports – the new home of British and world boxing – could conceivably mark the final stepping stone before Haye manages to get his claws on Klitschko.
“Klitschko, the wannabe politician, has now seen his smoke and mirrors routine destroyed by the WBO,” adds Haye. “He has nothing left to hide behind. It’s not about my word against his anymore. It’s not about hype. I’m now able to box for Klitschko’s belts. No amount of propaganda will stop this fight happening. Providing everything goes to plan, I’ll be knocking out Klitschko with my weapons of mass destruction in 2009. That’s a promise.”
ARTHUR-COOK UNFRIENDLY FIRE
Alex Arthur and Nicky Cook have vowed to set aside the niceities when they clash in a Battle of Britain at the M.E.N Arena on September 6.
The two super-featherweights swapped jokes and pleasantries during a conference call today instead of the usual insults.
But both men promised there will be plenty of bad blood when the bell goes to signal the start of their WBO world title clash next month.
"We are both nice guys and family men at heart, but once the bell goes we'll be at each other's throats," said champion Arthur on his assignment with the Auld Enemy.
"It's another England versus Scotland battle and they don't need much to get them going so I'm sure the fans won't go home disappointed.
"Nicky is an all-action fighter like me, and I know he'll be coming to rip my title away so I'll have to match him punch for punch.
"I'm looking forward to a great night in Manchester and I'm sure that we can live up to all the hype."
Cook, 28, who makes his first world title appearance at 9'4 but has boxed for the WBO crown at featherweight before, added: "I'll have to meet whatever Alex is planning to throw at me.
"I wouldn't have taken this fight if I didn't feel confident I could win it. Whatever he hits me with I'll be throwing back twice as much. I've got the tools to beat him.
"I know it's not going to be a walk in the park. It's going to be a great fighter and I know that we'll be putting on a fantastic show for all the fans."
Meanwhile both fighters said they would entertain the prospect of a first defence against young tyro Kevin Mitchell, who holds the British and Commonwealth titles.
Arthur, 30, said: "I don't have a problem fighting anyone. It doesn't make a great deal of difference to me who they put in front of me, as long as I get paid."
Cook, whose father Paul trains both him and Mitchell, added: "This is a business at the end of the day. If they want us to fight and the money is right, then I'd sit down and talk about it."
Arthur v Cook joint headlines 2 Hot 2 Handle alongside Amir Khan's fifth defence of his Commonwealth lightweight title.
Tickets for 2 Hot 2 Handle, priced at £30, £40, £50, £100, £150 and £200, are available from www.frankwarren.tv
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