Boxing


Vitali Klitschko Says He Plans To Make 2010 His Final Year In The Ring - Will He Bow Out With A Fight Vs. Haye?

by James Slater - It has been reported by a number of sources that Vitali Klitschko announced yesterday how he plans to make the year we are now in, 2010, his final one in the boxing ring. Now aged 38 and having achieved everything in boxing he could have wanted apart from, A: having the satisfaction of shutting up David Haye, and, B: seeing to it that he and his brother Wladimir held the four unified heavyweight titles at the same time, Vitali feels the time is right to retire.

Currently in negotiations for a possible fight with former WBA ruler Nikolai Valuev, the reigning WBC king may well see this fight fall apart over money issues (Valuev promoter Don King has been asking for around twice as much money as Klitschko's promoters are willing to put up) and if this is the case, there will only be one big fight out there for "Dr. Iron Fist," - one with new WBA boss David Haye..

Vitali gave a short statement regarding his retirement plans yesterday:

"I only have to win one belt. So this year I will hang up my boxing gloves. And I'll stop visiting different cities to beat somebody's face in," Vitali said.

When the 38-year-old says he "only has to win one belt," I think he means, he only has to win the one belt that is not yet the property of he or his brother - the WBA belt. That means, then, that if Klitschko does intend to retire after he is safe in the knowledge that he and his brother own all the hardware there is to own in the heavyweight division, his final fight will be one with the trash-talking "Hayemaker." And what a huge fight this would be for Vitali to go out with.

After having had three quite long fights last year ( a total of 31 rounds of action), Vitali could very well afford to wait until Haye has taken care of John Ruiz in April (assuming he does of course; if Haye loses, bang goes the mouth-watering clash with either Klitschko), and then take a fight with the Brit in the autumn or the winter. This fight would be far more intriguing one to the fans compared to Vitali against Valuev.

For his part, Haye has spoken of wanting to fight one of the two brothers after he's beaten Ruiz (which he says he will, by KO) and Vitali would no doubt love to end his career with this super-fight. And if Vitali were to beat Haye, thus silencing the man who has so annoyed he and Wladimir over the past year or so, his career would end on one enormously high note.

What does it matter that I feel Haye would actually defeat Vitali if he fought him this year? King Klitschko is sure he will smash Haye, and he may well do so in what turns out to be his final ring appearance. It sure would be a shame if Vitali retired BEFORE facing the exciting puncher from London.

It seems we can enjoy Vitali while he's still around, which may not be for too much longer as far as boxing goes.

Article posted on 18.02.2010



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