David Haye ready for long road to Klitschko fight

David Haye will return to the boxing ring on 29 June as he plots a route to another world-title fight after giving up hope of receiving a call from the Klitschko camp.

The 32-year-old British heavyweight will fight an as-yet-undetermined opponent at Manchester Arena, with another bout scheduled before the end of the year to put him back into the title picture, which is currently dominated by Klitschko brothers Vitali and Wladimir.

Former WBA champion Haye was last in the ring in July 2012 as he beat British rival Dereck Chisora at West Ham’s Upton Park stadium, with his belief at the time that the success would lead to a fight with Vitali for the WBC belt.

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That was not to be, but Haye is now ready to go in search of the mandatory challenger tag by beating an opponent in June.

Haye’s trainer, Adam Booth, has confirmed talks are ongoing with five fighters, all ranked in the top 15, none of whom are British. The Klitschko brothers are not among the five, though.

“I believe they have their strategy for this year and it doesn’t involve me. Instead of sitting around and waiting another year, I want to get back in there,” Haye said.

“Why wait around and stagnate when you don’t have to? I’m happy to be back – a year is long enough time to wait for someone to phone you. I want that heavyweight title back and I will get it.

“I was hoping Vitali would be a man of his word and fight me after I did what he and his team wanted me to do and beat Dereck Chisora.

“We have been sitting around, waiting for the phone to ring, but that hasn’t happened.”

Haye felt he was in line for a title fight against Vitali late last year after his display in beating Chisora in the fifth-round of their fight in impressive style, but it did not come to fruition with Manuel Charr selected ahead of Haye.

“The Chisora fight was a carrot dangled by Vitali Klitschko,” Haye said. “He said, ‘You beat Dereck Chisora and I will fight the winner’. I knew it would be a good fight [with Chisora] and the British public wanted to see it. Dereck is a tough guy and has the style that can give many people a few problems.”

Haye maintains he will not fight purely for money and is more interested in collecting titles, claiming a spell out of the ring which saw him make an appearance in the ITV reality TV show ‘I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here’ has seen his fan-base swell.

“The fans all over the world, wherever I travel to, people want to see me back in the ring and ask me when they can see me. Well, on 29 June, they will be able to see me do it,” Haye said.

“I want to get out there and put on a good show – 100 to 200 times a day people are walking up to me in the street.

“Strangely, a lot of them are people who have never actually seen me fight live and I have reached out to a different demographic now after doing the TV show last year.”

“I’m in it because I genuinely want to do it. I don’t need to do it. I want to win that title back.”