27 March 2009
What is slowly turning into the longest contract negotiation in history should end this week, as Bermondsey's David Haye looks to take on Wladimir Klitschko this summer.
Voices from both camps have indicated that the fight will happen, but the final contracts are still not signed, although a Haye insider said that it was '99.9 per cent' going to happen.
However neither camp would go as far as stating the bout was definitely on, as contract talks continue to creep on into another week.
A spokesman for Haye said: "We are hoping to have something for the end of this week, I am as keen as anybody to announce the fight and once we know more we will be letting everyone know about it."
Klitschko had stated last week that March 21 was his cut off point for the fight, but as that date passed his camp have gone quite on whether the fight has been dumped although they have indicated that they do want it to happen still.
Last weekend Wladimir's brother Vitali defended his WBC belt in Stuttgart, stopping former cruiserweight Juan Carlos Gomez in nine rounds.
This mandatory defence was one of the first spanners in the work of Haye's world title plans, as he originally lined up Vitali as his next opponent only to later discover that the fight against Gomez would scupper those plans.
Haye has now been inactive since his second fight in boxing's glamour division against Monte Barrett last November. On that night he thrilled a packed 02 arena with a five round win over the New Yorker, a contest that was watched at ringside by Vitali Klitschko.
Since that contest the negotiations have stalled on which brother to fight first, mandatory opponents, whether to fight in Germany or England and finally how many of Haye's future fights the Klitschko promotion company will control. Maybe just maybe that will all end this week.
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