British boxer David Haye after fifth round final pounding of heavyweight boxer, Briton Dereck Chisora on Saturday declared he is ready to throw fists with Vitali Klitschko.
Haye, a former heavy weight and cruiserweight initially lost one of his world titles to Wladimir Klitschko, little brother to Vladimir and he was criticised for not showing a good performance despite his claims that he had a broken nose before the fight.
But David Haye managed to do what Vitali failed to do in the last defence of his World Boxing Council (WBC) heavyweight title in February which is knocking out Chisora.
But Haye felt an amount of redemption after twice leaving Chisora slumped on the canvas at Upton Park, from left hooks and hopes it will earn him another crack at a Klitschko.
Wladimir, who holds three of the world title belts, insists he is not interested in a rematch with Haye for the moment.
Vitali, who holds the other world title belt, was linked with a defence against Haye earlier this year.
But WBC champion Vitali’s next challenger on September 10 is Germany-based Syrian Manuel Charr, who gate-crashed the Haye-Chisora post-fight press conference to announce he would be prepared to fight Haye once he beats the WBC champion.
Haye, however, expects Vitali to prevail and hopes to face the Ukrainian later this year or in 2013.
“I held a version of the world heavyweight championship and I would like to regain a version of the world heavyweight championship,” Haye told a news conference.
“If Vitali beats this gentleman [Manuel Charr] I would love to challenge him for his title. If it’s not meant to be, so be it.
“If this was my last performance, I have gone out with a bang and everyone is happy. After a performance like that and him getting on, if you were one of his advisers you wouldn’t tell Vitali to fight me.
“I’ve proved my punching power against someone who pushed Vitali to the wire. It was a measuring stick to show how I performed against his last opponent.
“I would be very confident of beating Vitali.”
Vitali, 40, may well retire after facing Charr to pursue a full-time political career, which would leave Haye trying to convince Wladimir, 36, to give him a rematch.
Haye’s rediscovered his knockout power – he has stopped 24 of 25 opponents – against Chisora and was well ahead on all three scorecards at the time of the stoppage, with one judge scoring it 40-36 and the other two seeing it 39-37.
But Haye had to take some shots from Chisora, who kept marching forward until he was caught by a brilliant left hook in the fifth round. Another quick right sent Chisora stumbling backwards onto the canvas.
He got to his feet at the count of seven but after a ferocious onslaught, he was left open and Haye seized his chance with a swinging left hook to the jaw.
This time, referee Luis Pabon waved the contest over as Chisora sluggishly got to his feet.
But after the distasteful pre-fight trash-talk, which followed the pair’s punch-up at a press conference following Chisora’s point’s loss to Vitali in February, the two Londoners embraced in the ring.
Haye then paid tribute to Zimbabwe-born Chisora, who has lived in London since the age of 16.
“It was tough,” he said. “I thought it would be easier than it was but I trained for it to be tough. I trained for the best Dereck Chisora and that guy turned up.
“He stepped up a level here and took some amazing shots and landed some amazing shots. It felt like a great fight. After sharing the ring with Dereck I have a new-found respect for him.”
Chisora, 28, will pay Haye #20,000 for him to donate to a charity after the pair had a bet on their fight for the minor World Boxing Association (WBA) and World Boxing Organisation (WBO) International heavyweight titles.
“For a split second I didn’t concentrate and it was the sort of shot that puts you down,” said Chisora.
“Vitali has not got power and isn’t interested in fighting anymore, so David probably wins.”