By Clive Bernath: David Haye looked visibly dejected when he apologised to both his fans and Wladimir Klitschko for having to pull out of his heavyweight title fight in Germany on June 20 because of a back injury.
At a press conference in London today the 27 year-old described both the physical and emotional pain he felt leading up to last week’s withdrawal from the biggest fight of his career: "I would just like to apologise to Wladimir,” said Haye
"I am not even thinking about fighting anyone else at the moment.
"This (fight) was something I had been building up to since I was a little boy. All my training, all my amateur fights and pro fights were building to this night and I’m gutted I can’t fight."
Regarding the back injury that forced him to pull out of the eagerly awaited IBF/WBO title fight Haye added: "I was feeling pains in my back but they were the type of pains I’d had since I was young - ones you take pain-killers for to get over and keep training.
"Then on Tuesday I was shadow-boxing when I felt incredible pain in my back and could not go on."
Haye and manager Adam Booth were hoping to reschedule the fight with Klitschko for the end of July but those plans was scuppered when Wladimir moved quickly and confirmed he will now be facing ‘WBA Champion In Recess’ Ruslan Chagaev on the same June 20 date in Germany.
Following the aforementioned news there were rumours over the weekend that Haye and his manager Adam Booth were turning their attention to older brother and WBC titleholder Vitali Klitschko for a September showdown. But with Vitali, his advisors and the WBC in talks this week to rule on whether or not Vitali must face No.1 contender Oleg Maskaev-that avenue also appears to be blocked for the time being.
Whilst Haye himself and Booth insist he will be ready to fight sometime in July Booth believes Haye will not realistically be back in the ring until September at the earliest.
"David will be ready to fight on July 25 but this is the holiday period when television companies are not interested in showing fights," explained Booth.
"Realistically we are looking at September. At present we are not thinking about anyone but Wladimir Klitschko. We know he has a mandatory against Povetkin (Alexander), but we will see what happens."
So where does Haye go from here If Vitali is forced to face Maskaev and Wladimir-providing he defeats Chagaev-faces Povetkin in September? Haye cannot hang around for a year waiting for an opportunity to face one of the Klitschkos.
Little over a week ago Haye was on course to fulfil his life’s ambition and fight for the heavyweight championship of the world. Unfortunately those boyhood dreams-at least for the time being-now appear to be as far away from reality as they were when he was a young ambitious amateur .
June 8, 2009