David Haye has opened up negotiations with his mandatory challenger Ruslan Chagaev to defend his WBA heavyweight title at the end of May.
Since the much publicised collapse of his unification with Wladimir Klitschko fell through. Haye has no choice but to face Southpaw Chagaev, who is the No1 challenger for his WBA heavyweight title.
The WBA were happy to let Haye fight Wladimir Klitschko in an heavyweight unification fight, with it being exceptional circumstances. But with that fight now looking dead in the water for now, Haye must defend his belt against the Uzbekistan fighter or have his title stripped off him.
“The Klitschko situation is dead. I have asked Chagaev’s manager to supply medical records.” stated trainer manager Adam Booth.
Haye and Chagaev have common opponents in Nikolai Valuez and John Ruiz. Chagaev has also been in with another British heavyweight Matt Skelton in 2008, beating the Bedford man on a unanimous decision over 12, in a defense of the WBA title he held at the time.
Nicknamed the ‘White Tyson’ Chagaev challenged Wladimir Klitschko for his IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight titles in June 2009, losing via a ninth round stoppage. Although at the time Chagaev was the WBA champion, his title was not on the line. Which means that he never actually lost his title in the ring, he relinquished the belt which was won by Nikolai Valuev, which then Haye eventually took off him.
Chagaev is a live challenger and Haye will have to clear all thoughts of Klitschko from his mind and fully concentrate on the defence against him. The fight could also be used has a yard stick to see if Haye can deal with Chagaev better than Klitschko did.
Wladimir Klitschko vs Ruslan Chagaev April 2009