Haye and Klitschko name the date for showdown

BRITISH world heavyweight champion David Haye’s unification bout with Wladimir Klitschko will be held on 2 July at Hamburg’s Imtech Arena, it was confirmed yesterday.

The fight has taken many months to organise but Klitschko’s manager Bernd Boente finally announced the venue and date for the eagerly-anticipated clash between WBA champion Haye, 30, and IBF and WBO title-holder Klitschko, 35.

“The fight will be July 2 in Hamburg. It is confirmed 100 per cent,” Boente said.

“We had different options and held negotiations in other countries. Switzerland was in play, Ukraine and different options in Germany.”

Boente confirmed that all options were discussed with Haye’s manager Adam Booth and the decision to go to Hamburg was made together earlier this week. The Imtech Arena has a capacity of 57,000.

Negotiations have been difficult ever since Haye withdrew from a scheduled fight in 2009 but the two camps eventually reached an agreement last month

The Ukrainian has been recovering from an abdominal injury he suffered in December but, despite the fact the fight could have been on 25 June or 2 July, Boente denied that the injury was a factor in the later date being chosen.

“The date had nothing to do with Wladimir’s stomach injury,” he said. “In Hamburg, only 2 July was possible because of various concerts.”