Haye and Klitschko sign deal for fight – at last

BRITAIN’S WBA world heavyweight champion David Haye has confirmed that his long-awaited multi-title fight against IBF and WBO king Wladimir Klitschko will finally take place this summer.

Haye brought to an end months of fractious, on-off negotiations by signing a contract on Saturday night to face the hulking Ukrainian in Germany in late or June or early July.

“I finally had that contract in front of me and I couldn’t wait to put pen to paper,” said the Londoner.

“It’ll be either June 25 or July 2, either date is fine by me. It’s the fight every boxing fan has to see, and every sports fan. He is ranked by many as the best heavyweight in the world, in front of myself, even though I’m the WBA champion.”

Haye, 30, pulled out of his original fight with Klitschko in 2009 due to a back injury. Klitschko, meanwhile, had been due to fight Britain’s Derick Chisora on 30 April but withdrew on Saturday citing a stomach injury that had taken longer than expected to heal.

The 34-year-old and brother Vitali have a large fanbase in Germany, and the showdown with Haye for all three of their titles is tipped to take place in the football stadium at either Dortmund, Gelsenkirchen or Kaiserslautern.

Klitschko and Haye will share the purse equally and the Englishman added: “The terms were right, it’s a fair deal – it’s a 50-50 split, that’s what they wanted and that's what I wanted.

“He wanted all these little things – he’s a bit precious, is Wladimir – so I gave him all these little things to make him feel like he’d got a mental edge.

“I’ll just make sure the referee can count to 10, then I’m the new unified heavyweight champion of the world. Here it is: end of June, beginning of July, let’s get ready to rumble.”