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23 September 2017
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Klitschko has options in search for opponent

To replace Haye

Heavyweight world champion Wladimir Klitschko is looking for a new challenger to step in for Briton David Haye in Germany later this month, DPA reported. With 57,000 tickets sold for the June 20 bout at Schalke 04`s football ground, Klitschko Thursday said he was going ahead with training as his management team seeks a new opponent.

Klitschko was to defend his WBO and IBF titles against former undisputed cruiserweight champion Haye who Wednesday pulled out with an injury.

"Nothing has changed. My training camp continues and I am preparing for June 20," the Ukrainian said.

Klitschko`s management is hoping to find an adequate replacement for Haye who suffered a back injury at his Cyprus training base.

Bernd Boente, head of the Klitschko Management Group, said: "Within several hours we received at least a dozen offers from around the world.

"We want to have an absolutely top opponent and I am confident we will get him."

WBA champion Nicolay Valuev, whose fight in Helsinki against Ruslan Chagaev last Saturday was cancelled, ruled himself out saying he had not been preparing for a fighter the size of Klitschko.

The 2.13-metre-tall Russian, who fights for Berlin-based Sauerland promoters, said that to fight Klitschko he would have to be "100-per-cent ready."

"I haven`t trained for a week. I had also prepared to meet a 1.85-metre-tall opponent, not a two-metre man," he said.

Chagaev failed a medical test in Finland, with media reports saying the Uzbek boxer had traces of a hepatitis B infection.

Klitschko said he would be prepared to fight Chagaev as he had been vaccinated against hepatitis, and if necessary would be vaccinated again.

Cuban Odlanier Solis, from the Hamburg-based Arena promoters, meanwhile said he would be prepared to fight Klitschko, whose older brother Vitali holds the WBC heavyweight belt.

"I stopped Haye in three rounds (at the 2001 world amateur boxing championships). I might need a bit longer for Wladimir but he too won`t hear the closing bell," he said.

Further possible candidates are the Russian Alexander Povetkin (Sauerland), Alexander Dimitrenko of Ukraine, of the Hamburg Universum group, and Eddie Chambers of the United States.

Dimitrenko and Chambers are preparing for a July 4 fight in Hamburg, which is a WBO final eliminator to meet the winner of the Klitschko-Haye bout.

DPA via Earth Times

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