BERLIN – Wladimir Klitschko and David Haye agreed Wednesday to the final detail of their long-awaited heavyweight title bout, selecting Hamburger SV's soccer stadium for the July 2 fight.
The Klitschko Management Group said that a deal was reached with the Bundesliga team to use its 57,000-seat Imtech Arena in Hamburg for the fight between IBF and WBO champion Klitschko and WBA title holder Haye.
"We're all very happy that this mega fight has finally been confirmed," KMG executive Bernd Boente said. "We are expecting this event to be shown live or delayed in well over 150 countries."
Klitschko (55-3, 49 knockouts) and Haye (23-1, 23 KOs) originally were scheduled to fight in June 2009.
"I've been training for this fight since the end of 2010 and it's nice to now have a concrete date to work towards," Haye said. "We're going to have an army of Brits invading Germany on July 2 and I can't wait to sample the atmosphere."
The 30-year-old Londoner said he would have fought the younger Klitschko brother anywhere, and "wasn't bothered" about where the fight took place.
"By the time I've finished with Wladimir, he won't know where he is anyway," Haye said.
He won his WBA belt in 2009 in Nuremberg, Germany, where he defeated Nikolay Valuev. He has successfully defended it twice.
Klitschko has held the IBF title since knocking out Chris Byrd in 2006, and has successfully defended it nine times, the last a 10th-round knockout of Samuel Peter in November. He regained the lesser regarded WBO title, which he held from 2000-03, when he outpointed Sultan Ibragimov in 2008.
"I'm delighted that Haye is finally now competing," Klitschko said in a statement. "Twice already, he has steered clear of a fight against one of the Klitschkos. Haye has been talking rubbish for years, or showing up in moronic T-shirts. Now he has to show what he's really made of in the ring."
The 35-year-old Ukrainian added: "I'll be ready, I've been waiting for this evening for two years. To have Hamburg as the venue for my settlement with Haye makes the whole thing even more beautiful."