Klitschko trainer hopes Haye clash can still happen

By Kieran Mulvaney

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Wladimir Klitschko's trainer hopes a fight between the bruising Ukrainian and Britain's WBA heavyweight champion David Haye still takes place even though talks for a July fight fell apart last week.

"I would like to see it," Klitschko trainer Emanuel Steward told Reuters on Tuesday. "David is a very talented fighter. I like him. I needle him a lot back and forth because he likes to do the media hype, but I respect him a lot."

The two fighters had agreed to terms for a July 2 fight but Haye then backed out when he refused to allow Klitschko a fight with Britain's Dereck Chisora on April 30, a bout rescheduled from December because of a Klitschko injury.

He also said Klitschko's reluctance to wait until July for his next fight was partly founded on the fact that Haye pulled out two weeks before a previously scheduled fight between the two in 2009 citing a back injury.

Klitschko, the WBO, IBF and IBO heavyweight champion, has no faith in Haye's level of commitment, Steward said.

Haye's camp expressed doubt that Klitschko, who fought twice in 2010 and once in 2009, would be ready to fight Haye so soon after an April fight, but Steward insisted that "Wladimir says he intends to be ready to fight on July 2."

Klitschko must first deal with Chisora, who is unbeaten in 14 fights as a professional, 44 fewer than the Ukrainian. But despite less experience, Steward said a young and confident Chisora could pose problems for Klitschko.

"To me, the confidence, the ambition, the burning desire of a fighter is a lot more dangerous to me than that of an experienced fighter," said Steward.

"I've always felt that Chisora was a tough fight and I'm really not that super excited about it."

(Editing by Frank Pingue)