The recent announcement that David ‘Hayemaker’ Haye is to work his way to another shot at a world title has already begun the tongues wagging as to who may be in the opposite corner on July 6.
The 32 year-old, who was adamant that he wouldn’t fight on past 31, returned to the ring last July to become the first to knockout Dereck Chisora and after a frustrating time waiting for a chance to fight Vitali Klitschko, has finally admitted defeat and will look elsewhere.
Early names in the frame would be every fighter ranked higher than Haye currently with any of the four main organisations, although some would obviously make more sense for the two-weight world title-holder than others.
Everyone above Haye on the WBC list is otherwise engaged with an upcoming bout, with the top two of Chris Arreola and Bermane Stiverne facing each other and number three Johnathon Banks and fourth place Tyson Fury also matched up.
An instant contender would be WBA heavyweight champion Alexander Povetkin, who hasn’t fought since a drab victory over ex-world title holder Hasim Rahman in September and would give the Briton the opportunity to win back his old belt as the number one ranked challenger.
One stumbling block is the fact that Haye would probably have to travel to Germany once again to face the Russian, but with the Bermondsey fighter rumoured to be hoping for a UK clash, that fight may already be a non-starter.
With all other avenues with other bodies leading to an unlikely rematch with Wladimir Klitschko, Haye may have to look lower in the WBC list to find a potential foe for the summer.
Number ten-ranked Tomasz Adamek could be a name worth mentioning after the Pole recently announced his decision to leave promoters Main Events. The 36 year-old has been known to travel around Europe in the past and would be a worthy name for Haye’s record.
Adamek controversially came through Tyson Fury’s upcoming opponent Steve Cunningham last time out and any potential fight would have merit with the WBC as ‘Goral’ has a credible knockout win over title contender Johnathon Banks on his CV.
Another fighter that currently resides in the WBC Top 10 is undefeated European champion Kubrat Pulev, who would be a good scalp for Haye as he is tipped as a future world champion.
Lesser down any list would be a fight compatriot David Price as both fighters have stated in the past that they won’t be fighting each other, although you may get shorter odds on Price’s recent conqueror Tony Thompson flying back to England for a clash with Haye.
Finally what of Manuel Charr? Could he be in the frame after his public taunting of Haye at the after-fight press conference at Upton Park?
‘The Diamond Boy’ has made his willingness to fight Haye public on more than one occasion in the past and may have an outside chance after putting a two-fight winning streak together since losing to Vitali.
Haye may see reward in attempting to stop the Lebanese fighter in less than the four rounds it took ‘Dr. Ironfist’ last year, but if I had to pick one fighter out from the above mentioned I would have to go with American Thompson.
Wladimir Klitschko is the only man to have stopped Thompson in his entire career and his exploits against the previously unbeaten Price could see Haye plump for the 41 year-old for what will be his 29th professional outing.
The speculation will rumble on though until the final decision is made public.