Exclusive: Hitz stands firm on Oquendo, ‘We absolutely will not step aside for Haye to face Browne!’
Fres Oquendo’s co-promoter Bobby Hitz has hit back following reports that David Haye is in talks with Lucas Browne to face the Australian heavyweight on May 21 in London.
Haye, 35, recently stated that he’s negotiating to challenge Browne just months after his long-awaited return to the ring, something that has been denied by both the WBA title holder and his manager Matt Clark.
Browne, who beat Ruslan Chagaev this month to claim the belt, is pencilled in to defend against mandatory Fres Oquendo in the summer as stipulated in the WBA’s tournament – with the victor then facing Tyson Fury or Wladimir Klitschko.
It has been suggested in some UK media that Haye could persuade Oquendo to step aside with some sort of monetary offer, although Hitz has categorically denied that anything of the sort could happen.
“We absolutely will not and we aren’t interested in stepping aside for David Haye. We want to fight Lucas Browne for the WBA heavyweight title and that’s who we are training for,” Hitz exclusively told World Boxing News on Monday.
“It seems Haye wants to easy path to the title, but we will not step aside to allow him that opportunity. We have a lot of work to do and can’t waste a minute of time on any other subject except making this fight happen.
“Fres has been due another shot for a long time – so to make things perfectly clear, we want Fres to fight Lucas Browne next,” he added.
Oquendo, 42, lost out to Chagaev in a summer 2014 title shot, but was granted a second chance after fighting his corner for a rematch. Due to Browne’s stunning stoppage win against the Uzbek in Grozny, Oquendo will now face a different opponent.
Former belt holder Haye looks to have no choice but to continue his search for an alternative foe just over two months from his spring return to action.
American’s Malik Scott and Shannon Briggs have been mentioned as possibilities to be in the opposite corner to Haye, whilst the fighter himself is yet to confirm any targets.