WBC silver heavyweight champion Johann Duhaupas is interested in giving David Haye a shot at his belt later this year following the injury suffered by number one target Deontay Wilder.
Duhaupas went eleven rounds with full WBC ruler Wilder in September 2015, giving ‘The Bronze Bomber’ his toughest night so far until succumbing to the American’s superior power late on.
The Frenchman has longed for a rematch ever since, according to manager Mehdi Ameur, who watched on as Chris Arreola failed to provide a stern challenge for Wilder earlier this month.
“I am not surprised that Deontay won his fight as we know Arreola accepted this fight knowing what will happen. Arreola knows Deontay is a killer puncher and was brought it just to be an opponent,” Ameur exclusively told World Boxing News.
“For 2017, and even without Wilder, I think it will be a great year for WBC heavyweight boxing. We have David Haye continuing his comeback, and you also have a young boxer in Joseph Parker fighting good fights. My boxer Johann wants to become the first heavyweight champion from France and will accept a fight with anyone.
“I was preparing Johann with my team for the making of a rematch against Deontay because we all know only Johann can beat Deontay. Since their fight, Johann is another guy. He’s a different boxer now and has a punch to the face which has the potential to beat everybody. Johann is very dangerous as he showed when he knocked out Robert Helenius and I think people should look at that win again.”
Ameur continued: “Nobody speaks about Johann – even after he beat Helenius. Everybody forgets him. My warning to those who chose to forget is that Johann he is here and soon he will come back with a defence of his WBC silver title.
“Maybe David Haye will take the challenge? He is a very good fighter and also a good businessman. He knows how to play the heavyweight picture and he is a very good boxer. When he was champion of the world, he was very dangerous.
“Now, he has been making fights against a phantom fighters (ghosts) like Arnold Gjergjaj and there is still talk that he will face Shannon Briggs – someone who is 44 years old – please.
“Why doesn’t he fight Duhaupas instead of these fighters? I think David Haye needs a real fight and to prove that he is very good like before when he was a champion.
“In boxing, we are confusing business with boxing. When you see Haye’s last fight, it’s not possible to call that a real fight and make the public pay $500 to see a fight like this. That was a mistake.
“OK, I am the manager of Duhaupas and off course I defend him, but in Europe, the people need to see a real fight like Johann vs Deontay or Kubrat Pulev vs Lucas Browne – these would be good fights to see.
“With Johann, we are not rich men or in it for the business. I invest time for him to be prepared with good training, a good trainer and a good mentality. At this end of all this, Johann will always make a good fight and one that can entertain the fans.
“The sport is all about the condition of the boxer firstly, and after you speak about business if you can make a good fight. Whatever Haye wants to do, Johann is ready and will fight everybody wherever and whenever.
“We just want to see boxing ahead of business and then the fights fans want to see can happen,” he added.
Duhaupas will be back in the ring by the end of this year, whilst Haye’s scheduled September clash with Briggs looks as though it will be pushed back at the very least, maybe even called off indefinitely if an announcement between the pair doesn’t happen in the near future.