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Boxing: Negotiations for David Haye-Wladimir Klitschko 'progressing nicely'

January 3, 2011 |  2:32 pm

The promoter of WBA heavyweight champion David Haye said Monday that talks to stage a title unification match against Wladimir Klitschko are "progressing nicely," a Happy New Year! from a division that has been mostly obscured from American consciousness since Lennox Lewis beat Mike Tyson in 2002.

"David wants the fight," promoter Richard Schaefer said. "We're working now on the date and the venue."

WBO and IBF champion Klitschko (55-3, 49 KOs) has sought the brash Brit Haye (25-1, 23 KOs) for more than a year, questioning his manhood as recently as last summer.

"We've certainly seen a lot more willingness from Haye than in the past in these talks," Klitschko adviser Tom Loeffler said. "There's never been a question both Wladimir and [his WBC heavyweight champion brother] Vitali have wanted Haye. Now, it seems he's finally willing to take the challenge."

Schaefer said "the largest soccer stadiums in Europe" are possible venues, and Loeffler said the German locales include stadiums in and near Dusseldorf and in Frankfurt.

Schaefer and Loeffler said the challenge is finding a date and venue that won't conflict with Europe's busy soccer schedule, and can be accommodated by England's pay-per-view carrier Sky Sports and Germany's most popular network, RTL.

A late-spring, early-summer date is most realistic at this hour, Schaefer said.

Klitschko is due to arrive in Los Angeles this week and could have more to say on the matter then, Loeffler said.

-- Lance Pugmire