Boxing - Charr tipped to fight Haye as Booth looks for opponent

As former heavyweight world champion David Haye heads out to a training camp in Cyprus in preparation for his ring return on June 29 at the MEN Arena, his opponent is expected to be named within two weeks according to Haye's manager and trainer Adam Booth.

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Boxing - Charr tipped to fight Haye as Booth looks for opponent
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Haye opponent in two weeks - Manuel Charr fights for peace

Various pundits are suggesting Booth will name Syrian Manuel 'Diamond Boy' Charr (23-1).

Booth said: "I'm hoping that in two weeks we'll be able to do a second press conference and announce the opponent.

"I'm confident I've got the guy. Obviously I'm not going to say anything, but while we're away the paperwork will go across."

Somewhat pre-emptively, Booth continued: "When we get back we've still got 11 weeks before the fight. How many times do you see opponents named that early?". He has a fair point.

Tickets went on sale for Haye's June date last Thursday. 

Charr, 28, claims in The Sun that he will sign a contract within the next fortnight, and has gallantly offered to donate half of his purse to peace projects in Syria. 

Charr, based in Germany, said: “I want to fight for peace and set a sign of hope for Syria. That’s why I will donate half of my purse for peace projects in my home country if David Haye accepts to fight me.”

"I know how it feels to lose your beloved ones in war. We have to stop the killing in the Middle East. I want to become world heavyweight champion not merely for myself but for my people. Everything is possible if we believe in it and fight for it. Peace is possible, too, and it is definitely worth fighting for.”

Charr was unbeaten prior to being stopped by Vitali Klitschko last year from a cut sustained in the fourth round after seeing the canvas at the end of the second. He was aggressive, and didn't stop coming forward. Diamond Boy has since chalked up a couple of early wins - a first round KO of Kazakh Konstantin Airich (19-7-2), and over Turk Yakup Saglam (28-2), who retired on his stool with a shoulder injury before the start of the third round.

Charr is up for it: "There's no need to look any further. I'm right here waiting. Haye himself said that Vitali Klitschko couldn't beat me - instead Vitali's doctor won the fight for him."

Charr holds the WBC International Silver heavyweight title (he's the only one who has since its creation in 2011). Haye also picked up a couple of similar trinkets as a result of knocking out Dereck Chisora last Summer, but these count for little when the end game for both fighters is another crack at a Klitschko, as Charr says:

"Haye alone isn't interesting enough for me. I want to become WBC world heavyweight champion and I want to beat Vitali Klitschko."

Among other names mooted as possible June 29 opponents are unbeaten Bulgarian hardcase Kubrat Pulev (17-0), and the also unbeaten but much softer 'Nordic Nightmare' Robert Helenius (16-0), whom the WBO rank as their No.1 challenger to holder Wladimir Klitschko.

The television rights to screen the Hayemaker promotion are yet to be decided. If it ends up on SKY, it will be interesting to see if the broadcaster deems a fight between David Haye and Manuel Charr (or Pulev and Helenius for that matter) worthy of a PPV slot, having just announced a return to PPV boxing with the stellar Froch-Kessler rematch on May 25.

Whatever and whoever, Hayemaker won't have to overcome too many obstacles in order to secure a lucrative TV deal of some sort. Haye's appearance in "I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here" will have gained the Bermondsey fighter plenty of casual fans, and their attention span will be sustained by seeing him knock someone out.

If the opponent turns out to be Diamond Boy, and he comes forward the way he did against the ageing Ukrainian, they should get to witness exactly that. Roll up.

Picture: Manuel Charr knocks out Konstantin Airich by Klaus Frevert, boxfotograf.de

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