British boxing ready to bloom

If 2010 was a year when the green shoots of British boxing began to flower, 2011 could be one of those exceptional years when British boxing bursts into full bloom. With both parties making appeasing noises, David Haye's mouth-watering clash with either Wladimir or Vitali Klitschko looks like it should finally happen in the spring - although bitter experience tells us that, in boxing, obstacles you thought had been removed for good have a spiteful habit of rolling back onto the tracks.Haye, the WBA heavyweight champ, claims he has offered the Klitschkos a 50-50 split of all revenue and allowed the Ukrainian brothers to choose the German broadcaster and venue.

The Klitschkos have since said Haye can fight whichever one of them he chooses - and that is likely to be IBF and WBO title-holder Wladimir.At 34, Wladimir is five years younger than WBC title-holder Vitali and the more complete boxer of the two. However, while Vitali has never been off his feet, Wladimir has been down 11 times in 58 fights and failed to beat the count on three occasions, which is all the support Haye needs.Should Haye beat Wladimir, the race would then be on to squeeze in a match against Vitali before the Englishman's 31st birthday in October, when he has repeatedly vowed to retire.

Beat them both and Haye will have written his name into heavyweight history. Lose at the first attempt and he will be a mere footnote, of which he is acutely aware.One of the most heartening stories of 2010 was the development of Amir Khan into a fighter of worldwide repute. Bolton's WBA light-welterweight king should get the chance to announce himself as a boxer of genuine world class over the next 12 months.A homecoming contest is planned for April, with former world title challenger Lamont Peterson said to be the likely opponent, before a amalgamation match in the summer against the winner of Timothy Bradley v Devon Alexander.


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