03/02/2014 09:14 GMT | Updated 03/04/2014 06:59 BST

Did Vitali Klitschko Retire to Avoid a Fight With David Haye?

"Vitali Klitschko is leaving boxing to concentrate on Ukrainian politics and his role as an opposition leader. Klitschko vacated his WBC world heavyweight title on Monday and said he doesn't expect to fight again as he pursues a presidential bid in his home country."

This was the recent report in the associated press (via USA Today) Klitschko is becoming more involved with politics and this deemed the main reason for his stepping down. However, could it be that he was also avoiding the proposed fight with David Haye?

The fight with the older brother had been offered to Haye at the post fight press conference of Vitali Klitschko and Derek Chisora fight. The Klitschko's manager said David should fight Chisora and the winner could fight Vitali-this never happened and Vitali went on to fight some very meager opposition instead. In any case it reminded me of a recent article of mine wherein I pointed out another British fighter's knockout win over Big brother Klitschko. Reid was a very powerful fighter (who I trained and managed for a period) and though smaller by far than Klitschko managed to knock Vitali spark out.

It was in 1992 at the European Kick Boxing Championships in Bulgaria and Reid was taking on big favourite Vitali in the final of what had been an exhausting tournament. Even though he was wearing the protective headgear used in sparring in regular boxing, when Reid connected with a roundhouse kick Klitschko crashed to the canvas like he'd been shot. He bravely tried to lift his head and shoulders to return to his feet but his eyes were in orbit and he finally slumped back down to a prone position unmoving as officials surrounded him giving him medical attention, one of them lifting his feet and legs to increase the blood flow to his dazed skull.

As I said in my previous article Klitschko himself disputes this turn of events and claims in his profile on Wikipedia that it was a kick to his leg that ended the fight. Many people believe that this fight did not end in any knockdown or even that the fight took place. If it is just an urban myth then fine-but if it were true why would Klitschko deny this event? David Haye is heavy handed and if Vitali gets caught clean he will go-this fight proves it-if it happened. As I told you before, I know it did as I trained Pele Reid for a period and witnessed it myself. Now you can view footage of the fight for yourself on this link:

So for all of you mocked my article as fantasy-sorry you're now embarrassed.

Anyway, I don't believe Klitschko isn't brave-he's proved it many times but having watched David Haye's savage sparring sessions recently leading up the Fury fight that unfortunately didn't happen I wouldn't blame Vitali for bowing out. Why risk it? A injured Haye went the distance with his brother and Haye has beaten a bigger man than both of them for his Heavyweight title. The once excellent fighter Vitali who was so glorious in defeat to Lewis and brave under fire when beating his brothers' conqueror the late, super fast handed Corrie Sanders, Klitschko does appear to have declined in ability recently and has been in decision wins over fighters he would of destroyed years ago in the fashion he did with Herbie Hide in their WBO title match. Suggestions of Klitschko retiring to avoid Haye may again be derided by many and yet they are far less ridiculous than those who thought Haye faked injury to get of fighting the very limited, soon to be exposed World-Class-Wannabe Tyson Fury. (I have to bite my lip every time I see that first name of his that once held such excitement for boxing fans and has now become such a joke) Anyway, I hope Vitali comes back yet again from retirement, after all he did promise to knock out Haye after his brother failed to do so.

Picture courtesy of Bodyzone International


Rob Blakeman's latest book "Whatever it Takes" is available now as an eBook download from the link below.