W. Klitschko, Haye agree on fight

Negotiations were difficult, often acrimonious and left for dead more than once, but unified heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko and former cruiserweight champion David Haye of England finally came to terms Wednesday after months of negotiations.

"We have finally agreed on everything. The contracts will be signed in the morning. We have a fight," Klitschko manager Bernd Boente told ESPN.com from Germany on Wednesday.

Klitschko, widely regarded as the world's No. 1 heavyweight, and Haye will meet June 20 at a venue to be determined in Europe, although the bout most likely will take place in Germany, Boente said.

"We have four different offers in Germany, which we have reduced to one internally, and we have three other offers outside of Germany that are in Europe," Boente said.

Klitschko (52-3, 46 KOs), who has won 10 in a row and made six title defenses, including unifying two of the major belts, was pleased the fight was finally made.

"I'm so happy that the fight is on. I was really concerned if David Haye will make the fight because only because of him, I took a break for half of the year," Klitschko told ESPN.com, adding that he would have fought in March or April but didn't because of how much he wanted to fight Haye, who wanted to fight in June.

Haye had been calling out Vitali Klitschko, Wladimir's older brother and a fellow heavyweight titleholder. But when Vitali could not face Haye because of an obligation to fight mandatory challenger Juan Carlos Gomez, Haye (22-1, 21 KOs) turned his attention -- and his cutting trash talk -- toward Wladimir.

"I am happy to have this fight. I have had a lot of opponents with big mouths, but I never had an opponent with such a big mouth like David Haye," Klitschko said. "I will be pleased to shut his big mouth with my big fist. None of the opponents I have had were as provocative as David Haye, so I am glad to shut his mouth by putting my fist in his mouth. There is no way this fight will go the whole distance. It's a signature fight for me and I am happy."

Boente and Adam Booth, who is Haye's trainer and also runs his promotional company, Hayemaker Promotions, had contentious discussions since talks began after Klitschko knocked out Hasim Rahman to retain his belts in December. At one point, Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer, Haye's American promoter, was brought into the talks, but couldn't bring Boente and Booth together.

Boente credited Sean O'Hara, an executive with Setanta Sports, a subscription television station in Great Britain that is heavily involved in boxing and has a contract with Haye, with helping them make a deal.

"I have to say we had a fantastic mediator and that was Sean O'Hara," Boente said. "He really did a great job, a fantastic job. He was not biased for Haye or Adam Booth. He was very fair with both sides. Without him, we wouldn't have made this fight. It only got done because of Sean's help."

At first, the bout was slated to take place at Stamford Bridge, a 40,000-seat soccer stadium in suburban London. Booth's concerns over the risk of putting the fight on in such a big stadium in difficult economic times led him to back out of the stadium deal with Klitschko, leaving his camp to find a new venue. That angered Klitschko and Boente since the stadium was a major part of the revenue Haye brought to the table.

"June 20 in London, I was looking forward to it," Klitschko said. "It was my wish to fight in London, but they couldn't deliver it."

Once the sides agreed to look elsewhere, there were two other major issues standing in the way of the fight being made -- an agreement on how much of a cut of Haye's Setanta money Klitschko would receive and option language on Haye's future fights in the event he wins.

"All of those points are solved now," Boente said. He wouldn't go into the details on how the Setanta money would be split but said, "It's a great deal for David Haye. I think it's a very fair arrangement now."

Haye's only revenue on the fight, which will be millions, comes from Setanta's multi-million dollar rights fee. Klitschko will receive the agreed to portion of the Setanta money plus all the other revenue the fight generates, including rights fees from HBO, which will carry the fight live in the United States, RTL in Germany, the rest of the foreign television sales, the live gate and sponsorship money.

As for the options, Boente stood firm on the request for two options in the event that Haye, who is not a mandatory challenger, wins.

"In the end, they agreed to the two options," Boente said.

That means if Haye wins, Klitschko's company, K2 Promotions, will promote his next two fights. His first defense would either be against Klitschko in an immediate rematch or a fight with Vitali Klitschko. If Haye also wins that fight, his second defense would come against the other Klitschko.

Boente said he and Booth spoke Wednesday after the deal had been agreed to and put their bad feelings aside.

"He said, 'OK, we both played hardball and we both in the end found a nice compromise,'" Boente said. "Now, we will try to do our best job with the publicity and help promote the fights with our partners, HBO in the United States, Setanta in the U.K. and RTL in Germany. We are all very happy."

Boente said there would be news conference in the next week or so in London, New York and Germany, as well as the host country if the fight is not in Germany.

Haye claimed the recognized cruiserweight championship when he knocked out Jean-Marc Mormeck in the seventh round in November 2007. Then Haye unified three major belts with a second-round knockout of Enzo Maccarinelli in March 2008 before giving up his titles and jumping up to heavyweight, where he knocked out fringe contender Monte Barrett in the fifth round in November. That victory set the stage for the Klitschko fight.

Dan Rafael is the boxing writer for ESPN.com