Britain's new world heavyweight boxing champion David Haye is likely to earn as much as £20 million from his next fight, following his points victory over Russian Nicolay Valuev at the weekend.
Haye, who made an estimated UK£2 million from the fight, won the WBA title in Nuremburg and will now fight mandatory challenger John Ruiz in April of May next year. That fight is likely to take place at either London's multi-purpose O2 Arena or Haye's preferred venue, the New Den, home of his beloved Millwall Football Club.
However Haye and his promoter, Richard Schaefer, are already targeting a potential summer bout with one of the Klitschko brothers, Vitali and Wladimir, that could earn the 29-year old around US$40 million. "This is the kind of event which is not a boxing event, it's a global event. If he comes and fights in the United States against one of the Klitschkos, I have no doubt that the total global receipts could be close to US$120 million for one fight," Schaefer said of a fight against one of the brothers, who have dominated the heavyweight division for the last five years.
Both Schaefer and Haye, however, are eyeing a potential London fight, with the 90,000 Wembley Stadium considered the early favourite venue. Schaefer said: "If I had my choice the perfect place for that, there is only one place, and that's Wembley Stadium. It really is a showdown of global proportions between the two best heavyweights."
Haye's rising popularity – some reports suggest 800,000 people paid up to UK£15 each to watch Sky Box Office coverage in the UK and the Valuev fight was shown live on free-to-air German television – has made him one of the favourites for the BBC's prestigious Sports Personality of the Year award.