David Haye's hopes of fighting Vitali Klitschko hang in the balance after the heavyweight champion’s political party came third in the Ukrainian election on Sunday.
Klitschko’s UDAR (Punch) party was forecast to have won 15 per cent of the vote which should be enough to send the 41-year-old into parliament - and possibly retirement.
But while Haye faces a wait to see if he will tackle the elder brother, the WBO are considering naming him as the mandatory challenger to Wladimir, who beat the Brit over 12 lop-sided rounds in 2011.
The future is unknown: Vitali Klitschko's UDAR party came third in the Ukrainian elections
Vitali, who was disappointed with his party’s performance, must now attempt to form an opposition coalition after the ruling Regions Party looked set to retain its parliamentary majority.
‘I had said that we had tremendous potential,’ he said. ‘We must still analyse everything: why we could have won more votes but failed to do so.’
Confusion continues to reign meanwhile about whether the long-reigning champion will hang up his gloves for a second time.
Casting his vote: Klitschko goes into the polling booth
Before stopping Manuel Charr last month he said: ‘First of all, I have to win the parliament election. Step by step by step. After that, I can give you an answer.
‘Right now, there are many discussions about [retirement]. I’m not ready to announce about my retirement. Maybe one fight, maybe two fights more. And after that, I am retired. I am active in politics.’
But his manager Bernd Boente believes electoral success would mean the end of his tenure in the ring.
Making it count: Klitschko, and his wife Natalia cast their votes
‘If Vitali gets a role after the elections where he can make a difference, I suppose that would be the end of his career,' he told Sport Bild.
‘As a friend and manager, that’s what I would advise. The fight for democracy and against corruption is more important than a fight against David Haye.’
But the Londoner insists a contract has already been agreed for the £10million superfight to take place next year.
Full of hope: Klitschko was keen to be elected into the Ukrainian parliament
‘The fight has already been agreed, the contract’s done - the money, the split, everything. We don’t need a new contract,’ he claimed.
Should the veteran choose to concentrate on his political career, Haye may instead seek revenge on his 36-year-old sibling.
Wladimir holds the WBA (Super), IBF, WBO and IBO belts which he will defend against Mariusz Wach on November 10 in Hamburg.
Keeping in shape: David Haye is hoping for a showdown with Klitschko in 2013
He eased to a unanimous points victory over Haye in the same city and the 31-year-old was later ridiculed for blaming defeat on a broken toe.
But the WBO are set to name either Haye, Denis Boytsov or Seth Mitchell as the mandatory challenger for their title.
Russian Boystov is undefeated, and largely untested, after 31 professional fights while American hope Mitchell hopes to extend his unbeaten run to 27 when he faces Johnathon Banks in New Jersey next month.
Credit: Daily Mail