David Haye fears his explosive victory over Dereck Chisora in a therapeutic night for British boxing has ended any hope of facing Vitali Klitschko.
The five-month feud started by the Londoners' shameful brawl in Munich concluded with a warm embrace of mutual respect following five action-packed rounds at Upton Park on Saturday night.
A vicious left hook effectively ended Chisora's brave assault and will have given Klitschko plenty to ponder as he considers a showdown that has to date proved frustratingly difficult to arrange.
It was an explosive performance from Haye that helped blur the memories of his lamentable loss to Wladimir Klitschko a year ago, but the 31-year-old is concerned it may have been “too good”.
“Vitali doesn't want to fight me. Look what I did against Chisora and look what he did against him,” he said.
“Why would a 40-year-old man fight someone as young, fresh and powerful as me? It doesn't make sense.
“Vitali's a politician and he'll find a way to get out of the fight.
“If you were one of his advisors, someone who has invested millions in him to become mayor of Kiev, would you tell him to fight me?
“I know what I'd do if I was one of his advisors because I'm a very dangerous fighter, someone who's proved his punching power against someone who pushed him to the wire.
“The whole idea of this fight was to get a measuring stick to show how I perform against the same opponent. I've proved my point. I'd be very confident if I fought him, but I have a feeling that maybe this performance was too good.
“Maybe if I'd struggled on points the fight would have been made, but after a spectacular win I'm not sure if he's in the business of having hard fights.”
Chisora, who troubled Vitali across 12 rounds in February before grappling with Haye at the ensuing post-fight press conference, predicts defeat for the Ukrainian.
“Vitali doesn't fight any more, he doesn't have any power. I believe David will do amazingly and will probably win it,” Chisora said.
For the first time in his career, Chisora was sent tumbling to the canvas, the victim of a left hook-right hand combination.
The 28-year-old staggered to his feet and continued, but Haye's finishing was clinical with a barrage of punches ending the evening.
“That wasn't the best Hayemaker ever, but the Hayemaker is back. You saw more of what I can do,” Haye said.
“Retirement has helped me get my mind off boxing. I felt like I was firing on all cylinders.
“I feel like all of the problems a year ago are gone and I feel so much better.
“People say you're only as good as your last fight and my last fight was a spectacular knockout against a very tough and very durable guy.”