David Haye, Britain's former heavyweight world champion, wanted for questioning by German police over his public brawl with fellow British boxer Dereck Chisora in Munich on Saturday night, said yesterday he would "happily assist boxing authorities with any investigation".
Haye returned to London early on Sunday before officers had a chance to interview him over the fight, which took place during a press conference after Chisora had lost a world title bout to Vitali Klitschko.
Last night Haye, who returned briefly to his home in South London before taking cover at a country hotel, released a 575-word statement. It contained no apology and there was no reference to meeting German authorities, although one of his advisers later said that he would be "happy to speak to them". Chisora, who was released without charge after being questioned by Munich police on Sunday, did apologise. He said: "The bottom line is, I have let my family, my team and worst of all the sport I love down. I am truly sorry."
Both men face an investigation in Germany. According to prosecutors there, Chisora could yet be charged with malicious injuring and making a "threat" – both offences for which custodial sentences are possible. Prosecutors are considering a "grievous bodily harm" charge for Haye, for which he could face up to 10 years in prison.
Wolfgang Wenger, a spokesperson for Munich police, said: "We want to talk to Haye. The prosecutor will decide how to get hold of him, whether this will happen in England or here. The investigations are under way and these need time and thoroughness."
He continued: "It wasn't very easy to see what exactly happened. From what we can see in the videos it seems to be a case of assault, as well as suspicion of grievous bodily harm, because perhaps a bottle or tripod was also used to hit someone. This is grievous bodily harm. A threat would be if an actual threat was made to the life of another. This still needs to be clarified."
The German authorities may ask the Metropolitan Police to assist them in speaking to Haye. After the press conference late on Saturday night, the boxer returned to his hotel, where Chisora was also staying, but then decided to head for the airport. Police officers later arrived at Haye's hotel too late to question him. His statement suggested he had left Germany because of Chisora's alleged threat to "shoot me dead".
The statement said: "I am bitterly disappointed to have been a part of what transpired on Saturday. I realise I am no angel but, during my 21 years in the sport, I have never been involved in, or even witnessed, such a serious fracas. I shall happily assist the boxing authorities with any investigation."
The British Boxing Board of Control have called Chisora to a hearing on 14 March. The BBBC could ban him for life. Haye is not licensed to fight, having retired from the ring, so is beyond sporting sanction.