BBC BLOGS - Ben Dirs
IN ASSOCIATION WITH
« Previous | Main | Next »

The Trainer's Tale

Post categories:

Ben Dirs | 12:03 UK time, Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Adam Booth is telling me he doesn't care what anyone thinks of him. I'm no Freud, but I can tell he cares. It's the bulge of his eyes. And the talk of fear and hatred.

"From day one I've only ever done what I think is right and not what other people wanted me to do," Booth, trainer and manager of David Haye, who fights Wladimir Klitschko in Hamburg on Saturday, tells BBC Sport.

"When I first started out as a trainer, one manager said I was only licensed to carry a spit bucket. But what happened back then gave me the steeliness and the determination to do what I have to do and make the decisions I have to make.

"I don't have to follow in the footsteps of the boxing establishment and bow to the way they did things. I never had to, because David put his trust in me from day one."

David Haye and Adam Booth

David Haye and Adam Booth at a press conference for the fight against Wladimir Klitschko. Photo: Getty Images

Trust. Not a word immediately associated with the sport of boxing. Which is perhaps why so much goes wrong in so many different ways to so many of its practitioners. And why, for Booth and Haye, things have turned out so rosy.

"Trust is everything," says Booth, switching seamlessly from life coach to what sounds suspiciously like a marriage counsellor. "Any relationship - whether it be a working relationship, a romantic relationship - it has to be based on trust, understanding and compromise. Especially in a business like this. Trust is built up over time and can be broken in a moment - forever."

Booth makes the boxing business sound like the last days of the Third Reich. The trust between trainer and fighter, he says, was forged on the anvil of "hatred, fear and nervousness". And true enough, from the day he met Haye at Fitzroy Lodge Amateur Boxing Club in south London in 1996, it has been them against the world.

"It's easy now, now is not the hard time," says Booth. "We still have to negotiate contracts and have arguments, but the hard time was way back, the hard time was when David was European champion and we were in and out of promotional contracts and TV deals. And then there was the loss to Carl Thompson [in 2004, Haye's only pro defeat to date]. That was when it was harder than it ever could be.

"The amount of decisions I've had to make along the way - contractual, governing bodies, title fights, challenges, sparring sessions, 'yes, no, do this, don't do that'. A couple haven't been the right ones, but the majority have worked out. At the end of it all, I'm going to stand there and say, 'yeh, I meant it all, I'm a genius'. But I don't have that kind of foresight, I've just made my decisions as I've gone along.

"The things I've done and seen, the decisions I've made and the people I've hacked off in this business, it makes me put my head in my hands sometimes and think 'how the hell did I get way with that?' I got away with it because David won, and that's the long and the short of it."

Booth's announcement that he is fuelled by "hatred, fear and nervousness" is at odds with his Yogi-like demeanour in the ring. But if you want him to do Yogi-like out of the ring, too, he will gladly oblige.

"Certain fighting styles and fighters are like a tornado," he says, "whereby they create destruction all around them. But if you look at the centre of a tornado, you could drop a feather into it and it would flutter gently to the ground.

"Good fighters are like that, they have that centre of calmness about them. If, when a fighter gets back to his stool at the end of a round, you're bombarding him with instructions, all you're doing is stopping the centre of that tornado being calm."

If Booth does not sound like your stereotypical boxing trainer, in the Burgess Meredith mould, it is because he is anything but. While he has a boxing pedigree - he won 40 of 48 amateur fights - the one-time lecturer in anatomy and physiology is also lucid and erudite. His detractors have been quick to pick up on the latter while glossing over the former. To many in boxing, different automatically means wrong.

"My coaching credentials have been called into question ever since David turned professional [in 2002]," says Booth. "I remember when David fought Jean-Marc Mormeck [for the WBC and WBA cruiserweight belts in 2007], I had a row in the rules meeting with his trainer Richie Giachetti, who trained Mike Tyson and Larry Holmes, among many others.

"We raised seven points and we came away from the meeting with seven points in our favour. In the lift afterwards, Giachetti patted me on the shoulder and said 'don't worry, son, one day you'll learn how this business works'."

Not a lot changed in the intervening four years. Last month, James DeGale labelled Booth a "glorified Fitness First coach". Days later, Booth's charge George Groves, fighting a supreme tactical fight, inflicted a first defeat on DeGale and nicked his British super-middleweight belt. And then, almost overnight, Booth was transformed into some kind of boxing guru in the British press.

"I'm a bit superstitious, so don't start lording me up, because then there's more chance of David losing," says Booth, feeling around for some wood to touch. "When they run out of talk about the fighters they start talking about the trainers and now, especially after George's win, it happens to be my time."

Yet, despite Booth's assertion that trainers are a mere "sideshow" and that "the sport is all about the boxers", it is when talk turns to boxing philosophy and strategy that he really comes alive. "People still don't know what we do," says Booth. "You can never be a complete fighter and you can never know enough. That's why it's so fascinating.

"I'm a coach because I can't fight, but I coach because I love boxing. I've got my philosophies, and if your fighters believe in what you know, in what you coach them, and they go out there and do it and it helps them achieve success, then it is massive satisfaction.

"I'm just fortunate that I met David when he was a young kid. It's been one hell of a journey to get to this point and the Wladimir Klitschko fight is the pinnacle of this journey - we can't go any higher." It sounds like the tagline of some Hollywood 'bromance': 'Trust conquers fear and hatred in the dirtiest sport of all'.

As well as my blogs, you can follow me when I'm out and about - or on the sofa - at http://twitter.com/bendirs1 

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    Interesting piece and good to have this on here

    Booth's an interesting coach having not been a fighter himself - like Enzo Calzaghe he demonstrates that sometimes the personal rapport with a fighter can be more important than the technical stuff, provided the fighter has the right work ethic. It's clear that both Haye and Groves possess this willingness to put a shift in and the relationship works well as a result.

    It would be interesting to see how Adam fared with a fighter who maybe expected things to be laid on for him - perhaps he would not do so well? This poses the other question as to what he will do if and when Hayemaker retires.

    http://outspokenrabbit.blogspot.com/

  • Comment number 2.

    @HoneyBunny : Booth was a fighter himself. 40 from 48 as an amateur is a pretty good resume.

  • Comment number 3.

    Booth always expresses himself so succinctly. If I had some young kid in my charge with aspirations of becoming a professional boxer I'd try to hook him up with Adam.

    He doesn't lay claim to omniscience. It's been my experience that trainers who do can't teach even the fundamentals of boxing like defence and the correct stance - the stance being the foundation upon which the boxing career is built.

  • Comment number 4.

    i have been very impressed with booth for a long time. his appearances on ringside, and especialy after groves beat deagale, proves he knows his stuff and he definitly knows his boxing.

    sports personality of the year in december; WHEN Haye beats klitschko on saturday i fully expect Adam Booth to be named Coach of the Year.

  • Comment number 5.

    Agree with #3 that Booth is always so succinct. He's a very interesting man to listen to, and a great foil to David's more brash style.


    Ben - you're boxing blogs are always a really good read. Here's hoping boxing can stay in the limelight after the fight so we get more of them.

  • Comment number 6.

    Good interview, thanks. Booth also has a good sense of humour about all the "Dark Lord" stuff!

  • Comment number 7.

    Great interview there Ben. On a slightly unrelated note...when are you going to update your profile picture with your new slender face?

  • Comment number 8.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 9.

    I hope Haye gets knocked out in fine fashion and that will be the end of his big mouth. Maybe he can have a rematch with Harrison after this fight. ha!

  • Comment number 10.

    I have to admit, like I said on an earlier thread - I didn't use to like Adam Booth, a lot of people don't seem to if you follow the forums but you can't argue with his results.

    A lot of people don't find him affable and even smug and tbh so did/do I. However, I never questioned him as a trainer unlike many, it was always on a personable rather than professional level that I found him difficult to like.

    Recently his mind games and tactics for the James DeGale fight was first class!

    I became a fan - I thought he displayed a high level boxing IQ and furthermore so when he divulged part of the tactics on Ringside.

    A really well thought out game plan that took into account DeGale's strengths and negating them but also how not to expose his own fighters weaknesses. The Uk has some quality trainers and some good young trainers coming through but, overall, it was refreshing to see a game plan from a British trainer that doesn't just send his fighter out there and says - go on, have a war!

    He has a tight knit team - and doesn't care what any critics think of him, as long he and his team believe in what they're doing.

    I admire and respect that. There is a high level intellect in his boxing tactical game plans and also overall strategy i.e. - mind games.

    However, lets not get overly carried away - Haye hasn't ever beaten a real top class fighter - Wlad might come close but, imo, only rules a very poor divison.

    Booth may never get a chance to truly test himself as a trainer against a great fighter strategically or tactically.

    And, whilst his tactics against DeGale I thought were brilliant, enough people still thought DeGale won that fight by a round or two. I had Groves a round but..

    And, it was only a fight or two before that that Booth was in the corner against Anderson - where Groves looked awful in most departments of his game that night.

    Genius - no, a top trainer - yes! I expect him to a devise a top game plan and Haye to execute it.

    There will be plenty of time after that for Booth to prove one way or the other just how good he is but I really don't see how you can't respect what the mans achieved thus far.

  • Comment number 11.

    Agree with #10 word for word

  • Comment number 12.

    Anyone who gets up Frank Warren's nose gets a tick in the box from me.

    Good article, nice one.

  • Comment number 13.

    Hi Ben,

    Build ups to big fights are a thing unto themselves, mostly they are predictable and forgettable; this one is fascinating somehow. A lot of people are saying that the size difference is against Haye - but that is not so in my opinion. Three inches is not so much, especially given Haye's abilities to launch himself at an opponent and land punches! (Look at what Tyson pre-89 was doing to much bigger guys, although it can be said that Tyson had a v strong chin.) (In the Ali-Foreman fight, during the first 6 or 7 rounds Foreman looked so much bigger, but in the eighth - and just before the KO - Ali actually seemed taller...)

    I am going for a Haye KO. Haye is a thinking fighter, adaptable and also immensely confident. He's not going to stand in front of Wlad eating jabs and hoping to get a shot in, his shots will be landed in a much more diligent manner, and probably all the more effective for that.

    Haye has predicted a KO before the seventh round...

    Is it possible for you to divulge, out of curiosity on my part, who your colleagues are plumming for? And you yourself? (And also, any hints as to the subject of your book-in-progress?)

    Rob

  • Comment number 14.

    Thanks for the correction Richard - long time no see Robzaba - used to cast the occasional shadow with you on 606 - I'm going for Wlad here because the pressure of fighting in Germany will put Haye in a spot where he has no choice but to force the fight, and leave himself open to Wlad's backfoot counters. I take on board that either man is capable of knocking out the other one here, but have a feeling that after a series of cagey rounds, Haye will have to take the judges out of the equation, will go for it and walk onto something.

    http://outspokenrabbit.blogspot.com/

  • Comment number 15.

    Hi HoneyBunny2008!

    I miss all our 606 debates!

    The 'German judging' thing seems to be an ongoing concern, but one which I think Haye's camp took into consideration before signing up - probably after a lot of inner wrangling! Walking - or rather, perhaps, jumping - into a punch is something I'm sure the Haye camp have covered. But then again, Wlad is actually able to get his counters off effectively, and might just happen. It might only depend on when it occurs, if the fight goes into the second half then Wlad would probably take him out.

    I'm not so sure that haye has a suspect chin - you can't, surely, be where Haye is now without taking a number of big shots? Open to question.

    I think Haye has all along taken into account the mostly predictable scoring of judges there (not actually German judges mind - but nevertheless judges under pressure simply by scoring in situ, in the hotbed that is Germany).

    I don't think it is Haye who will have to 'force the fight' actually...

  • Comment number 16.

    What's Haye's chin like?

    It better be good because he's going to eat some big ones. That's really the critical issue in this fight. Yeah, we know he can punch but he's not going to just walk through Klitschko. When you fight a Ukranian or a Russian.........doesn't matter who it is, you better bring it because they are tough hombres and are immensely proud.

    If Haye wins, my respect for him will increase greatly. Right now, I'm not convinced.

  • Comment number 17.

    You can only beat the fighters that are around during your time. The klitschko brothers both come to the ring fitter than a lot of heavy weights in the past during the Mike tyson, evander holyfield error. Only time will tell how good a boxer from a particular error was. Lennox lewis was in a very tough fight with Vitali before it got stopped due to a cut when many thought he was behind. David Haye has got people talking about boxing again. Physiology is all part and parcel of the game, putting an element of doubt in your opponents mind can be the difference between winning and losing. Good luck David Haye.

  • Comment number 18.

    DH has a punchers chance against WK, but no chance against VK.

  • Comment number 19.

    @17 David Haye is not Lennox Lewis. I doubdt if DH could absorb the punishment that LL took prior to that fight being stopped. Both LL and VK exhibited a durability that DH has not shown.

  • Comment number 20.

    Hi Robzaba - hope things are well over in Polska my friend...

    I miss 606 like the deserts miss the rain, but have a new project on the go as the link demonstrates - just been adding to it tonight...

    I struggle to think of big punching examinations that Haye has passed conclusively - Mormeck dropped him heavily, Fragomeni badly shook him, even Barrett hurt Haye and arguably knocked him down legitimately - of course Audley, decent puncher though he is, never actually threw one that mattered!!

    I just can't help but think that this is a 'who lands first' fight and that Wlad is going to get anything close, so as the fight wears on Haye is going to have to gamble bigtime. Of course he might land the home run, but in those circumstances, it's more likely that Wlad would stand off and nail him with a counter.

    I'd be astonished if the first four rounds on Saturday weren't seriously cagey sessions - I'd reason that anyone betting on an early KO for either man has wasted their money.

    http://outspokenrabbit.blogspot.com/

  • Comment number 21.

    Lets just hope Wlad beats him up bad before winning with a late KO/TKO. Every bully gets his day and this weekend time is up for Haye

  • Comment number 22.


    SPEED and MOBILITY

    . . . these are the two essense in this particular fight. Haye, to his credit, is not going to stand immobile in front of Klitschko inviting him to have a go at him. Many of Wladimir's victims did just that, and much to their regret, they had not mastered the art of using the ring. David's survival against Valuev was largely due to his wise use of the ring from where he could dive in with his shots and backed out again before the lumbering Valuev could do anything about it.

    Klitschko will prove difficult to nail, but both fighters at some point will land some of their big bombs. For this reason I believe Haye possesses the more potent armoury of heavy shots, and if one of those landed squarely on Wlad's jaw, then it could be early night for the Ukrainian !!

  • Comment number 23.

    There is no doubt that Haye has been coched very well and has had his fights well manged and extremely well promoted. What bothers me is not his chances of actually winning the fight but the mindset that has been entered into and the message that is being promoted against Klitscko.
    I think disrespect is not becoming of any fighter and doesn't do the sport any favours, especially if you end up losing and embarrassing yourself. Haye is guilty of bad mouthing his opponent and trying to engineer a war of words. He obviously wants to provoke the Ukranian into a slug fest and has a game plan based on this.
    What we have learned is that he is worried about the reach advantage and the threat of walking into slegehammer whilst trying to avoid a stiff jab. Haye's advantage is his mobility and lateral movement and we are now left with the most interesting fight since Lewis v the same opponent. Haye will try to pile on the bombs but he needs o concentrate on the fight and not on creating a grudge match. There isn't any honor in this pre-fight tactic and I would question the pyschology behind it. Good luck to both men in the ring but Haye has lost the fight in many peoples eyes, maybe it's just that he favors the hype and need it pysche himself up for the fight. Is this a mangement ploy or has he been given freedom to say what he pleases. No publicity is bad publicity I suppose.

  • Comment number 24.

    Thank goodness they're fighting at last. I've never heard of David Haye before and now know that he is not smart or funny no matter what the outcome.
    Guess he will just become another loser because real champions aren't so dumb,
    though he could be the first.
    Hopefully he'll disappear off the scene quickly.

  • Comment number 25.

    @LondonsFinestClub - you forget that Mohammed Ali, the self proclaimed greatest boxer of all time, used to do and say things a million times worse than Haye has been saying. Joe Frazier still to this day hates Ali for things he said in the run up to the Thiller in Manilla. But it was all part of his game.... admittedly they both ended each others careers in that fight.

    Now i wouldnt want to compare, but what Haye also has in common with the great one is a massive amount of self belief and the ability to back it up.

    I would love to see Haye win this fight, purely to mix it up in the heavyweight division.

  • Comment number 26.

    Adam Booth may or may not be the best trainer in the world but he's clearly the best trainer for David Haye. Thankfully Haye realises this. After all, was Ricky Hatton any better after dumping Billy Graham?

  • Comment number 27.

    I can't understand the number of anti Haye comments on this site Where's your patrioism you poms? I've been away from England for nearly forty years now but I still support the British contestant no matter what the sport. Come on David give the Brits something to cheer about, Andy Murray may not progress any further.

  • Comment number 28.

    @#23 - Lennox Lewis has never fought this opponent...

    The pre-fight trash talk is a little bit off-putting, but there's method to it. I think Haye's best chance is a knock-out. Wlad doesn't have the best chin, and if he gets hit with big punches, his legs go and his recovery time is huge. I doubt that's changed since the Sanders and Brewster fights. What has changed is how hard he is to hit. He boxes safely behind the best jab in the division and nobody since Brewster has really landed one on him. Haye needs to get him out from behind that jab, and he has clearly decided that the best way to do that is to make him nice and angry. The plan presumably is to make Wlad miss and land a big counter-punch of his own. It could work. It could, of course, also backfire in good style if Wlad lands cleanly on Haye. Regardless of worries about home-town judging, if Klitschko is left to box behind his jab he will win the fight, and the longer he gets to lean on Haye and use his size, the more power he'll squeeze out of Haye's punches. Haye needs to start hurting Klitschko in the first 5 rounds and then keep the pressure up.

    I still think Klitscko will win, but I'm not so sure that it's not a fascinating fight.

  • Comment number 29.

    #rapidringsroad
    Where were you for 40 years? A deserted island?

    Firstly you call people on this post poms (who are English people living in Oz) and ask where is there patriotism, then you say to support the brits and andy murray (who is not a pom).

    I dont know if you know but the rest of britain are not english, and only the english are poms so generalising all of britain as english is highly insulting.
    But you dont sound the brightest spark in the fire so ill let this one slide.

  • Comment number 30.

    #29 - I'm not entirely sure that post constitutes "letting this one slide" does it?

  • Comment number 31.

    @Rhino_El_Diablo. . @. 28
    ....I believe Lennox Lewis has actually fought and defeated Klitschko.

    But that apart,. . might I ask, has the mind-game by the Haye/Booth camp worked its magic and unsettled Wladimir?. . .well, we shall see in two day's time when all the bad-mouthing and insults will count for nothing as the real battle in the ring commences. Funny though to note that Haye's mind game seems to have had a profound effect on many of the bloggers on this page. Some have already decided who the winner is going to be, and the tactics they employ to achieve that end. If boxing was as easy as that, these guys could be potential billionaires if they took up boxing management. . . easier said than done, might I remind them....

    By the way, the hype before the fight is as old as the fight game itself. This of course is to drum up the sale of tickets as both camps are guarranteed a precentage of the Gates, Television and Radio broadcasts. So, don't believe everything you see or hear.. . . just get yourself a ticket for the fight or you could be missing one of the most boring non-events of the year !!

  • Comment number 32.

    My slant on the Haye mind games is a bit of reverse physcology. Trying to get under Wlads skin and make him be more aggressive to leave Haye more openings to land is quite obvious. I suspect that they have been training on Wlad being Wlad, which is jab, jab, grab, wait til his opponent is semi-conscious from eating jabs all night and then when he is 100% sure he will land without receiving a counter, he ends it with his big right hand.

    Knowing Wlad won't lose his cool, pretending to have something up their sleeve for Wlad is all just to get him to be as cautious as he always is, which means he won't throw his big right hand, he will try and dictate using his long ramrod jab and I think that Haye is engaging all this pre-fight jibe to get Wlad to be exactly what they know him to be.

  • Comment number 33.

    Re 21. Every bully gets his day and this weekend time is up for Haye

    Why exactly is David Haye a bully? I find all the comments about his trash talk amazing - isn't that what build ups to big fights have always been about?

    He may be using childish insults but their not children. David Haye understands that boxing is all about the media circus. The more comments he makes, the more it's reported, the more people pay to see the fight. If his comments also get to his opponent in some way that's a bonus.

    If I remember rightly this division was totally devoid of enterainment or much public interest until Haye moved up to it. I don't think anyone holds the Klitchco's in the same regard as Lewis, Tyson etc.

  • Comment number 34.

    Mauro - you're right that Haye has brought life to the heavyweight division with his charisma - however, he'd do well to remember his opponent has a 55-3 record and the means with which to close the show himself on Saturday. The fall is gonna be that bit more brutal now if he loses.

    http://outspokenrabbit.blogspot.com/

  • Comment number 35.

    This one clearly has the cat among the pigeons and to be honest theres some right tosh and some great points - Love the David Haye aint shown durability coment, ok so he didnt get off his backside against Mormeck to win the CW title and he didnt get up againt Barret or even take a few solid shots from a former wba champ - at the end of the day you cant hit what you cant see. I like Klitschko seems a honest decent bloke who is clearly the best of an average bunch as he is the ring magazine champ. I dont buy this Haye has no chin argument and thats why he'll lose - Lewis, Tyson, Frasier, Ali all had great chins and all got knocked out - heavyweight division is a leveller - they are big guys who hit hard, anyone could more or less knock out anyone - Haye will be too fast and do a number on him i think but like i say this is heavyweight boxing so who knows......cant wait roll on Saturday

  • Comment number 36.

    #10 Steviee, you talk about the Groves/Anderson fight as if it was somehow Booth's fault that Groves was unable to listen to the sound advice he was giving him. Arguably, it was Booth's cool demeanour which enabled Groves to get himself back into that fight and get the win. Compare that with the way Groves hung onto every word Booth said during the DeGale fight and you can see that Booth clearly exerts some considerable influence on his fighters

  • Comment number 37.

    David Haye has done all he can to wind up Klitschko and to be honest he seems to be winding up alot of his potential fans too.The latest thing, his link to a Hitler Video is just plain wrong.
    I have actually swithced and hope Klitschko does the business and teach him a lesson. There has always been wind ups,Ali be the best at it, but Haye has be coming across as an arrogant child at times, respect has to be shown to anyone brave enough to compete in this sport.
    C`mon Wlad !!!!!!

  • Comment number 38.

    #rapidringsroad
    Where were you for 40 years? A deserted island?

    Firstly you call people on this post poms (who are English people living in Oz) and ask where is there patriotism, then you say to support the brits and andy murray (who is not a pom).

    I dont know if you know but the rest of britain are not english, and only the english are poms so generalising all of britain as english is highly insulting.
    But you dont sound the brightest spark in the fire so ill let this one slide.

    -----

    Hardly anyone in Wales or Scotland clasess themselves as British anyway hence they have all voted for more and more devolution over the last 10 years. Haye is an Englishman to me but that not why I want him to lose (I cheer on Khan, Macklin etc) the fact is Haye is just a tool who no one has time for be it they Welsh, Scottish, English or outer-Mongolian

  • Comment number 39.

    @31 matt-stone - Lewis fought Vitali Klitschko, not Wladimir, unless I'm mistaken.

    Other than that, I think you're right, it is going to be fascinating to see what effect (if any) the mind games have on Saturday. If nothing else, Haye probably only got the fight because of his wind-up antics, and has certainly put a few more quid in both guys' pockets.

    There is always a very real possibility that Klitschko is in on the act anyway....

  • Comment number 40.

    Y'know Rhino - Haye's last fight has convinced a lot of people that there is a great deal of predetermined outcome to boxing matches. This is a great shame as Saturday promises to be a fascinating contest.

    http://outspokenrabbit.blogspot.com/

  • Comment number 41.

    That's a conspiracy theory too far for me HoneyBunny. I think that was a simple case of Fraudley talking himself into a fight way beyond his means and getting sparked. The only real doubt was whether Haye picked his round, but if Fraudley was so bad that Haye could do that, the gulf in class remained the bigger problem.

    I don't believe the outcome is in any way pre-determined tomorrow night. I do have sneaking suspicions that Klitschko is complicit in some of the antics Haye has been getting into though. Maybe just being paranoid though....

  • Comment number 42.

    The article seems to overlook how much Booth creeps a lot of people out.

    I suppose the author has fallen under the spell of the Dark Lord.

    It's the supercilious smile of Booths that is hard to take.

    I blame Booth for most of Hayes bad behaviour and the lack of respect they show boxing. It's all cheap publicity that Wlad will ram down Hayes throat over and over again with a stiff left jab. I can't wait.

  • Comment number 43.

    Fair enough Rhino - I wanted to see Audley stick one on Haye, maybe not knock him out, but drop him heavily and give Hayemaker a scare. Somewhere between the changing room and the ring, Audley just stopped believing - his eyes as he walked to the ring were HUGE!!

    A lot of people think that was fixed - like you I don't and just see it as a guy who froze and an opponent who realised he could literally pick his round.

    http://outspokenrabbit.blogspot.com/

  • Comment number 44.

    As much as obviously I'm not in a position to tell others how to think, I've never been able to understand why anyone wanted Fraudley to win. Most people don't like Haye because of his big mouth. But Fraudley has at least as big a mouth, the main difference being that one of them has achieved things as a professional fighter to back it up and one of them has not.

    I think Haye knew he could pick his round before Harrison ever got to the ring. If you look at their professional careers, Harrison had absolutely no business being in that fight. It reminded me of Calzaghe v Manfredo. Fight made for commercial reasons and a challenger who was sufficiently out of their depth that it bordered on irresponsible. Thankfully in both cases the fights were stopped early before somebody got badly hurt.

    For me, big talk needs to be backed up in the ring. If Haye gets hammered tomorrow night, he will look a bit silly. If he knocks Klitschko out, I will consider him to have backed up all the talk.

    It matters not a bit to me whether I like Haye or not, what matters to me is that he's got people talking about heavyweight boxing again, and for the first time since Lewis vs Vitali I'm excited about a heavyweight fight. The trash talk is all the commercial stuff for me, I want to see if Haye can get it done in the ring. That's all I'm concerned about. He's already been undisputed champion, now he's a two-weight champion. He's the most live contender Wlad has faced. For that reason, Wlad needs Haye as much as Haye needs Wlad. Truth be told, for all his dominance, I don't know how good Wlad really is either. On Saturday we find out. And THAT is exciting.

  • Comment number 45.

    I have to admit, like I said on an earlier thread - I didn't use to like Adam Booth, a lot of people don't seem to if you follow the forums but you can't argue with his results.

    A lot of people don't find him affable and even smug and tbh so did/do I. However, I never questioned him as a trainer unlike many, it was always on a personable rather than professional level that I found him difficult to like.

    Recently his mind games and tactics for the James DeGale fight was first class!

    I became a fan - I thought he displayed a high level boxing IQ and furthermore so when he divulged part of the tactics on Ringside.

    A really well thought out game plan that took into account DeGale's strengths and negating them but also how not to expose his own fighters weaknesses. The Uk has some quality trainers and some good young trainers coming through but, overall, it was refreshing to see a game plan from a British trainer that doesn't just send his fighter out there and says - go on, have a war!

    He has a tight knit team - and doesn't care what any critics think of him, as long he and his team believe in what they're doing.

    I admire and respect that. There is a high level intellect in his boxing tactical game plans and also overall strategy i.e. - mind games.

    However, lets not get overly carried away - Haye hasn't ever beaten a real top class fighter - Wlad might come close but, imo, only rules a very poor divison.

    Booth may never get a chance to truly test himself as a trainer against a great fighter strategically or tactically.

    And, whilst his tactics against DeGale I thought were brilliant, enough people still thought DeGale won that fight by a round or two. I had Groves a round but..

    And, it was only a fight or two before that that Booth was in the corner against Anderson - where Groves looked awful in most departments of his game that night.

    Genius - no, a top trainer - yes! I expect him to a devise a top game plan and Haye to execute it.

    There will be plenty of time after that for Booth to prove one way or the other just how good he is but I really don't see how you can't respect what the mans achieved thus far.


    --------------------



    #10 Steviee, you talk about the Groves/Anderson fight as if it was somehow Booth's fault that Groves was unable to listen to the sound advice he was giving him. Arguably, it was Booth's cool demeanour which enabled Groves to get himself back into that fight and get the win. Compare that with the%

  • Comment number 46.

    I have to admit, like I said on an earlier thread - I didn't use to like Adam Booth, a lot of people don't seem to if you follow the forums but you can't argue with his results.

    A lot of people don't find him affable and even smug and tbh so did/do I. However, I never questioned him as a trainer unlike many, it was always on a personable rather than professional level that I found him difficult to like.

    Recently his mind games and tactics for the James DeGale fight was first class!

    I became a fan - I thought he displayed a high level boxing IQ and furthermore so when he divulged part of the tactics on Ringside.

    A really well thought out game plan that took into account DeGale's strengths and negating them but also how not to expose his own fighters weaknesses. The Uk has some quality trainers and some good young trainers coming through but, overall, it was refreshing to see a game plan from a British trainer that doesn't just send his fighter out there and says - go on, have a war!

    He has a tight knit team - and doesn't care what any critics think of him, as long he and his team believe in what they're doing.

    I admire and respect that. There is a high level intellect in his boxing tactical game plans and also overall strategy i.e. - mind games.

    However, lets not get overly carried away - Haye hasn't ever beaten a real top class fighter - Wlad might come close but, imo, only rules a very poor divison.

    Booth may never get a chance to truly test himself as a trainer against a great fighter strategically or tactically.

    And, whilst his tactics against DeGale I thought were brilliant, enough people still thought DeGale won that fight by a round or two. I had Groves a round but..

    And, it was only a fight or two before that that Booth was in the corner against Anderson - where Groves looked awful in most departments of his game that night.

    Genius - no, a top trainer - yes! I expect him to a devise a top game plan and Haye to execute it.

    There will be plenty of time after that for Booth to prove one way or the other just how good he is but I really don't see how you can't respect what the mans achieved thus far.


    --------------------

    Don't know why it cut the rest of the post -

    Dave - overall, I think my assessment of Booth as a trainer has been one of very high praise!

    Simply, I was pointing out that for the brilliant tactics he devised for the DeGale fight, where he has recieved huge praise (from myself

  • Comment number 47.

    Don't know why it cut the rest of the post -
    being balanced, you have to take into consideration that he was in the corner a couple of fights before, where his fighter looked very bad on the night.

    Bottom line - the buck stops with the trainer just as it does with a Football Manager/ if their fighter team didn't perform.


    If Booth is going to recieve praise when he gets it right, he has to take critisism when his fighter has an off night.

    Or is it a rule that you can only praise?

    I was simply given balance to my praise and looking at both sides of the coin, but, like I said, overall - I think he's a top trainer and there isn't a finer trainer possibly - for intellegent tactics and certainly in the phsycological stakes in the UK imo.

 

BBC iD

Sign in

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.