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Paranoid in Hamburg

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Ben Dirs | 10:20 UK time, Thursday, 30 June 2011

Hamburg

American broadcaster HBO has gone for the tagline 'The Talk Ends Now'; German channel RTL has gone for 'The War'. Personally, I would have plumped for 'Paranoia': the air was thick with it at the final pre-fight news call on Wednesday.

There is a great scene in the Martin Scorsese film Casino, which kicks off with the line: "In Vegas, everybody's gotta watch everybody else." And that is what it was like in the rather more sanitised surroundings of the Mercedez-Benz showroom in Hamburg.

Wladimir Klitschko was watching David Haye, members of Haye's camp were watching Klitschko, members of Klitschko's camp were watching members of Haye's camp, tracksuited men were posted on balconies, men in plain clothes were spying from behind ring posts. No all-seeing "eye-in-the-sky" but this journalist was watching it all.

One Haye insider told me he locked eyes with Wladimir's older brother, Vitali, and was unable to break the stare. In a sport of psychological inches, it would have represented a defeat, at least in this insider's mind. "How did you leave it?" I asked. "I raised an eyebrow and he eventually looked away." Victory! At last...

Wladimir Klitschko watches David Haye's training session.

It is fair to say Wladimir was not impressed as he watched Haye training. Photo: Getty images

Earlier, Klitschko's crew had attempted to intercept Haye's entourage on its way into the venue, only for Haye and co to burrow their way in via another entrance. We were then treated to the surreal sight of Klitschko's camp watching from ringside as Haye performed a perfunctory workout. At one point, Haye was shadow-boxing southpaw, before trainer Adam Booth - for a reason that was lost on most - started brandishing a glove on a stick. And so the fun and games continued.

"David Haye is a bad actor," the singularly unimpressed Vitali told BBC Sport. "But all he's doing is showing he's low in confidence. All these games are burning him up - he's only playing games with himself."

Not surprisingly, Haye disagreed. "Wladimir looks rather wound up," said the Englishman, who will be putting his WBA belt on the line at the Imtech Arena on Saturday. "Everything I've done has worked perfectly, their whole team seems rattled."

Haye's build-up to Saturday's fight has been stage-managed to the minutest detail, in and out of the ring. T-shirts depicting a headless Klitschko, dark claims about Klitschko's trainer Emanuel Steward and illegal hand wraps - something categorically denied by Steward - and further claims that Steward offered to train Haye against Vitali.

And as if that was not enough, Haye goes and digs up Hitler.

On Wednesday morning, Haye tweeted a link to the film Downfall, about the last days of Hitler, with mock subtitles referring to the build-up to the fight. An English guest in Germany making references to the former Nazi leader is enough to make you wince and there is a real sense that Haye is alienating a lot of would-be British fans with his boorish behaviour.

Even Steward had to admit that, if it were not for Haye's motor mouth, the fight might not have happened. But the ink is dry on the contract, the fight is days away and fans are tired of the trash talk. "I hope Klitschko shuts up this little upstart," wrote one on a previous blog, "A disgrace to professional sport." And there are plenty more where that came from. That said, Haye and Booth seem so calculating, I'm not sure they care.

---

"I don't know about that," said American Olympic hopeful Michael Hunter when I asked him if Haye struck him as "classy guy", which is what Hunter assured me Klitschko was. "But I guess it's good for boxing, it gets people to watch. The Americans might even be watching this one - and that's all from him opening his mouth."

I'll say it again so you remember the name: Michael Hunter. The Las Vegas-based heavyweight, who was voted outstanding boxer at the 2011 Golden Gloves, has been sparring with Klitschko for the last two weeks, which tells you everything you need to know about how highly Steward rates him.

"I'm going to London and I'm going to get me a gold medal," Hunter, 22, told BBC Sport. "It's a lot of pressure being an up-and-coming American heavyweight but it's also exciting. It's what the American public wants and I'm coming - but just hold on a little bit!"

Hunter was brought into the Klitschko camp in the hope he could replicate Haye's speed - and his message for the Englishman, having got up close and personal with the IBF and WBO champ - or at least attempted to - is that his chances are "slim to none".

"Wladimir is really hard to hit," says the smooth-talking, handsome Hunter, who ticks a lot of "next big thing" boxes. "If anyone was able to catch him, it would be me. And he hits tremendously hard. Way too hard for David Haye, especially with 10oz gloves on.

"He's a lot faster than you think he is and he's more of an athlete than people think he is, too. People don't make him do anything else except jab-jab-right hand, jab-jab-right hand. But why do anything else if that's all he has to do to win?

"He's so big and when he sticks his arms out he's so far away from you. You have to fight his arms before you fight him. He's like a giant octopus. It's boxing, one punch could land, but I don't see it happening. I see Wladimir winning in not more than five rounds."

---

When the chief sportswriters are in town, you know it is a blockbuster fight. And the thing is about chief sportswriters, they tend to have a soft spot for boxing.

Therefore, the following exchange did not entirely surprise me: "What happens if Andy Murray wins this quarter-final today then?" "It means I have to fly home. Andy Murray is a bloody nuisance..."

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

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  • Comment number 1.


    Ben Dirs

    It looks like Haye has unsettled you as well, mate. Right now Haye and Booth aren't interested in anyone else's feeling,.... to them, what are niceties you keep talking about??..they're on war-footing. . . summon up the blood...ring the alarm bell ...immitate the action of the tiger !! ....the bard, Bill Shakes, would've been proud of them. If they upset the Germans, Ukrainians, who cares, its what the mind game is all about. Or would you rather like Wimbledon we meekly turn up year after year, just to make up the numbers, while the foreign players leave with hundreds of thousands of our loots safely in their pockets?? If British fans do'nt like the hype, switch off and watch the exploits of our World Cup heroes in S Africa last year, boxing is not for the faint-hearted.

  • Comment number 2.

    I find it hard not to like Wladimir Klitschko, not because of Haye's brash and controversial behavior - which lets be honest is not a new phenomenon in the sport of boxing - but because he seems at least on the outside a genuinely nice guy just doing his job.

    That being said being British I am still supporting David Haye. However although he is clearly very confident I feel the task ahead might just be a bit to much for him.

  • Comment number 3.

    As an Englishman I would like Haye to win however is attitude is terrible if he let his fists do the talking I would have so much more respect for him

  • Comment number 4.

    This is one of the hardest "big fights" to call that I can remember in recent years. Thinking back, more or less everyone said Mayweather and Pacquiao would beat Hatton, that Calzaghe would beat Jones Jnr. and Hopkins, that Haye had too much speed for Valuev, but the boxing world seems divided on this one, which is fascinating. I never think too much can be read into the hype and sparring beforehand, both men are supremely confident athletes who believe they will win, don't tell me that a few stunts and t-shirts will alter that belief for either man.

    My worry is that Haye will be slightly gung-ho and will go for a quick knockout, which is unlikely to happen. His style has to be more like the Valuev fight: using his speed to get in and out quickly, wearing Klitschko down before going for the finish. However I can't help but feel that if Haye gets caught by that big Klitschko cross, he'll go down. Can't wait for the fight.

    Great set of blogs by the way Ben.

  • Comment number 5.

    ( 4: Odarroch )

    Unfortunately, a Haye victory can ONLY come within 4 rounds...after that, he starts to run out of gas badly. He was constantluy on the back-foot vs Valuev and looked suspect stamina-wise vs Ruiz.

    Unless he gets Wlad out in the 1st third of the fight, a predictable pattern will ultimately follow and Haye gets stopped late.

  • Comment number 6.

    What you need to remember - David Haye is trying to get sales of the fight (after all, it probably makes up some of his purse!) and he is trying to psych out Wlad, like he tried to do in pretty much every fight he has fought. To me, it looks like it might have worked. Haye's talk may turn people off, but it works for Haye. So why should he stop doing it if it works!? Therefore, I don't blame Haye for the motor mouth he has, I just accept he does it as part of his job as a boxer.

  • Comment number 7.

    trash talking is the norm these days to sell a fight but some of Haye's comments are distasteful, it must be said. I find talk of killing, decapitation etc in boxing a little wide of the mark. Oddly enough a work colleague said to me this morning, I hope Klitschko shuts him up.

    the fact that the pundits are split tells you all you need to know. make no mistake, Haye can win this and if he's to do it on points, he'll have to be busy all night in Germany. the longer the fight goes on, the slimmer are Haye's chances. Sadly there is something about haye that I cant warm to and while I hope he wins, I wont cry myself to sleep if he doesnt

  • Comment number 8.

    Well, the time for talking is almost done. I understand the need for the physcological edge, and, that a fighter needs to do anything he can do to get that.

    Haye is doing that, which is fair enough. I am, however, surprised, that Haye feels the need to go as far as he has/is and often as they are, with these antics.

    For me, he isn't fighting Floyd Mayweather/ Pac Man or a Bernard Hopkins, he isn't fighting a future legend, slick, fast, smart, great skills and a physcological master in mind games - where he has to take it to extensive levels.

    He is fighting Wlad.

    He's ruled a very poor divison (like Haye himself has said) and hasn't beaten anybody that hasn't either come for a paycheck or isn't out of shape (again, as Haye himself has aluded).

    Personally, I don't rate Wlad. I've said it before, imo he's slow, predicable, robotic, laboured, has to get set to throw anything and, most importantly - doesn't have a chin and is not a born fighter, unlike Vitali.

    And, whether you rate him or not, I'm sure to a man boxing fans will agree - he's no Pac, Mayweather etc.

    If Wlad had Vitali's chin and heart - I don't think for a second this fight would be taking place. But..

    You wouldn't get to Vitali mentally - at least, you wouldn't have him doubting himself.

    Wlad - ????????

    You may get Vitali wound up, but he would fully still believe in himself.

    Wlad isn't as mentally strong imo - hence the mind games. Mind games are part of boxing and Haye is only doing what he feels he has to to get the physcological advantage.

    I understand that - but, personally, I don't think Wlad is that good of an opponent that Haye needs to have gone to such extremes.

    I think Haye could have gotten to Wlad mentally, with far less extreme antics, and, without completely leaving his dignity at the door.

    There is very little class in what Haye is doing and I think Haye could done the job (that is beat Wlad and impressively) without alienating half the boxing public, just my opinon.

    Fancy Haye by KO - anything from the 1-8. If I'm wrong, I'll look foolish but nowhere near as much as Haye.

    Haye too slick and quick!

  • Comment number 9.

    anyone remember Tyson not being given a chance against Spinks in 1988?
    we all know what happend there! i have a sneaky feeling Haye is gonna come up with something magical......i hope anyway! lol :)

  • Comment number 10.

    I am baffled still as to what everyone see's in Klitschko that is so dangerous? Haye gets knocked down once early on in his career and everyone claims he hasn't got what it takes to make it to the top, Klitschko has been knocked down 12 times....he is a proven boxing flop!

    Other than his size he posesses limited boxing skills, I can't remember the last time I saw him fight and thought 'wow' this guys good.

    Can anyone correct me on this?

  • Comment number 11.

    I think people get too wound up about Hayes trash talk and take him too seriously. A friend and I used to go and watch boxing at our local leisure centre in Reading a few years back when boxing was still on the beeb and Haye was in the early part of his career. We'd get to have a chat with David after his fights in the bar and all I can say is that he came across as a really nice bloke, down to earth, friendly and genuine.

    He's a driven, motivated guy who has a vision of what he wants to do and when he wants to do it by. The trash talk is all part of selling the fight, I'm pretty certain he doesn't mean any of it. And long may it continue as Wlads nice guy image he has been trying so hard to project in the fight seems to be slipping.....

  • Comment number 12.

    For me the ultimate wind-up would be if he walks into the ring with the decapitation t-shirt on. We'll see. I don't mind Haye's trash talking so far because it's clearly part of the game plan to wind Little Bro' up...I would like to see him show a little respect after the fight though, as Wlad is clearly a nice guy and an excellent champion. Something tells me he wont be that respectful though!

    In my opinion the fight is particularly intriguing becuase i don't think either fighter will have been punched as hard as they will be on Saturday. It'll be interesting to see what happens!

    Ben - all these blogs and no prediction (that i've seen) what's your shout?

  • Comment number 13.

    @10

    Correct me if i'm wrong but didn't David Haye got knocked down by Monte Barrett?
    I'd say if Barrett can knock him down then a Klitschko right cross will mean KTFO. That's what's dangerous.

  • Comment number 14.

    Haye has let himself and his country down by the way he is acting. Other countries already think the English are an arrogent and cocky nation and when their sports stars act that way well can you hardly blame them.

  • Comment number 15.

    @10

    "Klitschko has been knocked down 12 times....he is a proven boxing flop!"

    Come on be realistic! The man hasn't lost since 2004 and is multi-belt and Ring Magazine champion. He has over 50 wins and 49 kos. He is a proven boxing success.

    I know there's the old argument that we are in a weak era, but he has dominated for almost a decade, so he's obviously head and shoulders above everyone else (other than his Brother and maybe Haye). And I don't recall Haye fighting any Heavyweight that was anywhere near dangerous.

  • Comment number 16.

    @Dedwood85
    . . . Valuev was considered dangerous before he fought David Haye. But of course that was because of Valuev's size and the way he savaged some of his past smaller opponents. I myself thought David could be in for fair bit of drubbing if the giant monster leaned on and pummelled his smaller opponent, but all credit to Haye/ Booth's fight plans to stay away and pick his shots from the distance. It worked and they won !!

  • Comment number 17.

    "Klitschko has been knocked down 12 times....he is a proven boxing flop!"

    Come on be realistic! The man hasn't lost since 2004 and is multi-belt and Ring Magazine champion. He has over 50 wins and 49 kos. He is a proven boxing success.

    I know there's the old argument that we are in a weak era, but he has dominated for almost a decade, so he's obviously head and shoulders above everyone else (other than his Brother and maybe Haye). And I don't recall Haye fighting any Heavyweight that was anywhere near dangerous.

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

    You're right - the divison is awful, as weak as it's ever been.

    You're also right - for Haye, both brothers are leaps and bounds ahead of any other fighter in the divison and by far the most dangerous.

    Wlad has dominated the division - fair play, but, as Haye himself has said - they've all been - overweight and coming for a pay cheque!

    Possibly - I'm underrating Wlad or overrating Haye in my assessment but I don't think so.

    Mind games however distasteful I understand to get an adavantage, but I look at Wlad an think - do you really have to go that far... Surely you believe in your ability to beat this guy without having to take it to the edge.

    He really isn't that good! An Sat - Haye will prove that he's been fighting overweight guys coming for a pycheck for years and the he lose to the first live guy he's fought!

  • Comment number 18.

    @14

    If a boxer, of all sport people, can't be cocky and arrogant then who can? As others have pointed out boxing can be a dangerous sport and you need some of that to get in the ring.

    Haye is doing what he thinks he needs to do get an edge on Saturday. Whether it has worked remains to be seen.

    Personally, I hope he wins (and he certainly COULD) but have a sneaky feeling he might not.

  • Comment number 19.

    All this talk about Haye being arrogant and cocky is laughable, he is just selling the fight and in the meantime trying to get into Wlad's head to get the 1st psycological victory which IMO i think he as already won as Wlad seems rattled into making comments that he as previously never got involved with before.

    Im going for a Haye KO victory in 4th - 8th round he is going to be to fast and he is going to hit Wlad harder than he as been hit before and he already as a cauliflower arse from lesser fighters.

    Then its onto Vitali and i think that will be a step too far for Haye.

  • Comment number 20.


    @james mathew. .@ 14. .

    . . take up croquette or crown bowling or whatever at the your village pub and relax and enjoy your warm ale in the English summer. . .there's a good chap !!

  • Comment number 21.

    matt-stone: why so agressive? Im only saying what people already think. Cant I give my point of view without people getting all defensive and agressive towards me.
    I think ye need to relax a little.

  • Comment number 22.

    Firstly for people to say Haye runs out of steam in the later stages is nonsense. There is no proof to suggest this for his last 10 fights. The Valuev fight he coasted through 12 rounds and he HAD to use the hit and run tactics.
    Secondly this is a boxing match not a tickling match. If David Haye had been nice and polite he would have never got this fight. He needs to get under Klitschko's skin and I think he has done it. David Haye is exactly what the boxing world needs.

  • Comment number 23.

    Looking forward to this one and I tend to agree that haye has said some silly things but you can probably put that down to over excitement.

    Haye and his camp are clever, the sales aren't great and the Yanks aren't interested so Haye and his trash talking might get some late interest. Fair play to him for giving this a go. I think Klitschko is actually a nice guy, but Haye has sold this fight.

  • Comment number 24.

    Matt stone - Yes, as I said, "Haye and Booth seem so calculating, I'm not sure they care."

    0darroch - Yeh, lots of different opinions on this one. You're right, most writers did pick Mayweather to beat Hatton, but the interesting thing about that fight was that a few of them changed their opinions as fight week went on - they saw that Hatton looked confident and allowed themselves to be swayed. Big mistake.

    Silver Surfer - I'm not sure that Haye's stamina is that bad - apart from against Thompson, when they made big mistakes. He came on strong late against Valuev, and didn't look suspect against Ruiz to me, he destroyed him. However - I know that Haye isn't one for training runs, he rarely does more than 400m. And that's why he's all about fighting in spurts. Against Wlad, I suspect he'll have to do more than fight in spurts...

    hudi1979 - Tyson v Spinks? I'm not sure no-one gave Tyson a chance against Spinks, but yeh, you're right, they thought Spinks would give him a decent fight.

    lawson79 - I'm not sure why you're baffled as to why people think Klitschko is dangerous - 49 KOs in 55 fights not do it for you?!

    tommason33 - I agree, it's all an act. David Haye is a decent bloke out of the ring. However, most boxers have mammoth egos, and I just wonder if he will look back and regret some of the things he said, things that have alienated some of the British public. Then again, he'll be doing his regretting from the back of a chauffeur driven Bentley...

    No predictions yet, I'll be doing my fence sitting act tomorrow...

  • Comment number 25.

    David Haye has become the most interesting thing in boxing today and that's no accident. His management knows how to 'Top Bill' a fight and that's all that's happening here. I don't know who will win, but I know that I will pay to watch it [no matter what's on the other channels].

    Good luck to David - IMHO the most exciting fighter this country has seen since Nigel Benn.

  • Comment number 26.

    @james mathew...@ 21

    ....I had to laugh out loud when you accused me of being aggressive towards you @20, nothing could be more peaceful than an English pub in mid-summer with all the pub activities in full swing. Now, the English have got to be aggressive in international sports to start winning again - look at tennis, with all the loot we're putting up for grab, there's none of our lot, except Murray who's Scottish, to have a go at winning the Wimbledon trophy. Please read my comment @1 of this page !!

  • Comment number 27.

    21. James Mathew

    I would ask why you think Haye even has an obligation to his country to behave in a respectful manner? He hasn't "let his country down" in my opinion. He's his own man, not part of 'Team GB' or anything like that; he can behave how he sees fit.

    Obviously it's up to you how you judge him and you are well within your rights to judge him how you see fit, but I would say he has no obligation to behave in any way other than how he wants to.

    He always come across (when not promoting a fight) as very intelligent and articulate, so I would tend to agree with #23 (and others) that the trash talk is more tactics/promoting the fight.

  • Comment number 28.

    Am in entire agreement with comment #22 Frank Lucas. For me there are no stamina concerns over Haye and any suggestions that there are are unfounded. Lets not forget when the most exciting part of the Valuev fight happened.......right at the end when Valuev almost got put on his backside when Haye exploded on him.

    There are zero stamina concerns over Haye and I believe he can win.

  • Comment number 29.

    has been knocked down 12 times....he is a proven boxing flop!

    Other than his size he posesses limited boxing skills, I can't remember the last time I saw him fight and thought 'wow' this guys good.

    Can anyone correct me on this?

    _________________________________________________

    oh come on... yes he's been down but he got back up and won virtually all of them. how can he be a boxing flop, when he (along with his older brother) has dominated the division and is unbeaten in several years. In many ways he reminds me of England's world cup winning side of 2003 - they did what was required to win. it was rarely entertaining but they (and clive woodward) didnt care

  • Comment number 30.

    #28 deb:
    I agree that Haye is very intelligent and articulate but he lacks class. He could have done this in a way that promotes the fight but also makes him look like someone you would respect as a person.

    And I totally disagree that he should be able to act the way he wants...when you become a famous sports person who when in the ring wears the English flag on his shorts, off course you are representing your country and fellow country men. At that level how one behave does reflect on ones country whether you like it or not.

    Ricky Hatton was the most popular English\European fighter for years and although he talked the talk at press conferences he still came across like a gentleman and someone everyone loves and respects. Plus pulled in the largest viewing of anyone in the modern game. Haye doesnt have half the class Hatton had or half the following.

  • Comment number 31.

    I am still struggling to understand this whole "class" issue. Do Boxing fans really want to see two very nice Gentlemen shaking hands, having a laugh and joke before a fight? Or do they as I suspect wait every day for another exciting outburst from David Haye? Every time I switch on my tv or computer I hope there is another comment to stir the pot and this is what boxing is all about. People seem to forget that Ali, Tyson and Mayweather (3 of the greatest boxers the world has seen) were/are as bad if not worse than David Haye and look how highly they are praised.

  • Comment number 32.

    @ 30.
    Hatton was fighting boxers the Americans knew and liked, the general consensous is that the Klitschko's are boring in a boring weight division

  • Comment number 33.

    Did you just compare Haye to Ali, Tyson and Mayweather? Oh Lord, Ive heard it all now. If these guys did talk trash thats because they had the record to back it up, Haye has faught a hand full of heavy weights all nobodys and now he is compared to Ali and Tyson. This doesnt warrent a comment its so dumb.

  • Comment number 34.

    Did you just compare Haye to Ali, Tyson and Mayweather? Oh Lord, Ive heard it all now. If these guys did talk trash thats because they had the record to back it up, Haye has faught a hand full of heavy weights all nobodys and now he is compared to Ali and Tyson. This doesnt warrent a comment its so dumb.

    A pretty dismissive and ignorant comment tbh. The comparisson was clearly between Haye's behaviour and that of Ali's, Tyson and Mayweather. It was not a comparisson of ability. It's also a revisionist argument to suggest that Ali et al had eart the right to be rude, obnoxious etc. Ali was visciously taunting Sonny Liston before he himself had achieved anything, save winning an olympic gold. Haye has unified a division and so if a 22 year old Ali can be excused for his antics pre Liston 1, then Haye can be excused for his antics pre Wladimir.

    Either Ali is a disgrace to the sport just as is Haye, or neither are. I can't see a huge difference between the two. In fact Ali's taunts to Frazier were far more sinister than any of the childish barbs Haye has come out with.

  • Comment number 35.

    @james mathew - Listen to Gentleman01 because he can clearly READ. Yes the point I was making was nothing to do with ability, purely "class" which everyone is banging on about. I suggest you read the comment before making yourself look dumb.

  • Comment number 36.

    I like Haye and will be cheering him on saturday but he is little more than a pr master, he has not fought a decent heavyweight yet, Valuev hardly counts, holyfield beat him fair and square and got fleeced by the judges. The way Haye has managed to get it talked up to the point that he along with Wlad and Vitali are a league above everyone else with his heavyweight performances so far is little short of pr alchemy.

    His best hope is his trainer, Booths game plan for Groves against De Gale shows the extent of his talents, but Wlad has possibly too many advantages, yes he has a weak chin but more often than not he has got off his behind to win.

    Id love to see a Haye win but my guess would be a comfortable points win for Wlad or mid to late stoppage for him, unless Haye has really got to him or Booth has surpassed himself.

  • Comment number 37.

    it annoys me the way everybody sits and praises ali when his comment to joe frazier where horrible. he called him a gorilla among other things, if a boxer did that today he be killed for it but everybody seems let it slide for ali.

    plus hasnt haye done seem in other fights and admitted afterwards that it was all just part of his plan to help sell his fights! i think haye and co are damn clever the way they go about selling fights. hell to sell the audley fight to that many people was funny, never mind people believeing he was gonna go all out against valuev when his plan was to bob and wave with the occasional punch to win rounds.


    Ali had called Frazier an "Uncle Tom" and a gorilla,

  • Comment number 38.

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

  • Comment number 39.

    jhjackhammer:

    I absolutely agree. It is entirely hypocritical for anyone to criticise Haye for his behaviour and still laud Ali as 'charismatic' in the same breath.

    Personally I love Ali, but can also acknowledge the nastier element of his taunting. Likewise, I like Haye. I think he is controversial and entertaining. Having said that, i do wince when a boxer mentions or references death or serious injury of an opponent. I think that is a little distasteful.

    Either way, some consistency is needed. Ali and Haye were both unpleasant and unkind to their opponents pre (and some times post) fight. I can't see any argument for dismissing Haye as a disgrace and lauding Ali a sporting icon.

  • Comment number 40.

    Does Haye have a solid jaw? That's the only question that's important in this fight. Because for the first time in his career he's going to eat some big ones from a real heavyweight. If he can take it, then he may ride on to glory. If he can't, it's going to be a short night for him.

  • Comment number 41.

    Hay seems to be immitating Ali's build up tactics. And if they worked for the greatest then surely its not a bad thing.

    An Inflated sense of ego alongside the ability to get in someones head have worked before.

    Ali's greatest strength was being able to taame physically stronger men. Just look at how he beat Foreman, Louis and Frazer.

    Yes Ali could back it up with skill but so can Haye. Wlad is a one track fighter and very efficent with it. Haye and Booth know that in order to prevail they have to upset his game.

    I expect Haye will do a lot of talking and play acting in the first few rounds to try and reel Wlad in to fighting on the front foot, aposed to his usual style then batter him on the counter.

    Haye should win as long as he sticks to the game plan and avoids big shots in the early rounds.

  • Comment number 42.

    "Correct me if i'm wrong but didn't David Haye got knocked down by Monte Barrett?
    I'd say if Barrett can knock him down then a Klitschko right cross will mean KTFO. That's what's dangerous. "

    You obviously don't understand the difference between being off balance and being hurt. Barrett caught him while he was off balance, hence the fall.

  • Comment number 43.

    When did vitali and wladimir klitschko fight valuev for his WBA belt?

    Oh thats right they dodged him for 6 years while fighting bums from the states.

    Haye fights valuev in just his second heavyweight appearance!

    Brash haye is but he is also the shining glimmer of hope in a stone dead division.

  • Comment number 44.

    No matter what you say about Haye, he knows how to generate interest !
    I don't see what the fuss is all about, regarding the pre-fight comments he has made, it's all part of selling tickets and PPV sales, so fair play ! It makes up a large % of the purse so the more interest generated, the more he pays to the tax man !!

    Ok, I fancy him to do a number on Vlad. People who have been making comments regarding his overall stamina levels should look back at the Valuev / Ruiz fights. He's fit enough to last all 12 rounds, though I don't see him needing them. Vlad will be on his way to the dressing room before 6 rounds are gone IMHO. Haye will be hitting him too hard and too often that his suspect confidence will be evaporating by the round. My only concerns are two-fold.

    1. If Haye goes in there trying to end the fight early, he could leave himself open to that BIG right hand. Anyone in the Heavyweight divinsion that lands cleanly will win. It's a fact of life.

    2. If Vlad's gameplan is to smother Haye, lean on him, push him against the rope's etc, then I feel his superior size will be the deiciding factor.

    There you go, a few comments welcome.

  • Comment number 45.

    #41 Ali never even fought Louis let alone beat him! Surely you mean LISTON

  • Comment number 46.

    All the hype is mind-numbing. When all is said and done, Klitschko will win by KO. Fighting the likes of dudley harrison is no preparation for the legit champion. Size matters, wlad is too bi and his gamplan of jab and grab works to a tee. I want Haye to win but cant see it happening. Styles make fights.

    A peak Tyson would have ko'd wlad in one round and a peak Lewis would have caught up with him within four. Its sad that we dont have anybody of their ilk around today.

  • Comment number 47.

    I'm supporting Haye, I think he is a decent guy when not doing the pre fight mind games against his opponent, and I wish he wasn't so personal with his attacks on Klitschko. Not nice and not needed. Klitscko seems a decent bloke and hasn't been so nasty with his pre fight attacks on Haye. If I wasn't British I'd be supporting the Ukranian. Klitschko looks a giant against Haye in the pre fight 'stare off' and I worry if Haye can really fell this guy. I think he'll have to - can't see him winning on points in Germany which is really Wladimirs 'back yard'.

  • Comment number 48.

    Ben a good article i thought. feel guilty for slagging you in earlier blog seems like you know your stuff.Firstly people need to be realistic here Klitschko is the strong favourite here thats not an opinion its fact ask the bookies.Does that mean Haye can't win of course not with his speed and power he could knock out Klitschko but i think it would have to be early.He can't do what he done against Valuev run away and nick some rounds cause Klitschko is far better and more athletic than Valuev. My own feeling is that it will be close early on before Wlad's jab takes over and Haye will either be stopped late on or retired by Booth.

  • Comment number 49.

    Haye never beat Valuev either. On anybody who can count's scorecard Valuev was ahead... Haye spent the whole time running away from him, never landing any of his feathery punches but getting a good few to the head, even if through his blocks -- it still counted -- he got even stupider after the fight and I think lost about 15 years of his precious (only to himself) life ... As to why the judges gave the victory to him -- that's for the proper authorities to investigate.

    He has a tiny chance of an outsider causing upset on Saturday, a bit like Sanders but that's about it. there is nothing in his arsenal and his trainers are outright stupid money grabbers who know as much about the practical side boxing as Ben Dirs does if not less.

    By the way, I am still not convinced the fight will go ahead. What is this about him claiming his belt is not on the line, huh? It has to be. Could be he's trying to run away from it again? He knows full well that, come Saturday, has career and fighter cred will be (very likely) over.

  • Comment number 50.

    Ben, I've enjoyed your blogs this week. As somebody bought up on Harry Carpenter's insights and commentary, it's a crying shame that the BBC 'lost' all the boxing rights, but we are where we are.

    I stick by my adage that a good big un beats a good little un. I want Haye to win, but can't see it.

    Love or hate Haye's behaviour, it's all fluff and at least generates interest....and sheesh the Heavyweight division needs it. It's all fluff, and just build up to the real deal come Saturday.

    Eubank, admittedly with the most iron jaw I've ever seen, made a shedload of money out of playing up to the pantomine villian, and if that Haye wants to be then so be it. This is fighting, not bowls or tennis. Let them at it and it sounds like Haye is trying to convince himself as much as anything else. Best of British luck to him.

    I normally can't be doing with watching Heavyweight boxing, seeing two giants just leaning on each other for 60-70% of the fight just doesn't twist the melon, but I'm looking forward to this one.

  • Comment number 51.

    #49 - I'm fairly sure I remember Haye buckling Valuev's knees with a shot. Not sure where you get the 'never landing any of his feathery punches'.

    Boxing is one of the few sports where I think unless you've boxed personally, opinion is suspect. Every tom, dick and harry can talk a good fight. And does.

  • Comment number 52.

    Haye has gone to Germany to fight 1 out of the 2 best possible opponents he could have. A lot of people doubted whether he would (including myself) - he deserves respect for this!

    Win or lose - he's looked to take on the best/2nd best guy before he retires in the other guys backyard!

    I think he has the tools (like I've said earlier) to do the business, and like I've said previously - I think he has the ability to have done it with more class and decorum!

    However - if he wins the fight, well, full credit to Haye, Booth and the team!

    Congrats and enjoy!

  • Comment number 53.

    I'm tbh, very surprised how many people fancy Wlad. Yes Wlad has the natural advantages, but Haye has the movement, slickness, smartness - confidence - which no fighter in years has had and - SPEED AND POWER!

    Watch Haye take Wlad out in fantastic fashion on Sat!

  • Comment number 54.

    51.
    At 20:04 30th Jun 2011, ComeEnglandAway wrote:

    #49 - I'm fairly sure I remember Haye buckling Valuev's knees with a shot. Not sure where you get the 'never landing any of his feathery punches'.

    Boxing is one of the few sports where I think unless you've boxed personally, opinion is suspect. Every tom, dick and harry can talk a good fight. And does.

    *****
    That's what it was -- just one shot and a half in the last round for the whole fight whereas Valuev hit him in the head in every round (Haye's body was too low for him) and still the judges handed it to him -- they must have been softened up pretty well by the British side.

  • Comment number 55.

    To be fair Norman, whether you think somebody won who didn't deserve it (and let's face it boxing, more than most sports, is littered with opinions of hard done by sob stories) it doesn't equate to 'never landing any of his feathery punches'.



  • Comment number 56.

    Every fan knows it is just pr talk from Haye, both of these two have massive respect for each other but one has the be the pantomine villain and the other the nice guy to sell tickets.

    Boxing fans will want to watch this regardless but to make the money needed to stage fights of this size (57000 in the stadium alone) you need to connect with people who are mainly casual Saturday night boxing fans.

    Haye is a promoter & wants to make as much £'s as possible before he retires so he is trash talking, got Ben Dirs writing a few blogs and a lot of replies for a boxing one.

    Wlad is a nice guy, intelligent and a top level fighter but I still think side to side lateral movement from Haye could be the undoing of him. Regardless of how much of an athlete you are being 6ft 5inchs means you do have speed & timing issues against smaller (in shape & fit) fighters. Haye is 6ft 3inchs (apparently although I am not convinced) so isnt a midget in there. He is similar is stature to Holyfield & Foreman and certainly bigger than Ali & Tyson so lets not pretend he is massively outmatched physically.

    I think smart money says Haye cant win a decision in Germany & Wlad is probably going to take control the longer the fight goes on so David will have to find a way through but is a 35 yr old Wlad with 198 fights as an amatuer and professional going to be fresh enough to keep Haye at distance? I think Haye may win it in 4.

  • Comment number 57.

    Haye is too cocky for my liking, which is a shame as because he's a Brit i'd like to say I hope he wins, but the gobbier he gets the more I hope he loses.
    I think Klitschko knows Haye can hurt him if he lets him get close so I reckon the big guy will keep DH at bay for 12 rounds with his jab and win on points. 7/2 @ most bookies,well worth putting a score on.
    By the way does anyone know what time the fight actually starts as i'm working until 10.Does it start then or much later for US audiences??

  • Comment number 58.


    @james mathew....
    . . .you are such a sensitive soul I have to be careful not to upset you again !!
    But why do you keep saying David Haye has no class? To be honest, none of the heavyweights active today can be ranked with best heavyweights of the past. It would be a total headache trying to rank fighters as they were/are active at different times, but we can only speculate as to who is better than the other and so on and so forth. A 'classless' Haye with a World Title to his name??....now, what does that say about the quality of fighters we have today.

    Haye campaigned as a Middle and Lightheavy Weight before moving up to the Heavy division, so its understandable why people find it problematic trying to rank him. Despite this, David has loads of experience under his belt, and only a fool would take him lightly. The weight difference between the two fighters is alot less than was the case with Valuev, so we can expect more contact as well as fireworks.

    I'm taking Haye to triumph inside Six. But if they come up for the Seventh Round, then the Bookie can keep my money !!

  • Comment number 59.

    We are talking about a boxing match here aren't we?

    All the comments about Haye going too far and hurting peoples feelings with what he's said in the build up to the fight do make me laugh.

    Its a mans sport and if Wlad is a bit upset he can let David know about it with his fists, which i'm sure a lot of boxing fans will be tuning in to see.

  • Comment number 60.

    55.
    At 20:40 30th Jun 2011, ComeEnglandAway wrote:

    To be fair Norman, whether you think somebody won who didn't deserve it (and let's face it boxing, more than most sports, is littered with opinions of hard done by sob stories) it doesn't equate to 'never landing any of his feathery punches'.

    ______
    a sob story? More like a daylight robbery. "never landing any punches"?... Haye couldn't have landed any as his reach was much shorter -- by half an arm even

  • Comment number 61.

    Disappointing to see that most of the quotes in this article seem to have been taken from a supports broadcast last night. Typical BBC though spouting someone else's journalism as their own!

  • Comment number 62.

    Therefore, the following exchange did not entirely surprise me: "What happens if Andy Murray wins this quarter-final today then?" "It means I have to fly home. Andy Murray is a bloody nuisance..."

    Was that Kevin Garside, by any chance?

  • Comment number 63.

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

  • Comment number 64.

    As Hunter said - if it wasn't for Haye's trash talking, there's be hardly any interest in this fight at all across the boxing world. This is why there has never really been much hype for a Klitschko fight before.

    I really hope Haye can do it - I certainly have Box Office ordered because it's got me interested too. It's going to be tough, but it's far from impossible. He's lost before and he'll lose again. Haye and his style has as good a chance as anybody has.

  • Comment number 65.

    Haye should take a leaf out of Ricky Hattons book of class. He generated more interest then any other fighter of our time and had 30,000 fans fly to Las Vegas to see him. I wonder how many will fly to Germany to see David. No many I suspect.

    It will be a great fight, im very excited to see it but if Haye gets knocked out then he should retire right there and then and will always be known as the big mouthed guy who insulted his way to a title shot with Klitcho but couldnt back it up.

    Come on Klitcho!

  • Comment number 66.

    Haye’s attention-seeking antics are shameful. But “bad actor”? Yeah, so what? I expect Winston Churchill was a lousy dentist.

  • Comment number 67.

    People keep banging on about that Hitler video. There are plenty of those videos parody videos about and this is the first one.

  • Comment number 68.

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

  • Comment number 69.

    James Mathew, please go play with some soft teddies before you start to cry. This is a man's sport, these are both adults and both do/say what needs to be said and done to get the best possible profit.

    David Haye is very quick and showed that its not all about slugging it out, he showed skill agsint Valuev, what else could he have done? Windmill in maybe? He rocked the gaint and i dont think many if any have done that..

    Its all good (or bad) PR.. Let the fight commence and lets see a good show and hope that the Brit wins!!

  • Comment number 70.

    One thing Ill say about Haye...is he has made this fight interesting. If Klit was fighting Klit senior it would be the most boring build up ever. Boxing needs a badboy like Haye to ruffle up the feathers of the opponent and fans.
    Going to be an exciting night...bring it on!

  • Comment number 71.

    Norman Conquest

    Did you actually watch the Haye Valuev fight? I watched it again recently on Sky Sports 2 (after the Macklin/Sturm fight) and i'm not sure that Valuev landed more than 5 punches all fight. Haye made it obvious that Valuev was missing with every shot, although admittedly only landing 4-5 of his own per round.

    I think it's clear from your view of the fight that you're not a Haye fan, because you're clearly not analysing the fight fairly.

    I can't be bothered to check the 'Punches Landed' totals for the fight, but if you did it would show Haye landing far more than Valuev.

  • Comment number 72.

    Deadwood85

    I watched the fight that one time and hasn't seen it since but, in my view, Valuev definitely landed more punches in more rounds than Haye, also where did Haye land his "punches"? Mainly on Valuev elbows and knees but Valuev's landed his strictly on Hayes head, if mostly through his blocks but still connected.

    And finally we should let Haye himself take the floor, he said, "Valuev didn't hurt me at all", which in Haye speak means, "he hurt me plenty and nearly knocked my brains out".

  • Comment number 73.

    @2 I agree with this post completely. Klitschko seems like a geniune person but as I'm a Brit I'd like David to win of course.

  • Comment number 74.

    It's undoubtedly a clash of styles, and it's interesting to note that HBO (even in selling the fight to their viewers) seem convinced that it's a mismatch on paper, that Wladimir will do to Haye what he has done to so many others.

    I suspect his Valuev tactics won't actually work against the Wladimir jab, but if he can dodge and weave his way inside to land some quick combinations, he has a minimum of a puncher's chance, and probably rather more than that.

    Could well be another fight where Wladimir gets knocked down but still wins. If it's a close victory for Wladimir, Vitali may feel that he has to fight Haye to strengthen his legacy, and there is one crucial fact which isn't getting mentioned but which opens the door for a Vitali-Haye fight before Haye's intended retirement date - the stadium where Vitali is meant to fight Adamek is nowhere near completion, and will almost certainly not be ready for the fight... enter a deal whereby Vitali-Adamek fight is moved to 2012, after Vitali-Haye in a German football stadium in September? If September 10 is the date, as was intended for the Adamek fight, the Imtech Arena is likely to be free, because Hamburg are away that weekend...
    http://www.bundesliga.de/en/liga/matches/2011/index.php?tag=5

  • Comment number 75.

    Norman, my advice to you (other than the ever popular "Be quiet you silly boy!") is to watch the Valuev fight again seeing as how you only watched it two years ago. Time and perspective are wonderful things and I think you'll find that whilst it wasn't the wham bam thank-you ma'am that Haye had promised (anyone thinking he'd fight like that was an idiot anyway) it was a controlled, measured, smart fight where Haye clearly landed more punches than Valuev. Doesn't matter if they weren't power punches (although quite a few were), if your opponent lands little or nothing, he isn't going to win the fight.

  • Comment number 76.

    ShinyDavid, if Wlad hits the canvas, you can bet you bottom dollar Haye will jump all over him and the ref will be left cradling the big man in his arms (like may refs did to Bruno back in the day). Once his man his hurt, Haye will go for the finish and as Wlad isn't known for his iron jaw, it won't take too long for the fight to be over. Haye has a better variety of punches and if Wlad is sagging against the ropes Haye is able to utilise angles more effectively to get the job done whereas Wlad seems almost unable to adapt from the "stand in front of the man and jab, right cross" like he used against Chagaev.

  • Comment number 77.

    Dave669

    Haye has a better variety of punches? lol He doesn't even know how to land a punch at all. Klitchko will literally give him a public execution tomorrow... the tiny chance Haye has is Klitchko becoming very unlucky maybe slipping and getting hit, thrown off balance and never recovering -- that's when Haye will be brave enough to even come close to him and might actually hurt him but Klitchko will be dead set on avoiding just such eventuality.

    Also Klitchko should watch for Hayes forehead and elbows especially early in the fight; as to back of the head slaps -- another speciality of Haye's -- he won't dare to use them this time for fear of provoking Wlad into even more ruthlessness.

  • Comment number 78.

    Wlad does come out of this as the more likeable guy but its boxing and you don't get any points for that! As a Brit I'm going to be supporting Haye and I think he does stand a decent chance.

    Norman - lets hope your predictions are as accurate as your ones for Haye-Harrison!

  • Comment number 79.

    @matt-stone, English and proud mate, love it!

    Haye will win this fight and the mind games imo are more for vitali, if he can destroy wlad and send him to hospital that will get to vitali, and Vitali is the brother Haye is going to have trouble with.

  • Comment number 80.

    Dave669, how the hell are you man?

    Obviously you're sticking by your boy, which is commendable, considering the bookies are betting on a Wlad win.

    I'm sticking with my prediction Wlad KO Haye in round 9.

    To be honest I will take the most enjoyment out of seeing Booths face when Haye gets counted out.

  • Comment number 81.

    Im looking forward to our chat Monday after Klitcho knocks Haye flat on his ashh!
    Haye is like the loud mouth bully in the school yard wanting to fight everyone and Klitcho is the quiet kid that has been watching him and finally gets up and doesnt say a word, does some stretches and takes care of business.

  • Comment number 82.

    DAVE; How effective Haye will be if he hurts Wlad is an interesting topic. Haye has cultivated a reputation of a brutal finisher (considering his huge KO ratio that is not undeserved). However, I actually think his predatory instincts are a tad overrated. Haye, I think, seems to become slightly over-excited when he has an opponent hurt, he certainly throws a lot of shots, but he doesn't really pick those shots he just throws blazes of punches and I think sometimes smothers his work somewhat. As an example, he got a bit close to Valuev when he wobbled and Valuev grabbed on and bought himself enough time to recover. This has been effective thus far, but I'd prefer him to be more measured, and really pick a few solid forceful punches as when Haye hits, he absolutely bangs!

    Norman; Haye doesn't know how to land a punch? If that is so he is an even more amazing athlete than I, or any other had supposed. He has been able to win world titles without landing any punches. what an amazing feat. Willie Pep could only dream of such abilities, such pugilistic mastery. Haye must be the greatest p4p fighter of all time by your reckoning. You must be quite a fan...

  • Comment number 83.

    Not sure why so many people hate on David Haye. Personally I like the guy - he's more than a boxer. Business man and former model, knows he wants to be out of the game by October and will do so, I respect that. Sure, he says a few things that are "controversial" but does he really mean them? Probably not. Rather like Money Mayweather it's all part of selling the fight - even more important when you consider Haye is his own promoter. And besides has he really said anything worse than others in the past e.g. Tyson, Mayorga etc? It's all part of the banter.

    As for the fight itself I think it's really tough to call. The main reason is that although both guys are "chinny" it's been a helluva of long time since either was KO'd. For Wlad it's going back some 7 years! Whilst you can't grow a chin, you can get used to taking punches (e.g. Khan) so how much can you really read into it that? Having said though, the fight will be ended by a KO. Surely in the latter rounds, since as most people agree both fighters will be cautious in the opening exchanges.

    But Haye can hurt him. If he rocked the "Beast from the East" I fully expect him to be able to KO Wlad. And moreover he will want to win by KO in what could be his last fight and most certainly is defining one. Plus in Germany, he'll be less likely to win on points. The question is, when he goes that for KO is he going to elave himself exposed for Wlad to pick off? Let's remember Wlad is no weakling - given a chance he's as likely to KO Haye as Haye is him. But I think (or hoping!) Haye will just be too quick and agile for him. My money's on a second half stoppage for Haye.

    Come on David - I'll be watching you first hand in the Hamburg Messe my son!

  • Comment number 84.

    Hopefully Haye is going to get busted up real bad by Klits. Haye is a good fighter but this isnt beating up people like Audley Harrison and a 39 year old John Ruiz. Im hoping Wlad beats him up with the jab very badly before getting a KO/TKO in the later rounds. Its gonna be a good fight though got a few mates coming with the beers. We have already practiced our "KLEEEEEECHKO KLEEEEEECHKO KLEEEEEECHKO"

  • Comment number 85.

    I will be watching the pub in Cardiff city centre on Saturday. Can't honestly say I have spoken to one person who wants Haye to win so hopefully I will be in a pub full of Klitschko fans. As an Irishman living in Wales I wish Wlad all the Celtic luck in the world

  • Comment number 86.

    78.
    At 11:30 1st Jul 2011, darksmog wrote:

    ....
    Norman - lets hope your predictions are as accurate as your ones for Haye-Harrison!
    _______
    Well I thought that particular encounter would be a bona fide fight... which obviously it wasn't. I think this time my predictions will be as correct as correct is, Frank Warren and Tyson Fury think so too.

    82.
    At 11:59 1st Jul 2011, Gentleman01 wrote:



    Norman; Haye doesn't know how to land a punch? If that is so he is an even more amazing athlete than I, or any other had supposed. He has been able to win world titles without landing any punches. what an amazing feat. Willie Pep could only dream of such abilities, such pugilistic mastery. Haye must be the greatest p4p fighter of all time by your reckoning. You must be quite a fan...

    ________
    I mean landing a proper KO punch.. the power line, man, that sort of thing. It seems Haye damages his hands in every fight he fights. Also remind me when he knocked out somebody last? But I see Haye's value for the sport of boxing I really do, i think his defeat tomorrow won't be the end of the line for him after all. yet. and I even think he will get to fight Vitaly all the same, that's where the end will be


  • Comment number 87.

    "The Fight of the Decade" ?
    In America nobody has heard of David Haye ! He's just another big-mouthed bum hoping for a miracle in their eyes.........

  • Comment number 88.

    I find it laughable that people think that these boxers don't how to throw power punches; their KO ratios are 85 to 90%! We're not talking about the Malignaggis here who have no power - we are talking about people with a proven track record of victory by KO or TKO. If you're talking about "a light out" punch which leaves your opponent on the canvas then this rarely happens at all these days....

  • Comment number 89.

    In America no-one's heard of David Haye? Is that why HBO would only agree to screen a K Bros fight if it was against Haye? idiot.

    Norman, if Haye is too scared to get close to Wlad, how is he going to catch him with his elbows and head? Think about it lad...wait, maybe you have and it's caused you to overheat.

    Jimmy, maybe you and Steffan can meet up on Saturday and hug each other for good luck!

  • Comment number 90.

    I hope the Klit creams him!

  • Comment number 91.

    Haye is fresh of a title defence fight...with Audley Harrison...Audley Harrison...now he is fighting W Klit....thats like Mayweather fighting Amir Khan and then fighting Manny Pacquiao....they are a million miles apart...and although he beat AH by throwing about 10 punches I feel he wont know whats happening half way through the 1st round when he gets hit by the Klit Power! I dont see Haye lasting past the 5th round.

  • Comment number 92.

    @james mathew...@ 81

    ....we shall see, James, old chaps ! Just make sure you turn up on Monday to receive your verbal bashing from the rest of us.
    I'll be here too to get an hearful from you or the Klits Bros in the unlikely event of Haye being silenced once and for all by Wlad the Blood.

    For Hamburg though, they seem quite friendlier to David than some bloggers we see here and that includes you, JAMES MATHEW. There's an invasion afoot alright, but not as hostile as the 1940s, while Old Winnie still lived at 10 Downing St and George IV at Buckingham Palace. But this time the Invasion is to silence the Two Pretenders from Eastern Europe residing there in Germany and masquerading as fighters/boxers....." yes, we'll fight them in the air, on the sea, in the fields and in the streets.....we shall never, ever surrender !! " I'm packed and ready to leave, see you all !!

  • Comment number 93.

    Matt-Stones:

    Ill be here my good man...and I shall dish out a little gloating when Klit wins but not too much as I prefer to rejoice in silence.

    Either way I havent looked forward to a fight this much since Mayweather v Hatton...and on Saturday evening I shall take to my cinema room and sit back and watch the fight on big screen with a nice bottle of wine.

  • Comment number 94.

    When was the last time Wlad stopped a fight in the first half? 2007 against Brewster who retired in round 6. In fact he has stopped anyone inside the first 6 rounds for a recognised Heavyweight Title on a few occasions most going back some 8 years or so. Why? Because he is a very cautious fighter and has become even more so under his trainer. There is no reason to think that he will adapt his style against arguably the toughest opponent of his career. Unless Haye goes in guns blazing for a Ko in the early rounds - which is very doubtful - I cannot see how this fight will not go into the second half. Thoughts?

  • Comment number 95.

    Haye to be knocked in round 1 but to be knocked out in round 3!

  • Comment number 96.

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

  • Comment number 97.

    Apparently Haye weighed in at 15 stone 3lbs

  • Comment number 98.

    koonie1984; Agreed. Wlad is a methodical boxer who breaks his opponents down over the course of a fight. He is not an explosive puncher, even when he lets his right go he rarely throws it with full intent for fear of over commiting himself. It is a very effective tactic. He effectively gives away no damage and gradually administers a morale sapping beating to his overmatched and often overweight opponent. In this vein, I actually see him becoming even more cautious against the explosive and heavy handed Haye. As such I don't see an early Wlad stoppage of Haye.

    Conversely though, Haye is explosive. However it's my opinion that Haye too will start cautious and will be reticent to trade blows early.

    Having said all that, this is heavyweight boxing. One punch can end it at any time.

  • Comment number 99.

    Where does this fallacy about Haye being an explosive puncher originate from? When was the last time he properly ko'd somebody... anybody? Did he ever?

  • Comment number 100.

    @Norman Conquest...@ 99

    To answer your question, I suggest you stick your neck and invite D Haye to test his right hand punch on your chin. I don't believe you'll recover any senses to properly assess how potent a puncher David is !!

 

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