Saturday 17 March 2018

Harrison: Haye toe talk irrelevant

Audley Harrison believes David Haye's inability to draw Wladimir Klitschko out of his comfort zone - not a toe injury - was the reason for his comprehensive defeat in Hamburg last night.

The Ukrainian secured a unanimous points victory in their heavyweight unification clash at a soaking wet Imtech Arena last night.

Afterwards, Haye cited a broken toe sustained in training, which left him unable to launch his trademark Hayemaker attacks, but Harrison - who had surgery on a torn pectoral muscle in the lead-up to his defeat by Harrison last year - advised the 30-year-old to keep his counsel.

"I went straight from surgery to camp," Harrison told Sky Sports News. "But I didn't mention that all the way through the camp, in the fight or after the fight. You've just got to live with it.

"Injuries are part and parcel and once we go in the ring, if we mention the injuries we are carrying, we don't get any sympathy. That's just the nature of the beast.

"When we mention it we just get crushed so if I was David I wouldn't even bother mentioning it.

"He got himself in position, he took some big shots in the fight, he didn't fold, but he was unable to do it.

"Klitschko was too big and he stuck to his game plan and that was always always going to be the difference unless Klitschko took some chances - and David was unable to get him to do that."

Harrison believes Haye's inability to land combination attacks meant he was never going to seriously hurt Klitschko.

"Every time David was trying to land those swings, Wladimir was easily able to step back," said Harrison. "I thought Wladimir was going to be taking chances, coming forward, and that was going to allow David Haye to get in a position to to maybe land some punches.

"But one shot was never going to be enough. Ultimately Klitschko was able to control the space, control time and distance, and David Haye wasn't able to get onto the double phase of attack, which is what was going to give Klitschko trouble.

"I thought David was going to be feinting, using those different angles, and it required the double phase of attack - you open up the one time, then you go again - because when Klitschko backs up he doesn't throw punches, he really just backs up trying to get away. Most of the big guys do the same thing."

Harrison believes it unlikely Haye will make good on his promise to retire by his 31st birthday in October.

"I think David Haye is not going to retire on that performance," said Harrison. "I'm living with the same thing now: it's very hard for me to think about retiring coming off a defeat and the way I lost.

"I know David's a proud fighter and I know retiring on that performance will live with him and he'll want to come back in a couple of years' time to rectify that.

"So I expect you're going to see David Haye back in the ring again just like you're going to see Audley Harrison back in the ring again."

On talk of a possible rematch between Haye and Klitschko, Harrison said: "If they do fight again it will definitely be in Germany and unless Haye was able to change his game plan and change his tactics the result would pretty much be the same."

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