Thursday 23 November 2017

Swaggering Haye winds up 'robot' Klitschko


Steve Bunce

david haye was back to his smiling best, Wladimir Klitschko was on edge, Vitali Klitschko issued a challenge, Manny Steward lost his cool and Adam Booth said only one word during a lively start to the week for the men involved in Saturday's world heavyweight title fight in Hamburg.

The fighters, their brothers, friends, trainers and the media played their part in yesterday's conference when Haye predicted a savage end to the fight and promised to make the robot, which is what he often calls both Klitschko brothers, malfunction.

"Wladimir is bigger than he was when he was an amateur, he's more consistent but he is still the same robot from his amateur days -- he can't change or adapt and the winner of the fight will have to change and adapt," said Haye.

On Saturday night, Wladimir will defend his WBO, IBO and IBF belts and challenge for Haye's WBA version in front of an anticipated crowd of 60,000 at the Imtech Arena in Hamburg.

"I will give him a lesson in life," insisted Wladimir. "This is more than boxing; I will make it long and painful so that he can learn. I will take him to reality rehab and teach him a lesson."

Haye's trainer, Booth, was asked to say a few words about his fighter's secret tactics and rose enigmatically to his feet, settled for a few seconds, said "Enjoy" and sat down.

Thankfully, Wladimir's trainer Steward was prepared to speak about both boxers. "David and Adam will be surprised by Wladimir's speed," claimed Steward. "Wladimir will match David for speed and that will ruin any plan.

"I have spoken to a lot of good fighters after they have lost to Wladimir and nobody can believe his speed."

Haye acknowledged he has prepared a specific and new tactic, admitted a dispute over the assigned referee has not been settled and dealt with a challenge from Wladimir's big brother Vitali with the type of dubious comment that divides the boxing industry.

Vitali, who holds the WBC heavyweight title, took the microphone at one point and asked Haye to promise that he will attend the post-fight conference. Haye's reply will no doubt upset some of the sport's purists. He said: "I will be there for you! You just make sure that you are there and that you don't go off in the ambulance to the hospital with your brother."

Klitschko, for his part, promised to "treat" the Englishman for his big mouth. "My name is Dr Klitschko, I am a therapist and on July 2 I am going to give you treatment.


"I will knock you out into reality, which will be good for your life," Klitschko said. "You will be a better person and have better manners."

The 30-year-old Haye, who has repeatedly mocked the brothers, saying they only picked weak opponents until now, has a career record of 25-1 with 23 knockouts. Klitschko's record stands at 55-3 with 49 knockouts.

When the conference was over, a member of Haye's team approached Steward to remind him of an incident that took place before Wladimir's loss to Lamon Brewster in 2004, when Steward was asked by officials to remove Wladimir's bandages and wrap his fighter's hands again, which is a long and delicate procedure.

Words were exchanged yesterday and Steward swore and promised to sort it out with the member of Haye's team after the fight. "I love it, that's exactly what I want," said Haye. (© Independent News Service)

Irish Independent

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