Other Sport

'Haye just a loud-mouth'

2011-06-29 16:43
Wladimir Klitschko (File)

Hamburg - World champion Wladimir Klitschko has insisted Britain's David Haye is just a "loud-mouth" ahead of Saturday's heavyweight unification bout.

"He has made a name for himself through his mouth, not through his fights," Klitschko told German magazine Sport Bild.

"He is a would-be heavyweight boxer, actually he belongs in the cruiserweight division."

Klitschko, the IBF and WBO title-holder, takes on Britain's Haye, the WBA champion, at Hamburg's Imtech Arena and has dubbed Haye's recent taunts "disrespectful" and "disgraceful".

There is no love lost between the pair, who had been scheduled to meet two years ago in Gelsenkirchen before Haye withdrew from the fight with a back injury.

He appeared at a press conference in 2009 wearing a T-shirt with an image of him in a boxing ring brandishing the severed heads of both Klitschko and his older brother Vitali, the WBC champion.

Haye took his campaign to new depths on Wednesday by posting a link on his Twitter account to a video of a modified scene from the German film Downfall.

The clip depicts Nazi leader Adolf Hitler in his Berlin bunker, with mock subtitles making it appear that he is discussing Hamburg-resident Klitschko's chances in the fight.

Klitschko has been unimpressed with Haye's sustained taunts after the brash Brit labelled the Ukrainian "a fraud", "Bitchko" and said he will only shake Klitschko's hand when he visits him in hospital after the fight.

"For me, Haye is nothing special as a boxer or an opponent," said Klitschko.

The 35-year-old Klitschko has an impressive record of 49 knock-outs from 58 fights, with just three defeats, and he insists Haye, 30, will be his 50th KO.

This will be only Haye's fifth heavyweight fight since stepping up from cruiserweight in 2008 and although he has a record of 25 wins with 23 knock-outs from 26 fights, most of those came at the lighter weight division.

This is the first heavyweight unification bout since Klitschko took the WBO title from Russia's Sultan Ibragimov in Madison Square Garden in February 2008, but there are signs Haye's comments have got to Klitschko.

"Haye is a fighter. I expect that against me he will fight as well as he has ever done in his career," said the Ukrainian.

Klitschko's coach Emanuel Steward has said he has never seen his fighter so pumped up for a fight.

"I've had eight tough weeks of training and I'm in top shape, I have prepared 100 percent and there is no-one on earth who can beat me," said Klitschko.

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