Hamburg - British fighter David Haye found little sympathy Sunday after blaming a broken toe for his points loss to Wladimir Klitschko in a heavyweight unification fight.
Even in Britain, boxing experts said Haye should have either withdrawn from the fight or kept quiet about the injury he said he had sustained in training three weeks before Saturday's fight.
"He shouldn't be in the fight if he had a broken toe," British boxing promoter Frank Warren told BBC Radio. "Why be a cry baby after the event? It's ridiculous."
The 30-year-old Briton didn't mention the toe in the leadup to the showdown in Hamburg, saying he was in the best shape of his life. But after the bell rang, and all three judges scored in favour of Klitschko, he pulled off his shoe to show his injury and even posted a picture of his foot on Twitter.
"I hate when boxers make excuses after fights," Haye told reporters. "But I broke my toe three weeks ago and there was no way I was going to pull out of this fight."
Haye said postponing the fight was not an option because he had pulled out of a fight with Klitschko last year, citing a back injury.
"I genuinely believed that I could still win the fight," Haye said. "And the idea was: fight night, numb it and you know the crowd, the adrenaline, the occasion, I'd be able to ignore it. But as it turned out I was unable to explode off that back foot and throw that right hand. But credit to him. He boxed beautifully."
Klitschko won by unanimous decision, adding Haye's WBA title to his IBF, WBO and IBO belts. At the post-match news conference early on Sunday, the Ukrainian offered some advice to Haye: "Never say anything right now in the way of 'I had a broken toe that's why I couldn't compete.' It's called a sore loser."
Klitschko then asked Haye for a medical statement.
"You can look at my toe if you want," Haye said.
"Yeah, pull it out," Klitschko replied.
Haye got up on the table and flaunted his swollen right foot. Klitschko joked it looked like a bee sting.
Former heavyweight champion Frank Bruno said Haye shouldn't have fought if he had a broken toe.
"You can't punch straight, you can't balance yourself, you can't even move. A broken toe's a serious thing," the British fighter told BBC.
Haye taunted Klitschko repeatedly before the fight, calling him a fraud and a robot and famously wore a T-shirt showing the Klitschko and his older brother Vitaly's severed heads. Klitschko regretted he didn't get to knock out the Englishman but said his win was good for the sport.
"It's definitely a victory for boxing because this man has to go," Klitschko said. "It's not cool what he did with T-shirts. I think it gives a certain shadow on the sport. And it's just disgraceful to the sport and disrespectful to his opponent."