News24

PM applauds 'superb' Haye

2009-11-08 15:15

London - British Prime Minister Gordon Brown lead the plaudits Sunday for David Haye's "superb" performance against Nikolai Valuev which made him Britain's first WBA heavyweight champion since 2003.

"Congratulations to David Haye for his superb, courageous and determined performance in Germany last night to win the WBA Heavyweight crown - Britain's first heavyweight champion for six years," Brown said.

Haye scored a majority decision verdict on Saturday night after taking the 2.13m tall, 143kg Valuev the full twelve-round distance, using his superior speed to stay away from the Russian's close-range punches.

The press also heaped praise on the country's latest sporting hero who becomes the first Briton to hold a world heavyweight crown since Lennox Lewis retired in 2003.

"David has once again slain Goliath after David Haye beat Nikolai Valuev to become the new heavyweight king of the world," wrote the Sunday Mirror.

"Haye made a mockery of Valuev's seven-stone advantage to box the giant Russian's ears off to claim the WBA crown in one of the great nights in British boxing.

"British sport has a new superstar to rival Wayne Rooney and Jenson Button and the world is Haye's oyster after this magnificent display."

On the same lines, the Mail on Sunday wrote: "David Haye slew the giant last night and became a colossus in the eyes of British sports fans.

"In amazing scenes in Germany the 29-year-old Londoner gave a master-class of boxing skill to snatch the WBA world heavyweight title away from Nikolai Valuev, the giant Russian whom the doubters thought would be too big for him.

"Derided as a big mouth, Haye proved beyond doubt that in the ring he is a class act, making the lumbering 7ft 2in man from St Petersburg look like a clumsy novice as he danced his way to a points victory."

The Observer praised Haye's skill in prevailing despite a damaged right hand picked up earlier in the fight.

" ... David Haye performed a 12-round magic act, most of it with a damaged hand, that bamboozled Nikolai Valuev and won the Londoner the WBA heavyweight title," the newspaper wrote.

"Haye will make close to one million pounds from this one," the newspaper estimated. "Down the road, if he beats (John) Ruiz, he will be looking for considerably more than that as he pursues the other world champions, Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko."

AFP