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Page last updated at 15:05 GMT, Monday, 20 April 2009 16:05 UK

Haye 'an embarrassment to boxing'

By Ben Dirs

Haye denies overstepping the mark with his comments about the Klitschkos

Wladimir Klitschko has labelled David Haye an "embarrassment to boxing" ahead of their world heavyweight title fight in Germany on 20 June.

Haye wore a T-shirt portraying him holding the severed heads of Wladimir and his older brother Vitali at a news conference in London on Monday.

Wladimir said: "What's next? My mum's and my dad's head cut off? Will he attack my race or religion?

"It is upsetting to see my relations portrayed like that. It is not sport."

Londoner Haye, who will challenge for Wladimir's IBF and WBO belts at Schalke 04's Veltins Arena, in Gelsenkirchen, fired back: "Your style's embarrassing, everything you do in the ring is embarrassing.

"His jab, jab, grab tactics aren't impressive and will not work against me. I'll make him fight and he doesn't like fighting.

"He holds, paws and grabs and doesn't stand in the ring and go to war like a true heavyweight should.


"He sucks, I don't like his style. I don't like what he represents. Yes, he's charming, but this is boxing and he doesn't entertain in the ring."

Former undisputed cruiserweight champion Haye, 28, added that his trash-talking tactics had had the desired effect and he did not regret his actions.

"I got the reaction I wanted," said Haye, who has 22 wins from 23 fights. "All the screaming and shouting has come to fruition.

"I got under his skin and hopefully he'll come out throwing bombs. All the screaming and shouting is necessary because people have to hear about the fight.

"Boxing is not about what you do in the ring, you have to make people want to pay to see the fight. I want a boxing extravaganza, so I want people to have passion for the fight.

What kind of example is he setting for kids? It's embarrassing and I cannot accept it

Wladimir Klitschko

"I don't care about good taste, I'm not in boxing for good taste and I know some people might hate me.

"But if I'm the best boxer on the planet with bad taste, I don't care. I'll do what I have to do, including all these silly little stunts. In 20-30 years time no-one will remember my T-shirt, they'll remember the day I violently destroyed Wladimir Klitschko."

Wladimir, 33, who has a record of 52 wins and three losses, with 46 knockouts, vowed to make Haye "eat his words".

"When he was trying to get the fight, the picture with me with my head cut off was below the belt, but I swallowed it," said the Ukrainian.

"But he's got the fight now and I can't understand why he continues to do it. What kind of example is he setting for kids? It's embarrassing and I cannot accept it.

"He'll get paid back with pain in the fight and at the press conference afterwards I'll remind him what he said and he'll eat his words and apologise."

The meeting with Haye will be the seventh defence of his IBF title, which he won against Chris Byrd in April 2006.

In February 2008, Wladimir beat Russia's Sultan Ibragimov to take the WBO crown - and his last fight was a seventh-round stoppage of former world champion Hasim Rahman in December.

Haye's only defeat was against fellow Briton Carl Thompson in 2004, when he was stopped in the fifth round.

But despite Wladimir's superior size - he is about 30lb heavier and four inches taller - Haye is confident he has the skills to see off his opponent.

"I have been fighting guys who have been fast but this guy is 6'7" and 18 stone so he is naturally a lot bigger than myself," Haye added.

"I have never boxed anyone as big as him so I am going a bit into the unknown.

"I have been knocked down by guys smaller than him but the difference is I see heavyweight punches a lot quicker. They are also coming from further away so I do not think there will be a problem."

see also
Klitschko predicts Haye knockout
16 Apr 09 |  Boxing
Haye offers Klitschko German bout
16 Feb 09 |  Boxing
Vitali Klitschko opts for Gomez
09 Jan 09 |  Boxing
Haye targets Wladimir Klitschko
08 Jan 09 |  Boxing
In-depth interview - David Haye
16 Dec 08 |  Boxing
Klitschko camp confirm Haye fight
15 Dec 08 |  Boxing
Clinical Klitschko stops Rahman
13 Dec 08 |  Boxing
Stunning Haye demolishes Barrett
15 Nov 08 |  Boxing
Powerful Klitschko reclaims title
12 Oct 08 |  Boxing
Klitschko hints at Haye defence
13 Jul 08 |  Boxing

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