David Haye: Wladimir Klitschko 'a fraud'
HAMBURG, Germany -- WBA champion David Haye vowed to expose IBF and WBO titleholder Wladimir Klitschko as a "fraud" in their heavyweight unification bout on July 2.
The 30-year-old Haye said the Ukrainian had only fought "little fat puddings who turn up for a pay check" when the pair met at a news conference Monday in Hamburg's 57,000-seat Imtech Arena, where the bout will take place.
"He's a fraud and I'm good at exposing frauds," said the Briton, who has a 25-1 record with 23 knockouts.
Klitschko (55-3, 49 KOs) is happy the long-awaited fight is finally taking place after negotiations broke down several times.
"David Haye has made a lot of promises before but nothing came of them," the 35-year-old Klitschko said. "That's exactly why I insisted it was written in the contract that Haye has to go into the ring first -- so I make sure he's there before I come out."
Haye pulled out of a fight with Klitschko in 2009 due to a back injury and subsequent talks between the two camps collapsed, with each side blaming the other.
"I will be very upset if this doesn't happen," Klitschko said, adding that Haye's acceptance of a 50-50 money split made the fight happen. "So you're going to get a really big check ... to be the 50th knockout."
Haye, who yawned and rolled his eyes as Klitschko's achievements were shown on a big screen, said he believed he could have knocked out the Ukrainian when he was the undisputed cruiserweight champion in 2008.
"Here's my time to prove it," Haye said. "I'm in good shape, so for the first time he's fighting someone healthy. Normally he tries to pick people who are injured or coming off long layoffs. This time he's got a prime athlete at his peak.
"I believe the people he's fought make him look spectacular, from the fact that he wears big shoulder pads in his gowns to the fact that he picks the guys who fit his style perfectly. I'm not fooled by it."
Klitschko said he respected his opponent as a "tremendous fighter" but acknowledged "mixed feelings" following years of provocation by Haye against him and his 39-year-old brother Vitali Klitschko, the WBC champion.
Haye once attended a news conference wearing a T-shirt depicting an image of himself holding the brothers' severed heads.
"I will put my feelings on my fists and let my fists fly," Klitschko said.
Haye, meanwhile, continued taunting his opponent.
"When the going gets tough, he gets going towards the canvas," he said.
The psychological battle began in earnest when the pair would not break away from the traditional faceoff until Haye's manager, Adam Booth, broke the fighters' stares with a sheet of paper after about three minutes.
Vitali (42-2) is due to fight Tomasz Adamek of Poland in September, but Haye is confident the older Klitschko brother will cancel that bout to fight him to try and restore his family's honor "after I've decapitated Wladimir."
Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press
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