You have to hand it to David Haye; he has to be the most quotable boxer fighting today. He was at it again yesterday, as he gave his opinions on Vitali Klitschko and his title defense against American Kevin Johnson (22 – 0 – 1, 9 ko´s) in Berne, Switzerland this Saturday.
29 year old Haye (23-1, 21 ko´s) won the WBA version of the heavyweight crown on a majority decision over 7´2´´ Russian Nicolay Valuev in November. He has a mandatory defense lined up against the WBA number 1 contender, Puerto Rican John Ruiz, but has always stated that he would like to fight a Klitschko after that fight.
Vitali Klitschko (38 -2, 37 ko´s ) is the two-time and reigning WBC champion, while younger brother, 33 year old Vladimir (53 – 3, 47 ko´s)holds the IBF and WBO heavyweight belts.
Former world cruiserweight champion Haye who stands 6´3´´ tall and weighs in at less than 220 lbs, is adamant that he has the beating of both the Ukrainian giants.
“I want to knock out both Wladimir ( 6´7´´ 245lbs) and Vitali ((6´8´´ 252lbs) Klitschko, and I don’t care what order they fall in,” said Haye. “Vitali is nearly 40 years of age now and the clock is ticking if he wants to form any sort of legacy. There are probably one million dudes in America called Kevin Johnson, and beating one of them doesn’t make you an all-time great heavyweight.”
38 year old Vitali Klitschko´s defense against Johnson is his second in just 76 days. He previously battered formerly undefeated American Chris Arreola to defeat in ten rounds in Los Angeles in September. Since returning to the ring in 2008 after losing four years of his career with back and knee injuries, Klitschko has scored four championship knockouts in just 14 months. Haye´s victory over Valuev was his first fight in 12 months.
“Vitali’s greatest performance to date is a loss to Lennox Lewis. That’s his most memorable fight and the one result on his record that will be remembered in the history books.” said Haye. “The Klitschko´s don’t care about being great fighters, whereas I do. ´They may be big in Switzerland, but so are yodelers and nobody wants to watch them fight. I’ll be watching the fight, but only because I have an interest in meeting Vitali next year. As far as the fight itself goes, it’s one of the most unappealing heavyweight title fights for a while – and that’s saying something.”
Haye also poured scorn on the location of the fight, the PostFinance Arena in Berne.
“The fact that a title fight between a Ukrainian and an American is being held in Switzerland tells you all you need to know about the appeal of this fight. Heavyweight title fights should be huge events, not an after-thought in a country most famous for producing Toblerone´s.”
Luckily for Haye, the Klitschko brothers are huge stars throughout Europe, especially Germany were they regularly sell out much larger venues than the PostFinace Arena.
By the way, all 12,000 tickets for Klitschko v Johnson sold out in just five hours.
Latest odds; Klitschko 1/25, Johnson 8/1
Haye v Ruiz; Haye1/4, Ruiz 11/4 bet365