Tempers begin to flare at yesterday's press conference in NYC.
There once was a time when the heavyweight champion was a big deal in our sports culture. For over a hundred years, the heavyweight champion was looked at as this larger than life figure that everyone admired. The champion was seen on the same status as some big name actors from Hollywood. Those days are long gone.
But there seems to be light at the end of the tunnel. We now have a heavyweight fight that everyone is looking forward too. After months of negotiations, the world heavyweight title blockbuster between Wladimir Klitschko and David Haye has finally been signed. The eagerly awaited showdown will take place on June 20 at Veltins-Arena Stadium in Schalke, Germany. Wladimir (52-3, 46 KO's) will put his IBF, WBO, and IBO belts on the line against the number two ranked Haye (22-1, 21KOs).
Both men were on hand on Thursday in New York City's BB King's for a press conference to announce the fight. It has become a war of words between the two as the verbal jabbing would make Vince McMahon proud. Haye has done plenty of trash talking for this fight has by angering the Klitschko brothers with his now famous beheading picture he took for a Men's health magazine in Britain that showed both Klitschko's brothers head decapated with Haye holding on to both heads. Haye feels that he needed to do these tactics in order to score the big fight with Wladimir. The pensive champion thinks that Haye has gone too far, though, and for the first time Klitschko can remember he is predicting a knockout. However, Haye does not care as he has the fight he wants and is showing Wladimir no love.
"Wladimir fighting style is very negative. People do not get their money's worth when they see him fight," said Haye. When I fight, I dish out the best I have and people certainly get their money's worth. That is why 30,000 tickets have been sold so quickly. It's not for Wladimir's boxing style that is for damn sure".
Haye has continued to incensed the Ukrainian by wearing a T-shirt which depicted him holding the severed heads of Wladimir and his brother Vitali, the WBC heavyweight champion. It was the same picture he took for the magazine but has now made into a T-Shirt. Haye is hoping to inject some life into a division that has seen 15 different men hold onto a heavyweight title since Lennox Lewis retired in 2003. Haye was not shy on his feelings on the stale heavyweight division.
"The heavyweight division has been shit for the last four to five years. I am here to take it over," said Haye. I am not impressed by Wladimir at all. I am going to kick his ass."
The Brit would continue his verbal assault as he was quick to point out that Wladimir has truly never been tested.
"He's spent so many years fighting B-level opponents, he's become a B-level champion," Haye said. "You become what you're used to dealing with and he's used to dealing with guys that are out of shape, over the hill and have no ambition to fight. It's good for his record but these guys have had no desire. The level of opposition has sucked and he is going to be in for a rude awakening," said Haye.
He was quick to point out in his losses to Brewster and Sanders; Wladimir isn't as good when the fight is taken to him.
"Brewster took some punches and then knocked him out. Corrie Sanders took a few and wasn't scared and knocked him out, "said Haye. The only times he has to dig deep, he has looked terrible and has been knocked out."
Even with all the harsh comments, Haye did admit that Wladimir was going to be his toughest opponent to date.
"Without a doubt he'll be the best guy I'll have fought but it might not appear that way the way I'm going to destroy him." He's the number one heavyweight in the world, you've got to give him credit for that. But in terms of entertainment and his legacy to boxing, in 20 years' time no-one is going to remember him. He is just going to be remembered as the guy I knocked out win the heavyweight championship."
As much as Haye talked on Thursday, Wladimir did have his own time to respond back to Haye's comments.
"I am going to give him a pizza face with my jab for the fight," Klitschko said. "I hope Emanuel lets me enjoy the process of going twelve rounds with him and knocking him out in the 12th." Wladimir was responding to his trainer, Emmanuel Steward, who said earlier in the press conference that he would like to see Wladimir finish Haye off in six rounds but Wladimir seem to have none of that.
"In the press conference after the fight," Klitschko said, "I will make you eat your words and your T-shirt as well.
"It's not funny, you think you're a great promoter? I'll make you a great loser.
"You tried to get under my skin, you got under my skin."
"Whatever it takes to make you lose I will do it. I promise."