Boxing


Haye's Insults Finally Get To Valuev, The WBA Heavyweight Champ Says He'll KO His Challenger

by James Slater - WBA heavyweight champion Nikolai Valuev of Russia has had to listen to a lot of taunting and boasting from David Haye, and now the 7'2" giant has returned some fire, predicting to his promoter that he will be the man scoring the KO on November 7th, not Haye.

A quiet and dignified person, 36-year-old Valuev has patiently and even politely listened to what "The Hayemaker" has had to say about him in the run up to the intriguing fight that will take place in Nuremberg, Germany. But yesterday, as has been reported by Sky Sports, the TV channel that will show the fight on box office in the UK, Valuev has spoken to his promoter Kalle Sauerland about Haye, and he gave him the distinct impression that he has lost his patience with his challenger..

First it was Haye who predicted a sensational KO, now Valuev has returned the favour and promised that he will win the fight a by knock out. Apparently, it was one of Haye's more recent stunts that angered Valuev - the one where Haye knocked the head off a cardboard imitation of the WBA ruler.

"Niko has laughed at what Haye has been saying but he didn't like the image of Haye punching his head off a cardboard cut-out of himself," Kalle Sauerland said. "He promised me that he's going to knock Haye out, which he doesn't normally say about opponents. I think Haye has got to him a little bit. I don't think he appreciates being called some of the things Haye has said."

For the record, Haye has called Valuev, amongst other things: "a big hairy freak," "a circus act" and he has also said that the champion "stinks." Nobody likes being insulted in such a way, obviously. But even in the now common tradition of trash-talk before a boxing match, has Haye gone too far? And will he pay the price come November 7th?

Sauerland and the fighter he promotes believe so, and Kalle listed the impressive credentials Valuev has that will allow him to win the fight and silence Haye.

"He [Valuev] has lost just once in 51 fights and fought everyone out there available," Sauerland said. "So if he is a circus act like Haye says he is, I want to go to the circus."

It remains to be seen whether or not Valuev fights better when he's angry. Sure enough he looked distinctly average last time out when he barely out-pointed an ancient Evander Holyfield. However, Valuev is known to respect and admire "The Real Deal." Some fans have even gone as far as to suggest Valuev "carried" Holyfield so as not to embarrass or hurt the legend. Who knows?

If Valuev can up his game while fighting under a red mist of anger brought on by his opponent, Haye might well live to regret having said some of the things he's come out with!

Article posted on 20.10.2009



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