Boxing


Haye Says He's "Definitely Got Under Valuev's Skin" And That He's "Going To Have Something Else Planned For Him" At Press Conference

by James Slater - To my mind, David Haye is playing a most dangerous game by constantly slinging trash-talk insults in the direction of the colossal Nikolai Valuev - who he will fight for the WBA title in Germany on Nov. 7th, in case anyone didn't know.

Haye has gone as far as calling the towering 7'2" Russian a "freak" and he has also made clear his opinion on Valuev's personal hygiene. Not only that, But Haye has also dreamt up a stunt or two, such as knocking the head clean off a cardboard cut-out of Valuev. The word is, 36-year-old Valuev has been annoyed by some of Haye's antics and that he has promised his promoter he will KO Haye so as to teach him a lesson..

But Haye, who has just turned 29, says he enjoys winding up his opponents, and that doing so gives him a definite edge when fight time comes. Haye certainly got under the skin of both Klitschko brothers, back when he was hyping up his challenge of Waldimir first and then Vitali - but disappointingly neither fight took place in the end.

Now having switched to Valuev in the psychological warfare department, "The Hayemaker" is reportedly feeling pretty smug with himself; as he told The Mirror newspaper recently.

"I definitely feel I've got under his skin," Haye said of Valuev. "The word coming out of his training camp in Germany is that he's really motivated. He's knocking all his sparring partners around and really wants to do a number on me. That's great because I really want him to come at me, swinging. The more aggressive he is, the better I will be able to go to work with my counter-punches.

"This is one up for me in the mind games. And I'm going to have something else planned for him at our press conference in Germany before the fight."

So, is Haye giving himself too much credit when it comes to "getting to" Valuev, or has he indeed angered the champion to such an extent that Valuev has changed his usual training preparations? Haye himself will not know if his gamble of annoying the giant has worked until the end of the fight. However, many experts and fans alike feel Haye will come up short in what will only be his third fight as a heavyweight.

"I understand where those people are coming from," Haye said of his critics. "They would like to see me fight more fights at heavyweight, get bashed around a bit more and knocked down. I know I'm going into this fight with a lot of question marks hanging over me at this level, but I just want to win the title as quickly as possible."

So Haye apparently feels that had he had more fights up at heavyweight, he would have had more of a chance of taking further punishment as well properly acclimatising himself to the new weight class. But some experts say there is nothing more productive for a fighter than activity - and can it really have done Haye any good being out of action for almost a full year? Also, if Haye really did want to "win the title as quickly as possible" why didn't he go ahead with the fight he was offered by WBC champion Vitali Klitschko back in the summer?

One thing is sure; Haye will be left with a red face and a career in something of a limbo should he lose to Valuev next month. As for the "something else" Haye says he will have planned for the WBA ruler at the final press conference; let's hope it's a sight more imaginative than him knocking a cardboard photo of his rival's head off his shoulders!

Although to be fair, Valuev was reported to have been more annoyed by that little piece of theatre than anything else Haye has pulled.

Article posted on 27.10.2009



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