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Haye Brands Klitschko "A Fraud"
Does Haye need to learn some respect?
Posted May 12, 2011 by Chris White
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The pre-match banter has started ahead of David Haye's eagerly anticipated clash with Wladimir Klitschko, with the WBA Heavyweight champion labeling the Ukrainian as "a fraud."
Haye claims that Klitschko only has his fearsome reputation and his record of 49 knockouts from 55 victories out of his 58 fights because of the "fat American MO (Modus Operandi) that they like to fight."
The British WBA Heavyweight Champion's comments came at a pre-fight press conference in Hamburg's Imtech Arena, which will stage the bout on 2 July.
35-year old Klitschko on the other hand admitted that he has respect for what Haye has achieved, but criticized him for his lack of respect for his opponents.
Klitschko said: "I really respect him, he's a tremendous fighter with an impressive record, but David Haye is going to be my 50th knockout. Forty-nine fighters have been knocked out in the last 15 years and David Haye has completely disrespected them with his comments. I will show him that he is just going to be another like the 49 before, he will be number 50."
Whether Haye has a point or not, is up for debate. But what isn't up for debate is the fact that Klitschko has won his last 13 fights, against challengers such as Hasim Rahman and Samuel Peter.
Klitschko was taunting Haye back slightly during the press conference, particularly during the talk about respect. The Ukrainian offered his hand to Haye, only for the London-born fighter to look at him with disgust. If Haye is a true Champion, would it not have been better for him to shake his hand and then beat him? You don't have to like your opponent in boxing, but Haye could learn a little bit of respect.
I hope it isn't through defeat that Haye learns about respect, and that it is from the way he acted in this press conference with the refusal of Klitschko's handshake. Haye is one of the best British boxers of his generation and a little bit of arrogance is not a bad thing in boxing, but all the greats respect their opponents.