28 April 2009
It's not subtle and may even come across as crass, but David Haye has persisted with the tactic of trash talking World Heavyweight Champ Wladimir Klitschko this week.
But if it is just an act by the Bermondsey man to hype their encounter in June, then it’s a very good one.
From the moment he swaggered in the room in his now customary t-shirt with the beheaded Klitschkos on them, to
refusing to shake hands and onto the do it as you mean it stare off that neither fighter would break, even after being asked to stop repeatedly, Haye kept up the mean act.
As ever Haye has the talk, but for this encounter he is speaking with a venom and viciousness he has not displayed before. In the press conference he labelled his opponent 'Wladimir Bitchko', said there was no line he would not step over to insult his opponent and also stated he didn't care what people thought as '... I know I am going to smash his head in.'
Speaking to the 'News' after the main press conference he was equally unrepentant in his chosen stance. He said: "I don't care; I'm not in boxing to be in good taste or to be of bad taste. I am in it to knock people out. I got in this for people to realise I am the best in the world. As long as people realise I am the best in the world, even with bad taste, I don't care."
The Haye camp seem to have given up a lot in negotiations for the fight on June 20. They have handed over home advantage, have signed a three fight deal that will involve the Klitschko brothers in at least two further contests should the Bermondsey man win in June and, according to Haye, it will not be a bumper pay-day.
He said: "I'm not going out for a pay-cheque - if you saw the pay-cheque you would realise I am not going out there for that. I'm going there to make history and to show the world that I am the number one fighter in the world and I would have done anything to make this fight."
When asked if he thought he had given away too much in the negotiating process, he reverted to attacking his opponent: "Listen, it will be Wladimir's last fight so it will be a nice big chunk for him - £10million plus - to stick in his pension box. But it will be the last big pay-day he will get."
Doubts were previously raised that this bout could fill a football stadium, whether that was Stamford Bridge or Schalke 04's stadium in Gelsenkirchen, but early indications are that the fight has caught the German public imagination, no doubt partly fuelled by Haye's tactics in publicising the contest.
Haye promised the t-shirt will not be the last of his stunts in the run up to the fight, and dismissed talk that his attitude would smear a win, should he secure it.
He said: "I have to make it a huge event, and to do that I’ve got to do what I have to do. Whether that makes me look like a tit for doing these silly little stunts it doesn't bother me. I am here for the big picture - in twenty or 30 years time nobody will remember a t-shirt and they will remember me violently destroying Wladimir Klitschko in front of 60,000 of his fans."
This week the Klitschko camp announced 47,000 tickets had been sold for the contest. However 2,000 tickets for British fans are being sold at www.viagogo.co.uk
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