31 October 2008
David Haye writes exclusively for the 'News'
Haye rallies the troops
THERE ARE three weeks to go until my heavyweight showdown with Monte 'Two Gunz' Barrett at The O2 in North Greenwich. At this point in time I couldn't feel better. Training has gone smoothly, sparring's been great and I'm feeling as fit as ever before.
I know I need to be at my best for a guy like Barrett. In terms of danger, this is a much bigger test for me than the Enzo Maccarinelli and Jean-Marc Mormeck fights. On November 15 I'll be fighting a 230-pound guy in Barrett who carries lots of power and lots of heart. He's the biggest threat I've ever faced as a pro.
Word from New York is that Barrett has been looking great in the gym and has been knocking out sparring partners left, right and centre. He's said he's in a good place mentally for this fight and that, despite being 37 years of age, is better now than he's ever been before. Anyone that saw him spark Tye Fields in under a minute can see just how dangerous this guy is right now. Unlike most other heavyweights, 'Two Gunz' comes into the ring with a six-pack and the ability to throw more than six punches.
I need to be on my game from first bell to last. Barrett isn't one of these fat, lumbering heavyweights who can only fight 30 seconds a round. He's busy, quick-handed and has a good work rate. I've brought in a number of sparring partners to help me cope with that kind of style. They've all been solid, 6'3-plus heavyweights with fast hands and have kept me working bell-to-bell.
On the night I'll be prepared as I can be for Barrett. I'll have done my homework and my roadwork and will be looking to put on a show. In terms of excitement, this might be the most explosive fight I've had in my career so far. We're two big punchers with a tendency to get knocked down and get back up again. This could be the kind of fight that sees us both dropped a few times before one guy has their armed raised. If ever I'm going to need the support of my London fans it's for this one.
A bonus for my London fans will be that the fight should be all done and dusted by midnight. It will be an early starter and an early finisher. It won't be like when I boxed Maccarinelli and the fight wound up at about 2.45 am. Thankfully, we've been put on at a better hour this time round and there won't be any problems getting home after the event. Even I struggled to get home after beating Maccarinelli!
All in all, it should be a great night on November 15. Aside from my fight with Barrett, we've also got Ryan Rhodes boxing for the WBC International title against Vincent Vuma. That should be a hard-to-call and exciting 12-rounder.
Then there are London boys George 'The Saint' Groves, Michael Grant and Leon 'Solid' Williams all appearing and all looking to stay unbeaten. We've also got some Liverpool interest in the form of Tony 'The Warrior' Dodson, Joe McNally and John Watson.
I can't wait to knock out Barrett and then get back and watch the repeats of the action on Setanta Sports!
In the afternoon before my fight I'll be keeping a close eye on Millwall's game with Stockport County at The Den. We've made a tremendous start to our League One campaign this season and I'm positive we'll grab promotion by the time the season's over. A convincing thrashing of Stockport on November 15 will be just the boost I need before stepping into the ring against Barrett.
Hopefully some of the Millwall faithful will join me at The O2 and make their way along the tube after their team beat Stockport. It would be good to see some Millwall flags flying in the crowd. As soon as I knocked out Maccarinelli in March those flags were the first things I noticed. It was brilliant. To see my name sharing the same flag as Millwall's badge was something I didn't ever expect to see. I grew up as one of those fans and now those same fans are getting behind me the way they do with Millwall.
That's a great feeling and just the kind of motivation I need to do a job on Barrett come November 15.
Until next time…
AKA 'The Hayemaker'
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