Alexa
  • Directory of Taiwan

Haye setting his sights higher to fight Valuev

Haye setting his sights higher to fight Valuev

David Haye aimed his jabs and uppercuts higher than ever at a sparring partner who towered over him in thick platform boots on Wednesday to replicate the immense size of Nikolai Valuev, the tallest and heaviest world champion of all time.
The brash-talking, fast-punching Haye will fight the 2.18-meter (7-foot-2) WBA champion in Nuremberg, Germany, on Nov. 7, and his team has tried various ways to help the Briton raise his game, literally, as he bids to become the first to knock out Valuev.
"He's had 51 fights, he's never been hurt, never been knocked down," Haye said. "There's a lot of people saying it's a crazy tactic to knock him out.
"But look at my record, 21 out of my 22 victories have come by knockout. And that doesn't happen by looking for points victories. I look for bombs, looking for his chin, looking to hurt him to the body and the head."
In the final training session before heading to Germany, Haye's trainer, Adam Booth, stepped into the ring wearing boots with 15.25-centimeter (6-inch) thick soles, forcing the Briton to aim his punches above his own head at the pads on Booth's hands.
A red line has been drawn 2.18 meters high around the gymnasium walls to keep Haye constantly aware of the Russian's height.
"We have the life-size pictures of him here as well just so that, when he's moving around, he's constantly reminding himself of the size of the fighter," Booth said. "When he goes home and sleeps at night, he can make the fellow 10 foot (3 meters) so that, come fight night, nothing will be a surprise.
"We've had to hang the bags higher and he's had top make a few slight adjustments to the angle of his punches."
Having moved up after unifying the world cruiserweight titles, Haye will be fighting only his third heavyweight bout and be dwarfed by a fighter with a 50-1 record who is 30.5 centimeters (about a foot) taller and about 45 kilograms (100 pounds) heavier.
Haye (21-1) will be relying on his speed and mobility but believes he also has the punching power to stop Valuev.
"I've got a few tricks up my sleeve," he said. "I'm looking to be the first British heavyweight world champion since Lennox Lewis retired, and to do that I have got to get past a 7-foot-2, 24-stone Nikolai Valuev.
"It's the only dream I have. It's always a tough battle. I always find a way to slay the beast."


Updated : 2021-05-12 11:24 GMT+08:00