BOXING : New WBA heavyweight champion David Haye believes he proved people wrong by backing up his big mouth with a superb majority-decision points victory over Russian champion Nikolai Valuev in Germany.
New WBA heavyweight champion David Haye believes he proved people wrong by backing up his big mouth with a superb majority-decision points victory over Russian champion Nikolai Valuev in Germany.
Haye produced a punch-perfect performance to become Britain’s first heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis’ retirement in 2003. The Englishman executed his gameplan to the letter, keeping out of Valuev’s range while picking the champion off when the opportunity presented itself to cruise to a seemingly clear victory – with two of the judges awarding him the win by four rounds but the other somehow seeing it a draw.
Afterwards new champion Haye said: “If a rematch happens I would be more than willing to do it. I talk big but I produce the goods. I said I’d make him look silly and make him miss and I did what I said I’d do.”
Haye added: “It’s a bit surreal, to be honest. When you strive for something your whole life and finally achieve it, what can you do? I’ll go and party now with all my friends and family and get everyone together to celebrate.
“This is not just for me, it’s for everyone I know, who supported me and believed in me. In that last round you saw what the Hayemaker can produce and there are big things to come.
“Valuev has got the best chin in the world in this division.
“The key was speed, people don’t realise how fast I am. I throw powerful punches and it was definitely my speed and athleticism which won it for me. I’m an athlete. If I wasn’t a boxer I’d be playing football or rugby or some sort of sport.
“First and foremost it’s about being a good athlete all-round, living cleanly and healthily and you can put on performances like that.”
Valuev accused Haye of running away from the fight.
“One thing went wrong from my point of view – it was like a marathon,” said the dethroned champion. “I felt like a track and field athlete because I had to run so much. But the judges had to score it. It was a close fight but I think the end of the last round made the difference.”