BOXING : David Haye expects to encounter little difficulty when he makes the first defence of his newly-acquired WBA heavyweight title against John Ruiz.
David Haye expects to encounter little difficulty when he makes the first defence of his newly-acquired WBA heavyweight title against John Ruiz.
In only his second fight as a fully-fledged heavyweight, the Englishman produced a technically sublime performance to beat champion Nikolai Valuev on a majority points decision and he now knows he must face American former champion Ruiz, who is the mandatory challenger for the WBA belt and ‘stepped aside’ to allow Haye a shot at Valuev.
“Ruiz is a good fighter, very under-rated,” Haye said. “He’s not the most entertaining of former champions but he’s won championships on several occasions and you don’t do that through being a bad fighter.”
He added: “I don’t feel I’d struggle with him in any way, though.
“He’s pretty much the same size as me and I think I’d just be way too fast and knock him out.”
Should he get Ruiz out of the way Haye will then seek to unify the belts in the heavyweight division.
“This is the start of big things to come,” Haye said. “Valuev felt like the best chin in the world in any weight division and I know there are a few other big guys around who won’t be able to take that sort of punishment.
“I’m looking forward to cleaning up the division. I want anyone who has got a belt, that’s why I moved up to heavyweight.
“I said I want to be unified champion and the Klitschkos are definitely in my sights. Unfortunately the fight (against one of the brothers) didn’t happen. But if it had, I wouldn’t have been fighting Valuev now and I would have been locked down on that crazy contract they tried to get me to sign.
“I was very happy with the terms of this one so I am free now to move forward with my career.”