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Haye fired up for ‘dream’ fight
London, Apr 20 (Agencies):
Published on 21 Apr. 2009 1:09 AM IST
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Britain’s David Haye is confident of beating Wladimir Klitschko on June 20 in Gelsenkirchen to claim the IBF and WBO heavyweight world titles. Haye, a former undisputed cruiserweight world champion, will face the Ukrainian at Schalke 04’s Veltins Arena having fought at heavyweight only twice. “It is massive - it cannot get any bigger and it is a fight I dreamt of as a child,” he told BBC Radio Five Live. “This is my chance and my dream is now nearly realised.” The 28-year-old Londoner has called the bout “the biggest heavyweight fight of all time” and has promised to take boxing “to a whole new stratosphere”. Klitschko, 33 has a record of 52 wins and three losses, with 46 knockouts. The meeting with Haye will be the seventh defence of his IBF title, which he won against Chris Byrd in April 2006. In February 2008, Klitchsko beat Russia’s Sultan Ibragimov to take the WBO crown - and his last fight was a seventh-round stoppage of former world champion Hasim Rahman in December. Haye has 22 wins and 21 knockouts from 23 fights with his only defeat against fellow Briton Carl Thompson in 2004, when he was stopped in the fifth round. As the verbal exchanges continued last week in the build-up to the fight, Haye declared “war” on the Klitschko family (Wladimir’s elder brother Vitali is also a boxer). It was a statement that Klitschko responded to by saying he would “give him a lesson”. Despite Klitschko’s superior size, Haye is confident he has the skills to see off his opponent. “I have been fighting guys who have been fast but this guy is 6’7” and 18 stone so he is naturally a lot bigger than myself,” Haye added. “I have never boxed anyone as big as him so I am going a bit into the unknown. “I have been knocked down by guys smaller than him but the difference is I see heavyweight punches a lot quicker. They are also coming from further away so I do not think there will be a problem.”

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