Wladimir Klitschko’s manager Bernd Boente reckons British boxing fans are so fed up with ‘loud-mouth’ David Haye that they want him KO’d on Saturday.
The build up to the long-awaited heavyweight unification battle in Hamburg, Germany, has been littered with relentless trash talk – the majority coming from Haye, the WBA holder.
That, according to Boente, has led to supporters in the UK turning against the south London fighter and backing Ukrainian Klitstcho, the IBF and WBO champion, instead.
"We were both very surprised how many people in the streets in London, in restaurants – even in Sky headquarters – were congratulating Wladimir for his charming way and all wished him good luck and said, ‘knock out the loud mouth’,” revealed Boente on London's talkSPORT radio, Tuesday.
“I think England is well known all over the world for fair play – boxing has its roots in England and the same with soccer. And we all know that English fans are known for fair play and are distinguished and David Haye is the opposite of all that. So I think that’s the reason the fans don’t like him.”
Boente went onto dismiss the idea Haye (25-1, 23 knockouts) had got the better of his man 24 hours earlier during a heated press-conference exchange in Hamburg, while also ruling out any chance that Klitschko (55-3, 49 KOs) might take the contest lightly.
“There is no way Wladimir will fight angry. He knows exactly what to expect from David Haye and he knows that he could tell him some nonsense before the first bell, come in the ring with another stupid T-shirt, or talk to him like he talked to him yesterday at the stare-down," he said.
"He knows that anything is possible and he knows that he has to be calm and collected and do his job and I’m sure that David will not talk that much more when he sees the first jab.
“There is no doubt that Haye is a huge challenge and that he’s one of the best opponents Wladimir has faced in his career. He’s a very fast guy, he’s a huge puncher, he’s a good boxer and he had a very good amateur career.
“He is a very dangerous opponent, and Wladimir and his coach will not underestimate David. They will be prepared for all scenarios and all plans.”
And Boente has also rubbished suggestions that, following Irishman Matthew Macklin’s controversial split decision loss to WBA middleweight titleholder Felix Sturm in Cologne last weekend, Haye’s only chance of victory in Germany is a stoppage.
“That’s nonsense,“ said the German promoter. “I agree Sturm-Macklin was not good for boxing and I thought Macklin won the fight by one point. I hope all the judges will be neutral on Saturday. But I do not expect this fight to go the distance.”