Klitschko too good for Haye
Wladimir Klitschko beat David Haye on a unanimous points decision to win their heavyweight unification bout in Hamburg, Germany - but the Englishman claimed a broken toe cost him the bout.
The ringside judges scored the fight 117-109, 118-108 and 116-110 in Klitschko’s favour, with Haye claiming after the fight that he had lost due to a broken toe he sustained in training three weeks previously.
"I broke my toe about three weeks ago," Haye said, baring his foot in the ring to prove his point. "I didn't let anyone know that.
"I've been giving it local anaesthetics in the gym... that's why I stopped sparring. My Hayemaker wasn't there, I couldn't push off my right foot to land that shot. It was really frustrating."
Klitschko was happy to win, but clearly irritated at his failure to land a knockout blow against an opponent whose pre-fight antics clearly riled him.
"I would have loved to celebrate my 50th knockout," said the youngest of the brothers, at 35, who was taunted publicly by the trash-talking English showman Haye in the build-up to the fight and had promised to punish him.
"I am still not okay with his behaviour before the fight. It's definitely disgraceful to the boxing fans, to the sport of boxing, the way the man behaved himself. I think the fight talked for itself."
Haye, the WBA title holder, weighed at 15 stones 3 pounds at Friday’s weigh-in with WBO, IBF and IBO world heavyweight champion Klitschko tipping the scales at 17 stones 5 pounds.
Klitschko, the pre-fight favourite, started on the front foot, backing 30-year-old Haye, who conceded a three inch reach advantage, into the corner early on before Haye fell to the ground after a push on the back of the head.
Haye responded in typical fashion, fighting with his gloves low and looking to rely on his superior speed, waiting for an opening to strike Klitschko, who started the fight with a record reading 55-3 with 49 knockouts.
Neither fighter landed a punch of note in the opening round but Klitschko made the first move in the second, catching Haye face-first.
Haye, who earned his WBA title beating Nikolai Valuev in November 2009, made his move in the third, pouncing on the front foot, landing a right hander and forcing 35-year-old Klitschko to briefly hold. The Briton smelt blood and forced his rival into the middle of the ring but was unable to land another significant shot.
Klitschko continued on unflustered, moving forward and jabbing from the front foot while largely looking comfortable in defence, dictating the pace of the fight and edging more rounds than Haye.
He went on to land a big right hander on Haye in the fifth, marking the Londoner’s nose, but Haye then went on to lightly cut his opponent below the right eye before Klitschko was docked a point for pushing Haye to the ground.
Haye, frustrated at being unable to land a combination, began to look reckless in attack and, needing a knockout, went for Klitschko with a flurry of punches without being able to land the crucial blow.
Haye, who stepped up from cruiserweight in November 2008, slipped to the deck once again in the penultimate round but this time the referee called it a knockdown, leaving Haye knowing he had just three minutes to stop the fight.
And the 6ft, 3in fighter almost made the breakthrough in the last, landing a brutal one-two which left Klitschko holding to bide some time.
Klitschko was visibly shaken and Haye moved in to finish the bout but soon lost his momentum, unable to follow up with the decisive attack and leaving the judges to score the fight unanimously in Klitschko’s favour.