By Mark Vester
When WBA heavyweight champion David Haye steps in the ring on April 3 in Manchester against mandatory John Ruiz, he will not be overconfident. Haye is still having thoughts about his 2004 knockout loss to 40-year-old Carl Thompson. Haye wants to keep the loss to Thompson fresh is his head to keep himself from repeating the mistake of being overconfident in a fight.
"I'm going to come unstuck – as I did when I fought Carl. I was the favourite, like now. In training, I was thinking: 'I'm going to knock him out.' And it didn't happen," Haye said to Kevin Mitchell of The Guardian. "That defeat is still fresh in my mind. I'm not going to let the same thing happen twice. It was the turning point in my career."
Haye's current goal is to become the next superstar of British boxing. With Ricky Hatton set to hang up the gloves, Haye wants to pick up his torch and lead the way. He made the fight with Ruiz a domestic battle to please the British fans.
"Ruiz is not that big in America," Haye said, "but I am happy to do this here for my British fans. Sure, I want to fight in America some day. I am sticking to my timetable, though, of retiring when I am 31."
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