by T.K. Stewart
Perennial British heavyweight contender Michael Sprott has recently been brought in as a sparring partner for IBF and WBO heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko. Sprott arrived in Kitzbuhel, Austria a few days ago and he has joined the final stages of the Klitschko training camp at the Hotel Stanglwirt.
The mindset of Emanuel Steward is that the 34 year-old Sprott is similar in size to Haye (6'1” and 235 pounds) and that he may be able to give Klitschko “the same sort of looks that Haye will” on June 20th when they meet in the ring at the Arena auf Schalke in Gelsenkirchen, Germany.
Another advantage is that Sprott sparred several rounds with Haye in the past so he is quite familiar with what the “Haye-maker” will bring to the table. The hope is that Sprott, a journeyman at best, who has faced big names such as Ruslan Chagaev, Lamon Brewster and Corrie Sanders will give Klitschko some high quality work over the next two weeks.
Klitschko held an open media workout on Tuesday at his training camp in Austria and he appeared in high spirits. Sprott, a 13 year veteran who has a record of 31-13, 16 knockouts told BoxingScene.com that barring anything unforeseen he will be in camp until it ends. Sprott is getting ready for a fight himself and will face undefeated Alexander Ustinov on the Klitschko vs. Haye undercard.
This is not Sprott's first time working with Klitschko. Late last year the soft spoken Sprott sparred with the IBF/WBO champ, but he says this training camp is somewhat different than others he has been a part of in the past. “We're in a five-star hotel,” said the former European Union and Commonwealth heavyweight champion. “It's all nice.”
According to Sprott, the subject of his sparring with Haye was never mentioned when he was hired by the Klitschko camp.
“They never brought it up at all,” he said. “They haven't asked me what Haye is like or anything like that. I'm just here, everything is normal, I'm just going with it.”
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