By Kevin Francis, courtesy of The Daily Star
WLADIMIR KLITSCHKO last night branded David Haye a chicken and vowed: “My brother will knock him out.”
Haye is planning a return to the ring in February or March but, according to Klitschko, it will end in disappointment.
The 31-year-old former world champion, who announced his retirement last month, is being tempted to put his gloves back on for a title clash with Klitschko’s brother Vitali.
But Wladimir, who claimed a comprehensive points win over Haye in July, says that the Londoner will also end up suffering another beating from his brother.
Wladimir, who holds the WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO belts, said: “Vitali will knock him out – I am pretty sure of that.
“David was a chicken for 12 rounds against me and never made the fight. David just didn’t want the challenge.
“My big regret was that I didn’t knock him out and my brother has told me that he would have done that had he met him.
“Vitali hits harder than me and is the stronger of the two of us. I didn’t knock him out but Vitali can do that.”
Klitschko meets Jean Marc Mormeck in Dusseldorf on December 10 in one of four world title fights being shown live on Sky Sports that month.
He took time off from his preparations for that contest in the Austrian mountains to discuss the proposed return to action of Haye.
He said: “David Haye got a really good reality check with me and now he is going to be a better person.
“I believe after all the trash talking, below the line, he disappointed a lot of people in his own country and that makes him really upset.
“He was embarrassed and now he can’t hold his head high back in the UK. Instead of people calling him champ, they are just booing him.
“Slowly, the reality is coming up on him and he is carrying a terrible embarrassment over what happened against me in July. I still believe he is a good guy who lost his mind through success but is now in rehab.
“He has an ego and he will be back, I feel sure.”
Talks are in progress to set up a clash with 40-year-old Vitali, the WBC champion, as the two brothers seek to strengthen their hold on the world heavyweight scene.
They are still angry at the constant trash talking of Haye towards them in recent years – so will the family revenge be complete if Vitali defeats him?
The 35-year-old Wladimir said: “Revenge is complete now. He is where he has to be. We just wish David would fight my brother. The chapter is finished.
“I believe that David Haye will come back. He has an ego he will want to come back into the ring.
“If he has guts and ego, which got hammered against me, he will be back.
“He will beat lots of people in this division but he has no chance of beating my brother.
“But the fight is now down to David Haye’s call.”
Wladimir, meanwhile, has nothing but praise for the current British heavyweight scene in the post-Haye months.
British and Commonwealth champion Tyson Fury appears to be our best hope but he gained an unconvincing victory over Neven Pajkic earlier this month.
Dereck Chisora, who fights Robert Helenius next month for the vacant European belt, is another British world title contender.
We also have David Price and Wladimir said: “The sport of boxing started there and it has a huge following.
“The fan base is there. As negative as Haye was, he still promoted the sport.
“The current crop of British heavyweights are excited to get their chance. There are a lot of guys who can establish themselves and show their skills.
“Suddenly, someone can burst on to the scene and show incredible skills. The Olympics in London will bring more interest and who knows?
“There could be another Olympic champion and I am totally positive that the British heavyweight scene is capable of pushing more fighters through the rankings.”
Wladimir Klitschko v Jean Marc Mormeck on December 10 is one of four world title bouts live on Sky Sports HD next month.