By Brian Woolnough, courtesy of The Daily Star
DAVID HAYE was left frustrated and defeated as Wladimir Klitschko silenced his taunts with a unanimous points victory. Afterwards Haye blamed his defeat on a broken toe in his right foot suffered three weeks ago. The judges scored it 117-109, 118-108 and 116-110 to Klitschko.
Klitschko, AKA Dr Steelhammer, dominated behind his jab and heavy right to shatter Haye’s dream of becoming Britain’s first unified world heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis.
Germany-based Klitschko captured Haye’s WBA belt and retained his IBF and WBO titles in front of his home city fans at the rain-drenched Imtech Arena in Hamburg.
Lewis ended his career with a victory over Vitali Klitschko in 2003 and Haye’s career may also have finished against one of the Ukrainian brothers.
Haye had hoped to face Wladimir’s elder brother in a final bout before his planned retirement on his 31st birthday in October, which pre-fight he insisted he is sticking to. But whether the Londoner ever fights again is now uncertain after he suffered his second professional defeat, seven years after the first to Bolton veteran Carl Thompson.
All the world titles belts are now in the Klitschko family’s hands after WBC Schamp Vitali looked on delighted as Wladimir took revenge for Haye’s barrage of pre-fight insults.
The biggest heavyweight fight since Lennox Lewis-Mike Tyson in 2002 had a television audience of 500million people in 150 countries.
At the start Klitschko began as he has boxed in the last seven years, cautiously and with minimal risk behind his shuddering jab.
Klitschko, 35, looked to drill his ramrod left jab into Haye’s face and keep the Briton out of harm’s way.
The fight went the distance but Klitschko looked in control for most of it, despite some brutal punches from Haye.
Britain’s former world undisputed heavyweight champion Lewis said Haye lost because of the wrong tactics.
“He came with the wrong game plan,” said Lewis.
"He had to get close and throw three, four, five punch combinations. He didn’t."
“His best asset is his right and left combination but he never threw enough of them and was well beaten.”
Haye said after the fight: “Klitschko’s a good fighter and I wasn’t hurt at any stage. All credit to him, he fought a great fight and his tactics were right."
And Haye hinted he may fight on beyond his avowed October retirement deadline.
“I don’t know if I will fight on,” said Haye.
“My plan was to fight on but I’ve got to watch the fight back and see from there.”