“Too big a man and too much talent and experience, in every area he’s superior,” said Emanuel Steward about his man Wladimir Klitschko regarding his next for David Haye. “This guy (Haye) has so much pressure on him, he’s never had the pressure he’s gonna have applied for him.”
“It’s a big man, with a mind-set of ring control. And all the hype and this – he’ll burn himself out in two rounds, three rounds. Mentally he’ll be gone. So (we’ll) put a lot of pressure on him.”
I was curious to know if Haye’s incessant verbal disrespect of the champion could be angering Klitschko in the wrong way, like Hasim Rahman did to Lennox Lewis before their rematch? “Yeah, but it’ll be controlled aggression, we won’t be reckless, you know. Everything will be very well planned. I’m very excited for this fight.”
When it was Steward’s turn to speak at the dais of the New York press conference, he was at his very best. Steward has participated in many of these major press conferences and the bigger the fight, the more fascinating are his observations. And surely, with subtlety, Steward knows how to play the psychological warfare game on behalf of his warrior.
“1963 when (Cassius Clay) was creating all this excitement, he was on his way on a bus going up to Colorado at the time (to invite himself to visit then heavyweight champ Sonny Liston). (Haye) created excitement just verbally, in addition to knocking out guys. And this is the first time I have seen anyone do what David Haye has did. He hasn’t even fought a quality heavyweight, his biggest knockout was a guy Monte Barrett, a guy we knocked out about ten years ago (July 2000). But nevertheless he has been a genius. He has created excitement, he has gotten me excited myself about going to training camp. I wanted to go next week, Wladimir says, No let’s wait a couple more weeks. He’s going in himself. There’s just a lot of excitement in this fight.
“And Wladimir will be fighting a guy unlike he’s been fighting in the recent fights with all these old veteran guys who were all there to survive. The Thompsons, even Ibragimovs, you had all these guys, Rahman, Brewster, they were there just to survive. This is someone who is going to come to knock Wladimir out. He’s gonna bring energy and excitement and explosiveness we have not experienced in a while. Wladimir fights his best when he fights guys that come to him. When he fought a guy named Sam Peter it was an exciting fight. We didn’t want to go down there three times though but it was still it was an exciting, dramatic fight. And when he fought a guy named Chris Byrd, who was extremely enthused and motivated, because Brewster, his cousin, had told him just put pressure on him and he’ll fall apart. So Wladimir fights very good when he’s attacked.
“He doesn’t fight good with fighters who lay back and they’re technical fighters. David Haye is gonna come at him, it’s gonna be one of these type of fights that – he (Wladimir) could say 12 rounds – it’s not going 12 rounds. We’ll be partying, I’ll have some champagne somewhere by that time. No I don’t want to 12 rounds. He’s gonna knock out David Haye. We cannot play it safe this time. (Looking at Klitschko to his right) You will knock him out – or we may lose our title our self. So this is gonna be a fight where he is gonna make you fight, like Chris Byrd did. I know you and I know what is gonna happen. And he’s gonna come in and challenge you. And I feel you’re just gonna break him down slowly, and he will feel the strength of a full heavyweight. I think Wladimir’s experience as a tremendous amateur and all – it’s gonna be 56 fights, which is a lot of fights professionally (note: Lennox Lewis had 44 pro fights), not counting amateur background. It’s gonna be too much. Even in our hope that Lennox Lewis is gonna be in the corner (of Haye), it will be so exciting. I’m in the other corner with Vitali Klitschko, it’s gonna be a big fight.
“I think there will be more people watching this fight than any other heavyweight fight in history, if you look at the international aspect of it. And what the Klitschkos mean internationally, what David Haye has created even here in America. And it’s free on HBO, unlike Lennox and Mike. There will be more people watching this fight than any other heavyweight fight in history. And I’m glad to be a part of it. And I’m gonna be in a good seat, right there in front. And (smiling now and looking to his left at) David Haye, don’t talk too much more because you’re making me nervous, man, okay? You go with all these shirts and stuff and you take all these shirts with your scissors and cut ’em up and everything. You can’t bring them to the ring. And you come to fight, okay? Because if you do I might have a heart attack over there. All right, it’s been nice talking to you. I look forward to having a great fight.”
Steward also enjoyed my book “Heavyweight Armageddon: The Tyson-Lewis Championship Battle” … “Your book is a smashing success. It’s easy to read, flows nicely, you did a ton of research. I really enjoyed reliving that experience. All the craziness with Crocodile and all that stuff. On the flight to Vegas for the Hatton-Pacquiao fight, I signed more copies of your book than any book I’ve ever signed, all the Brits were on the flight to Vegas, they kept coming up to me with the books. Then when I got to Vegas I kept seeing these books with the two red gloves. They had me sign covers, the inside pages. Your’s and George Kimball’s book (The Four Kings) are two of the best boxing books I’ve ever read.”