HAYE-HARRISON FINAL PRESSER
In London WBA heavyweight champion David Haye and challenger Audley Harrison came face-to-face for the final time before Friday’s weigh-in ahead of their fight in Manchester on Saturday and as usual, neither man was short for words.
David Haye: Here we are, fight week. This is for me the best part of the event, the lead up to Saturday night’s extravaganza. I’m looking to do big things in this fight. I’m fighting a southpaw. I haven’t fought a southpaw since Alexander Gurov in 2005 so it’s a new challenge for me. Audley I know is in great shape, he’s had a great camp but I like testing myself and what better way than facing an Olympic champion. I’m hoping Audley is going to back up his talk. I’ve heard he’s going to come to the ring and try to knock me out early. That’s tremendous for me, it put a big smile on my face. To know Audley’s going to go out there, hold the centre of the ring and go to war it made me feel good, gave me a nice, warm feeling in my stomach. I’m ready to go to war too as this is what I was born to do.
I’m the heavyweight champion for a reason, I was the undisputed cruiserweight champion for a reason. It’s because I like to fight. Audley doesn’t like to fight as much as I do but I’m going to force him to fight. He said he’s going to make me fight every second of every round, and that’s fine by me. I hope he’s ready to go every second of every round because I’m in great shape. My weight’s good, my timing, my technique, everything’s on point and I’m looking forward to giving a great night’s entertainment.
This is why I’m in boxing for these mega events. For the hype. Every time I pick up a paper its big news. Everybody wants to know about and see this fight and it’s because it will be a tremendous fight. It’s a great night for British boxing and British sport in general.
Harrison, who seemed less relaxed than Haye, challenges his fellow Londoner for the WBA heavyweight title and with just three days to go before the fight Harrison is ever confident of fulfilling his destiny.
"It’s going to be a tough fight, but ultimately I will prevail. It’s my destiny. I’ve said this mantra ‘Yes I can’ and I’ve never given up and Saturday night will be the crowning glory. Mission complete. Audley Harrison champion of the World, no doubt in my mind".
"You see this?, Harrison told Sky Sport, “Yes I can, yes I will and for David Haye’s sake, yes I must - it’ll be good for David Haye to get his beatdown".
"I hope all you people in Britain, all the media, I hope you build him up come November 14th, because you tried to bury me".
"That’s the problem with people in Britain, when people fall you don’t want to help them back up - so please help David on the 14th. Don’t crucify him, don’t criticise him in the press, he’s been a gallant champion. Unfortunately you can’t deny destiny".
"There is a saying in boxing that a good biggun always beats a good littl’un,".
"Well I’m a good biggun, David’s a good littlun and when you take away all the hype, I’ve got better attributes than him".
Audley Harrison: Really looking forward to Saturday night, can’t wait for it. I know David Haye has trained well, that he’s 100% ready and I know I’ll have to be at my best. I’m at my best, and I’ve said it before. The Audley Harrison that turned up at the Olympics, the Audley Harrison that beat Danny Williams in the second fight will destroy David Haye, and that’s who’s turning up on Saturday night.
Haye: The closer it get’s to a fight, the more up for a fight I get. The days are drawing close now, and this is what I’ve been waiting for the last three months. I’ve really been looking forward to this last week, as all the hard work’s done, all the hard graft, the hard sparring sessions, the hard track sessions, all the circuits, all the abs, all the medicine ball stuff, everything we’ve been doing to punish my body’s been done. All it is now is fine tuning, and this is the bit I actually like.
Training’s hard, I’ve been doing it since I was ten years old. Now I’m just tapering down and letting my body recover, recharge and come Saturday night I’m going to be bouncing off the walls. I just cannot wait to hear that first bell. After that bell sounds I’m going to go across the ring and engage in battle.
Harrison: I know David Haye is concerned. A scared man is a dangerous man. People say about me being scared and being delusional. The thing that makes me laugh about the media is the way they portray things. I always say perception is not reality. David Haye did a great job as a cruiserweight but he wasn’t the undisputed champ. The media keep calling him the undisputed champ. Steve Cunningham had the IBF belt. David had three of the belts. To be undisputed you must have four.
The Klitschko’s, they are chasing after David Haye’s belt because they want to be undisputed, David Haye was never undisputed so that’s delusion number one. Delusion number two is that David Haye is just going to walk through me in some public execution. This fight is going to be the fight of his life because I’m going in there for my destiny and trust me, I’m putting everything on the line. This fight is going to be a close fight, because I know David Haye doesn’t want to give up his belt and I know I want his belt and any time you have those ingredients it’s going to go back and forth.
If I have to go down, I go down. I’m going to go through whatever adversity I have to. I told you all, adversity is my friend and every time I’ve fallen in the past I’ve built my character. The only way Haye will win is if he breaks my spirit and will and he isn’t going to do that. I’m unbreakable as I have been throughout my career. David Haye aint knocking me out. I’ve sparred with David too many times. The fact that he’s gone up in weight makes no difference. David Haye couldn’t take me out then and he aint going to be able to take me out now.It’s a long fight, or David gets taken out. That’s the reality.
Haye: There’s been times in his career when a little bit more warrior spirit was needed, against the likes of Martin Rogan and Dominick Guinn. Where was that unbreakable win then? I didn’t see it personally. He’s acquired it from somewhere apparently. Maybe he got it running in the mountains. I know Audley, I know what he’s about. As he said, he knows me and I know him.
Harrison: David Haye’s a frontrunner. If you see the fight’s he’s lost, going all the way back to the amateurs when he lost in the World Championships in ’99 and against Odlanier Solis in ’97 and 2001, well history repeats itself. You haven’t learnt your lessons, you saw in the ring with Carl Thompson. David’s a frontrunner. He likes to get ahead, to pressure, but what happens they’re still there. Sure he’s learned to recover from knock downs. You saw that with Mormeck, with Johansson but I’m not going anywhere so when he tries to pull ahead I’m going to still be there as the fight progresses. Then we’ll see what happens when I start landing. Trust me I’m not going anywhere early on in this fight. This is a long slog, but I wish it was fifteen rounds. I’m ready to do fifteen rounds, so I can’t wait to get in there.
I give David all the credit as a great champion but ultimately his championship reign ends on Saturday because my destiny is going to be complete, no doubt in my mind.
Haye: Audley says he’s looking back at my amateur fights for signs of weakness or whatever, going all the way back to 1997 for things. I’ve only got to look at his last fight. I have to go back a few months to see weaknesses and things I can exploit.
Harrison: If you just looked at my last fight that’s a big mistake.
Haye: You’re looking back to 97! I can give you some tapes of when I was 10 if you like.
Harrison: You said the Valuev fight was going to be a destruction, you talked the big talk and then you went there and won the title. I give you credit you won the title but it wasn’t what you promised before you went in the ring. We all know David Haye’s got a glass chin.
Haye: I haven’t done bad for someone who became the youngest undisputed cruiserweight champion and then heavyweight champion. I’ve done quite well for a glass chin fighter.
Harrison: It’s your style. You hit and move, but you have done well. You had one blip. I’ll give you credit for that. November 13 all that ends and I’ll be the new heavyweight champion of the World, no doubt about that.
Haye: laughed off Audley's comments.