World heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko and Saturday's challenger David Haye are just six days out from the biggest heavyweight fight in about a decade, and both say they're ready to go.
Klitschko is getting his final week of fight preparations started by poking fun at Haye, as he often has during the buildup:
"I will fight hard for 12 rounds and then knock him out in the last round. It will be good for his future life because I will teach him he can’t be cocky. I will fight stiff by using my jab, jab, grab but then my right missile will land on his chin or temple and he will get knocked out."
The "jab, jab, grab" line is in reference to Haye's consistent criticism that the champion is predictable and doesn't make for exciting fights. "Jab, jab, grab" has been a familiar insult from Haye, and now Klitschko is turning it back around. He has done this pretty frequently, what with "shake my magic hand" and what have you.
"We have been working on a specific strategy since this fight was announced and I have no doubt it will work. I have shown I can go against my instincts against Valuev. I’m anticipating an agitated Klitschko, going against his normal routine of jabbing and grabbing. I’m hoping he is going to come out and engage in a good battle. I’ve got a couple of tricks up my sleeve so look out for those. When he least expects it, he will have it."
As for strategy, one fight that Haye's trainer Adam Booth has talked about a lot is Klitschko's last loss, back in 2004 to Lamon Brewster. Here is the finish of that fight:
It's been a long time since we've seen Wladimir even remotely resemble that man in the ring. Their only similarities are physical appearance -- and hell, he even looks more rugged now. But Booth has been good about drawing up game plans, and it will be interesting to see if he can give Haye something useful, and even if he does, if Haye is able to execute.
Haye also notes that he's been done sparring for a couple of weeks:
"There is no need to go over the same things over and over again so we stopped early. Technically my timing is there and I was doing everything on the pads that I was doing in sparring. I had great sparring partners. Robert Helenius, David Price and two guys from America, Deontay Wilder and Kelvin Price."
It's a good group physically without question, as they're all tall guys, but if being a big, tall guy in itself was good enough, Ray Austin and Audley Harrison would be a lot better. There's no replicating the effectiveness or power of the Klitschko brothers, but I also don't think Klitschko can replicate the combination of Haye's speed and power.