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Freddie Roach on Klitschko vs Haye: "Wladimir Lacks Confidence"

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Is Wladimir Klitschko mentally weak? (Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images)
Is Wladimir Klitschko mentally weak? (Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images)
Getty Images

Star trainer Freddie Roach weighed in on the upcoming Wladimir Klitschko vs David Haye fight, and had some interesting things to say about Wladimir, a fighter he used to work with. From the Telegraph and Gareth A Davies:

"Being forced anywhere outside Wladimir’s comfort zone is his greatest weakness. He does lack confidence as a fighter and we discussed it when I trained him. ... Listen, Klitschko’s a very good boxer. Once he gets into a rhythm, and gets that jab going, he’s very difficult to beat because he has good power and a size advantage. He’s also one of the best heavyweight athletes I’ve ever seen. I said to him one day, 'You’re a great athlete.' But you know what he said to me? 'I wish I could fight.' The key to beating someone like that is to take their mental confidence away straight away. Haye can do that with his power, but not by boxing Wlad."

Roach also says that Haye is the spark the division needs, which is nice and all, but if Haye retires after this fight as he says he will, what kind of spark could he be? Say he beats Wladimir in spectacular fashion and then retires. The heavyweight division would still be a boring mess.

And doesn't that make a lot of his talk sort of empty? Haye says he wants to save heavyweight boxing from the Klitschkos, but has already acknowledged that he's only fighting Wladimir and doesn't plan to fight Vitali. So one way or another he's full of it, really.

As for Roach's comments, I think he has some interesting insight here, but I also question whether or not the Wladimir Klitschko he worked with is today's Wladimir Klitschko. He's better than he used to be -- his ability to protect his chin and pump that jab out, keeping everyone at bay, has probably made him mentally stronger. Before he could do that, I'm sure he was a bit shaky mentally, because he knew he could get cracked, and if he did, it might not end well for him. Now I don't know that he fears that so much, simply because he knows how to prevent it. Knowledge is power and all that.

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