The world's leading trainer, Freddie Roach, believes David Haye can defeat Wladimir Klitschko if he "undermines his confidence early in the contest" when the two world heavyweight champions collide in Hamburg in 10 days' time.
Roach, speaking exclusively to Gareth A Davies of The Daily Telegraph, believes Klitschko has weaknesses against smaller, aggressive fighters who canput the giant Ukrainian, unbeaten in 13 successive heavyweight fights over five years, under physical and mental duress.
"The key to this fight for Haye is to take Wladimir's confidence away, and do it early," he said. "Take him out of his comfort zone. I think Haye has a great opportunity if he goes out there early and uses his power, and tries to take Wladimir's confidence away. That's the best way for him to fight this, but Haye needs to take that window of opportunity. 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."
Roach worked in training camps, and in the corner over four fights, as Klitschko's assistant trainer. And in spite of the 6ft 7ins tall Ukrainian, who currently holds the IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight titles,having defended the world title 10 times in succession, Roach believes Haye's "speed and explosiveness", not to mention his killer instinct when he has an opponent in trouble, are major plusses in his armoury against the biggerman.
"I don't see David Haye as the underdog in this fight. I trained Wlad Klitschko, he is a friend, and so is David Haye a friend of mine. It's one of the best fights out there, and a good fight for the heavyweight division," said Roach.
"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 believes a Haye victory could ignite interest in the heavyweight division. "I like guys who like to fight. Haye believes in himself, he talks a bit of bull, but he's just trying to ignite interest in the fight. He's young, exciting, and charismatic. "Haye's the best thing for the heavyweight division right now, because he comes to fight, he comes to win, and he's a puncher. That's what heavyweight boxing should be all about. The Klitschko brothers are great boxers but they are boring. They don't take risks.You've got to go for it in this sport, and give 100 per cent.
"Manny Pacquiao is popular because he comes to exchange with you, he wants to fight. Once in a while he gets hit, but that is part of the game. Haye is the spark the heavyweight division needs right now."
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