Following a defiant seventh-round knockout of previously unbeaten Jose Pedraza (22-1, 12...
‘My job is to hurt people’
The opportunity to fight Haye (21-1, 20 KOs) is a chance for Barrett to prove that is still a dangerous heavyweight title contender and that he can beat anyone, any place, and anytime.
“I didn’t even know I was going to get the fight,” Barrett told BASN during an exclusive interview. “He went through so many opponents; I was like ‘this guy didn’t want to fight a real heavyweight.’”
For months Haye, 28, London, England, was in serious negotiations with several heavyweights that were ranked in the top 10 of the major sanctioning bodies: Hasim Rahman, James Toney, Kevin Johnson, and J.D. Chapman were all mentioned as possible opponents for Haye.
Even Andrew Golota and Oleg Maskev’s names were thrown around, but quickly dismissed. To Barrett’s surprise, Haye came through with an offer for him to come overseas in what should be one of the most intriguing heavyweight non-title fights in a while.
“I am comfortable going into his own country and knocking him out,” Barrett said. “I will KO David Haye inside of three rounds.”
For months, Haye teased with the possibility of abandoning the cruiserweight division to pursue a world heavyweight championship fight with Wladimir Klitschko.
Haye attacked the heavyweights with insults saying they’re a bunch of fat bums. He said that he was looking for two big names to compete against at heavyweight before challenging Wladimir for a heavyweight title.
Before he can even think about a fight with Klitschko down the road or even his next fight, Haye will have his hands full with a surging Barrett. Barrett is currently on a three fight knockout streak and is eying this fight with Haye as perhaps his last chance toward eventually fighting for a heavyweight title.
“My job is to hurt people,” Barrett commented. “I’m focused on winning this fight. No one will stop me. It’s like a title fight. It’s me against him. It’s 10 rounds, but it won’t go 10 rounds.”
Did Haye bite off more than he could chew with his hand selection of Barrett? Why did Haye choose to fight someone as hungry and dangerous as Barrett?
“He thinks he can beat me,” Barrett responded. “I think he chose me because, he wants me to be a measuring stick.”
Barrett was referring to his experience as a heavyweight title contender which is a lot more than Haye’s. The man known as “Two Guns” carries a wealth of experience, as he has defeated undefeated heavyweight prospects such as Dominick Guinn and Owen Beck their first professional losses.
Barrett defeated former heavyweight champion Tim Witherspoon. Barrett also fought undefeated prospect Joe Mesi and a once surging Lance “Mount” Whitaker.
In Barrett’s most recent bout in June, he stopped a 41-1 Tye Fields in the very first round. He’s also challenged for the heavyweight championship twice -losing a decision to Hasim Rahman (L 12) for the interim WBC title in 2005 and was stopped by Nikolai Valuev (TKO by 11) for the WBA crown in 2006.
Also, Barrett once fought Wladimir Klitschko eight years ago and was topped in the seventh round. According to Barrett, Haye figures that if he could beat him then Haye has a chance to defeat Klitschko.
“Fans don’t remember dates and times,” Barrett said. “They remember records.”
Although Haye unified the WBC/WBA and WBO cruiserweight championships before moving up to heavyweight, Barrett’s greater experience against bigger and stronger guys at heavyweight will give him advantage against the younger fighter.
“David Haye only has 22 fights is that a joke?” Barrett asked. “I take nothing away from this kid, but someone with 20-25 fights is not going to beat me.”
“They must be crazy,” Barrett added.
Dr. Steel Hammer ReturnsIBF/WBO and unrecognized IBO heavyweight champion, Wladimir Klitschko returns to the ring on December 13, at SAP Arena in Mannheim, Germany. Klitschko (51-3, 45 KOs) will appear in his seventh consecutive world title fight against unbeaten IBF mandatory challenger Alexander Povetkin (16-0, 12 KOs).
Klitschko-Povetkin will be televised exclusively on HBO here in the U.S.and is proving to be an intriguing fight between two amateur Olympic gold medal winners.
“Alexander Povetkin is a very strong opponent,” Klitschko said in a recent statement. “Both of us are Olympic champions. The fans can expect a great fight. I have good memories at SAP Arena where I became world champion for the second time. The fans in the Mannheim area are great.”
Klitschko won his gold medal in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics in the heavyweight division. Since his professional debut, he’s had an amazing career having competed in more than 50 professional contests. Klitschko is a two-time heavyweight champion and shares the title as heavyweight champion with older brother Vitali.
Povetkin won his gold medal at the 2004 Sydney Olympics. Povetkin maybe in experienced with only 16 professional bouts, but he did defeat Eddie Chambers (W 12) and stopped former two-time heavyweight champion Chris Byrd (TKO 11) to earn the IBF No. 1 ranking.
“I will get that belt,” said Povetkin. “It is my turn, I am the future.”
Klitschko is recognizably the best heavyweight in the world. He’s big, strong, he can box, and he can punch. On October 4, another Klitschko, Wladimir’s older brother Vitali, pummeled Samuel Peter (TKO 8) to become the only brothers in boxing history to simultaneously hold world heavyweight championships.