Klitschko predicts long, brutal fight for challenger Haye
Champ Wladimir Klitschko takes on David Haye on June 20 in Germany
Haye has provoked the world heavyweight titlist with numerous insults
At a news conference, Klitschko said he'd win by knockout in the 12th round
LONDON (AP) -- World heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko fought off a barrage of David Haye's insults and interruptions on Monday and vowed to send the outspoken challenger back to the cruiserweights with a 12th-round knockout.
Haye gave up his cruiserweight world titles to move up to heavyweight, where he has fought twice before, and challenges Klitschko for the IBF and WBO belts in Schalke's football stadium in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, on June 20.
Promoters said Monday that 47,000 tickets have already been sold and they expect a sellout of up to 70,000.
The two fighters came face-to-face at a second news conference in a swanky London club with the 33-year-old Klitschko (52-3) still unhappy with the behavior of the 28-year-old British fighter.
Haye (22-1) continues to wear a T-shirt with a drawing of him holding the dismembered heads of both Klitschko and his brother, WBC champion Vitaly Klitschko.
"David Haye provoked me by cutting my head off in a photo in a men's health magazine. He provoked me and I took the fight," Klitschko said. "So I'm asking what's going to be next? Is he going to cut off my dad's head, my mom's head? Maybe he will attack my religion, my race. This is over the edge. This is not sport."
While Haye continued to hurl insults at the Germany-based Ukrainian and frequently interrupted him at the news conference, Klitschko was not distracted and continued talking.
"This man was good as his job as a cruiserweight and that's where he has to stay," Klitschko said. "He's had only two fights in the heavyweight division and now wants to be champion.
"You listen to me about what I say," the Ukrainian said amid interruptions. "I'm telling you this guy is going to be punished, jabs, jabs and more jabs in the face for 12 rounds."
Turning to Haye, he said: "And, in the 12th round, I'm going to knock you out."
Haye, who is 7.6 centimeters (3 inches) shorter and is likely to be up to 13.5 kilograms (30 pounds) lighter, hopes his superior speed and punching power will counter Klitschko's bulk and jabbing skills.
"It's not going to be a fight, it's going to be a massacre," Haye said. "In my way I've got this big dude, he's got a decent jab. He's physically got a lot of different tools but I'm going to turn them against him. His jab, jab, grab tactics that he's been doing right through his career will not work against me.
"I am going to make him fight. He's a fighter who doesn't like to fight and doesn't stand in the ring. A true heavyweight should go to war."
Haye only began fighting as a pro in December 2002 after Klitschko had already made five defenses of the WBO title. But the British fighter ridiculed the champion's choice of opponents.
"I've seen the guys who've turned up to fight Wladimir. Only two guys have really turned up with any ambition and in shape and to knock this guy out," Haye said. "Corrie Sanders turned up and threw punches and knocked him out (in two rounds). Lamon Brewster did the same thing (TKO in five). The others were just there to make up the numbers."
Klitschko later made up for that loss to Brewster by stopping him in six rounds in July 2007. His last defense was a seventh round stoppage of Hasim Rahman last December and he has won his last seven world title fights.
Klitschko said he had hoped the fight would be in London at Chelsea's Stamford Bridge stadium but, because his promoters won purse rights, it will take place in Germany. The Schalke stadium was the venue for the 2004 Champions League final in which FC Porto beat Monaco 3-0, and also where England went out of the 2006 World Cup in a penalty shootout against Portugal.
Bernd Boente, managing director of Klitschko's management group, said there was huge interest in the fight as soon as the tickets went on sale last week.
"We started ticket sales on Friday of last week and on the first day we sold 30,000," Boente said. "Today we have 47,000 tickets sold. We are very sure that the fight will be sold out. I think we will have something between 60-70,000 on fight night."
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