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Klitschko too much for Haye

Vladimir Klitschko (right) earned the WBA heavyweight title with a unanimous decision over champion David Haye. Vladimir Klitschko (right) earned the WBA heavyweight title with a unanimous decision over champion David Haye. (Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters)
By Karl Ritter
Associated Press / July 3, 2011

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HAMBURG - Wladimir Klitschko won a lopsided unanimous decision over David Haye, adding the WBA title to his heavyweight haul yesterday.

Klitschko dominated almost from the opening bell against a smaller fighter who took few chances, winning for the 14th straight time and improving to 17-2 in title fights. But he never knocked Haye down in a fight that did not live up to its advance hype.

“He was scared to fight me,’’ Klitschko said. “I was expecting more of a challenge in the ring, but he was super defensive.’’

The victory in a rain-soaked football stadium means Klitschko and his older brother, Vitali, hold all three major heavyweight titles. Wladimir already had the IBF title (and minor WBO, IBO belts), while Vitali was the WBC champion.

All three judges gave it to Klitschko, scoring the 12-round showdown 117-109, 118-108, and 116-110.

Haye, who stirred most of the hype with often crass trash-talking, said he hurt a toe on his right foot in training and lost some of his explosive power because of it.

“I couldn’t give everything I needed to, it was really frustrating,’’ Haye said. “I had to knock him out and unfortunately I couldn’t do it.’’

Haye slipped to the canvas repeatedly as he got into clinches with the heavier, taller, and more experienced Ukrainian, who was fighting in his home base.

Referee Genaro Rodriguez finally had enough of it and gave Haye a count when he slipped in the 11th round. This time, Haye got quickly to his feet.

Haye came out slugging in the final round, landing a series of body punches and a good right hand to the head. But Klitschko came right back with some stinging jabs and right hands.

Klitschko (56-3) had wanted to knock Haye out, disgusted with the Brit’s trash-talking over the past few years. The fact that he didn’t disappointed him, though he was happy to join the major titles with his brother, who he has said he will never fight.

For most of the fight, Klitschko stayed behind his feared left jab. He landed a right on Haye’s chin in the fifth but Haye recovered nicely, bouncing off the ropes to stay on his feet.

Haye (25-2) fought defensively for the most part, unwilling to risk going inside and catching a Klitschko right to the head. He took off his shoe in the ring to show off a toe he said he broke three weeks ago that bothered him the entire fight.

“He’s big, strong, and very effective at what he does,’’ Haye said. “It was definitely subpar for me.’’