Haye aims to be first to floor giant Valuev

Nov 6, 2009 - 5:41 PM By DAVID HEIN Associated Press Writer

NUREMBERG, Germany(AP) -- David Haye doesn't care that he's nearly a foot shorter and 100 pounds lighter than Nikolai Valuev. He's convinced he will become the first fighter to floor the giant Russian.

"I've dreamt of the moment Valuev falls to the canvas, and I truly believe it will be one of the most jaw-dropping knockouts of all-time," Haye said before Saturday's bout against the WBC heavyweight champion in Nuremberg.

"Winning any fight by knockout is a bonus, but being in a position to knock out a giant is an exciting proposition."

The 29-year-old Haye, a former cruiserweight champion, is 22-1 with 21 KOs heading into his third fight as a heavyweight.

The British fighter has tried to rile Valuev by calling him a "hairy freak" and a "circus act." He said he has been watching monster movies like "King Kong," "Godzilla" and "Frankenstein" to "keep my mind on the task at hand."

Valuev stands 7-foot-2 and weighed in Friday at 315.9 pounds. Haye is 6-foot-3 and weighed in at a career-high 218 pounds.

The 36-year-old Valuev comes into the fight 50-1 (34 KOs) and has never been knocked down in his 16-year professional career.

"Valuev has never been properly hurt before, let alone knocked down or out," Haye said. "And I'm now being given the chance to become the first fighter to bring 'The Beast' to his knees."

Valuev has shrugged off Haye's trash talk.

"It's nothing unusual to hear stuff like that and that someone would like to knock me out," the Russian said. "But to speak a lot before the fight is easy. And everyone can do that. You have to prove it and show what you can do in the ring."

Valuev's manager, Wilfried Sauerland, wonders where Haye gets his confidence.

"I don't know where he takes it from," Sauerland said. "He is untested at heavyweight and got knocked down a lot of times in his career. Now he is facing a proven champion with 50 victories, so I really wonder why he is so optimistic."

Haye has been sparring against much heavier and taller opponents and admits his body has taken a toll.

"But it's a price I have to pay," he said.

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