HAMBURG, Germany – Wladimir Klitschko wanted to punish David Haye for all the trash talking he did leading up to their title fight. He settled for merely making Haye another statistic in his dominating heavyweight run.
Matched up against an opponent who didn’t fight nearly as well as he talked, Klitschko dominated from the opening bell Saturday night on his way to a lopsided decision win 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 win was the 14th straight for Klitschko (56-3) and improved his record to 17-2 in title fights. More important, he captured Haye’s version of the heavyweight title, giving him and his brother, Vitali, all the major heavyweight title belts.
The two have long promised their mother they would never fight each other, but Vitali was in Wladimir’s corner and ready to celebrate with him after the win in a rain-soaked soccer stadium in Hamburg.
“We’re celebrating with my brother that we’ve collected all the belts in the heavyweight division,” Klitschko said. “It wasn’t as spectacular as I expected, but I was trying.”
Haye (25-2) had been expected to give Klitschko one of his most difficult fights, but he fought sparingly, seemingly afraid to take punches to the head as part of the cost of getting inside against his larger opponent. Haye blamed a broken toe suffered three weeks before the fight, taking off his shoe in the ring afterward to show it off.
“I couldn’t give everything I needed to, it was really frustrating,” Haye said in the ring. “I had to knock him out and unfortunately I couldn’t do it.”
Klitschko never knocked Haye down, though the Englishman was down quite often. Haye went to the canvas repeatedly on slips and flops, and finally referee Genaro Rodriguez had enough of it and gave Haye a count when he went down in the 11th round.
Haye won one round on one ringside judge’s scorecard, though that didn’t stop him from raising his hand in victory when the bell rang to end the 12th round. All three judges gave it to Klitschko by large margins, scoring the 12-round showdown 117-109, 118-108 and 116-110.
Haye, who stirred most of the hype with often crass trash talking, had vowed to leave Klitschko quivering on the canvas.