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Big interview: David Haye | Sport | The Observer
He talks about his starvation mode pre-fight:
If you ever need a good steak, Stringfellows is the place to go in London,' says David Haye earnestly, briefly diverting his thoughts from his monastical pre-fight regime of sweat, sleep and slow starvation.
He also talks about coming into camp sloppy as heck. He EATS during the off-season, make no bones about it.
How he eats during camp is only to get him down to his class so he stays within contract.
This time round, Haye entered camp 17lb over the cruiserweight limit and admits this forced weight loss does not get any easier. 'There are no short cuts,' he says. 'Just hard work and dedication. Hard work and dedication.' It sounds like a pained mantra, and when he talks specifics you understand why: six small meals a day, each no bigger than his outstretched hand, made up of lean proteins, vegetables and salads. And pretty much nothing else. 'I love chocolate,' he says, 'and after a fight I can eat a kilo's worth of Galaxy in one go, no problem, but you have to wean yourself off it.' Along with bread, alcohol and all saturated fats.
Haye, who says he has stuck to the diet religiously, insists those hunger pangs will be worth it come next weekend. 'Training's going really well,' he says at his camp in the swampy humidity of south Florida. 'I'm healthy, my weight is real good, my timing's perfect. My power and strength are as good as they possibly can be. I'm spot on.' To prove his point, Haye says he recently set a personal record for the bench-press of 179kg , almost twice his body weight.
But Haye, who is 27, says he will be far stronger when he moves up to heavyweight after beating Maccarinelli. 'My plan is to not box past 30,' he adds. 'That gives me three years to become heavyweight champion of the world. I'm not going to cut any corners, I'm not going to fight any bums, I'm just going to get straight out there and clean up that division. Since Lennox Lewis retired there's been no flagship heavyweight running the show, and I really do believe that's going to be me.'
Back in 2004, when Haye was stopped by 40-year-old veteran Carl Thompson, his only defeat in 21 fights, he would have been laughed out of London, his home town, for such a remark. But this is not the 1970s. There is no Joe Frazier, Muhammad Ali, George Foreman or even a Jerry Quarry eager to call his bluff - just an endless supply of flabby eastern Europeans with tidy jabs and zero personalities.
Haye's only cameo at heavyweight, against the WBC's number-11 fighter Tomasz Bonin, augured well, ending with a one-round blow-out in his favour. But Nigel Collins, The Ring magazine's editor-in-chief, is cautious about whether Haye can step up. 'I like David a lot,' he says. 'He's all-action, articulate, charismatic and has almost everything... but we just don't know how his Achilles chin will hold up at heavyweight. But after last weekend's nonsense at Madison Square Garden between [IBF heavyweight champion] Vladimir Klitschko and [WBO champion] Sultan Ibragimov, it's obvious that the division is crying out for new talent.' The Ukrainian won the unification bout by a unanimous decision after being jeered during a dreary contest.
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Last edited by BendtheBar; 06-03-2013 at 12:47 PM.