David Haye: "Audley's going to have to retire after this!"

Ahead of his WBA Heavyweight title bout with former Olympic champ Audley Harrison, the Hayemaker talks about the ‘bad blood’ between him and his old mentor and how he plans to retire the A-Force. Seconds out...
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Ahead of his WBA Heavyweight title bout with former Olympic champ Audley Harrison, the Hayemaker talks about the ‘bad blood’ between him and his old mentor and how he plans to retire the A-Force. Seconds out...

You’ve said that it’s going to be “like gang rape” when you get in the ring with Audley. Do you think he should finally call it a day if he loses?

He’ll have no choice because after the beating I give him the British Boxing Board of Control will take his licence away. But I hope he's in good shape so it goes longer than the second round. I'm ready for a real tear up!

So you’re hyped for this fight?

I’m solid. Sparring has been great. In training my movement is a lot smoother than it was in preparation for my last fight against John Ruiz. (Haye’s first defence of the title he took from Russian giant Nikolai Valuev)

A-Force reckons he’ll “bring you down to earth” with his left hand. What’s your game plan to stop him?

He uses his right jab well but I’ll take Audley’s best assets and use them against him. His left hand has won him most of his fights so if I take that away from him he’s got nothing to fall back on.

The fight will be the first to be broadcast in 3D. Will it catch on?

I’m proud to be a trendsetter and be involved in something that’s going to help take boxing into a bright future. And it’s great for the David Haye brand.

You’ve said you’ll retire at 31. Is that still your plan?

I’m looking to get it on with the Klitschkos to become undisputed but whether they are ready is a different matter. They say they are but if they really wanted it I could be fighting one of them on November 13th instead of Audley Harrison. I’ve got 11 months so the clock is ticking…

I guarantee he won’t be in a winning situation after the fight. He’ll be getting stretchered out of the ring. It might be a big payday for him but it’s not going to cover his medical expenses.

If the big fights don’t come your way would you consider stepping inside the Octagon for a UFC bout?

To compete in the UFC it would be the serious matter of training for a few years not just a few months to have a real chance of making an impact. Brock Lesnar and Randy Couture came from wrestling and became world champions in a couple of years. I can’t see anyone doing it quicker than that.

Couture hit the silver screen in Stallone’s flick The Expendables. When you hang up your gloves is it something you’d consider?

Without a doubt - but I wouldn’t go on Strictly Come Dancing like Joe Calzaghe.

Do you get nervous before a fight?

I dealt with that earlier in my career. There’s no good that can come from being anxious and having butterflies in your stomach. I’ve trained my brain to be relaxed. I listen to my favourite music and have good people around me to get me in the zone.

Is this fight a win/win situation for Audley whatever the result?

I guarantee he won’t be in a winning situation after the fight. He’ll be getting stretchered out of the ring. It might be a big payday for him but it’s not going to cover his medical expenses. If you'd asked me a couple of years ago I'd have said no way would this fight be happening. Audley clawed his way back through Prizefighter so credit to him. He always talks a good game. But that's all he does. Talk. I talk and deliver. He talks and fails.

The fight is billed as “The Best of Enemies”. Is the bad blood between you for real or just hype?

The bad blood started when I beat him up when we were sparring. It stems from me achieving my goals and him not. Look, Audley's an intelligent man but he thinks too much. He always breaks fighters down fraction-by-fraction with a plan A and plan B.... To me boxing is instinctive. I'm just gonna go in the ring and knock him out.

Haye vs Harrison is live on Sky from the MEN Arena, Manchester, Saturday November 13

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