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Klitschko silences mouthy Haye

Wladimir Klitschko, right, endures slips and flops from David Haye but takes the WBA belt in a unanimous decision.

Associated Press

Wladimir Klitschko, right, endures slips and flops from David Haye but takes the WBA belt in a unanimous decision.

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 on his way to a lopsided decision win in a fight that did not live up to its 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 and improved his record to 17-2 in title fights. More important, he captured Haye's version of the heavyweight title (WBA), giving him (IBF, WBO, IBO) and his brother, Vitali (WBC), all the major heavyweight title belts.

The two have promised their mother they would never fight each other. Vitali was in Wladimir's corner Saturday.

"We're celebrating with my brother that we've collected all the belts in the heavyweight division," Wladimir Klitschko said. "It wasn't as spectacular as I expected, but I was trying."

Haye 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 (6-foot-6) opponent. Haye blamed a broken toe suffered three weeks before the fight.

"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."

Klitschko was never able to really knock Haye down, though the Englishman was down quite often. Haye went to the canvas repeatedly on slips and flops, and finally referee Genaro Rodriguez gave Haye a count when he went down in the 11th.

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 after the 12th.

All three judges gave it to the 35-year-old Klitschko (56-3 with 49 knockouts) by large margins, 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. But he never gave himself an opportunity for a knockout by spending much of the fight on the outside.

"It was subpar, nowhere near as good as I would have liked," said the 30-year-old Haye (25-2, 23 KOs). "He fought the perfect game plan for someone with my style."

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, bouncing off the ropes to stay on his feet. Still, he seemed to not want to take any unnecessary chances.

"I wished I could knock him out impressively," Klitschko said. "But I had to be smart enough to not let him have a chance."

Klitschko silences mouthy Haye 07/02/11 [Last modified: Saturday, July 2, 2011 9:36pm]
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