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New world champ Haye makes hay ...relishing Ruiz fight

New world heavyweight champion David Haye said his title defence against John Ruiz would be like another cruiserweight contest after he took the WBA title off the giant Nikolai Valuev.

The 29-year-old Briton scored a majority decision verdict after taking the 2.13m tall, 143kg Russian the full twelve-round distance, using his superior speed to stay away from his opponent's punches in Nuremberg on Saturday.

Former cruiserweight champion Haye has long sought a fight with either IBF and WBO champion Wladimir Klitschko or his brother Vitali, the WBC champion.

But under World Boxing Association (WBA) rules he must first defend his title against two-time former champion Ruiz, the mandatory challenger who 'stepped aside' to allow him a fight against Valuev.

But Haye, speaking at a news conference here on Monday, said he did not expect the American to pose anything like the same problems as Valuev.

"I feel I will knockout John Ruiz after beating someone 7ft 2in tall. "Someone who is a foot shorter and the same weight as me, it will feel like another cruiserweight fight."

Meanwhile, Haye reiterated his plan to quit boxing in two years' time.

"This has put boxing on the map. When was the last heavyweight title fight on the back pages?" "I'll have the John Ruiz fight, the Klitsckos, a couple of more fights and maybe a young guy coming through who can test me." Haye's trainer, Adam Booth added: "As far as the Klitschkos are concerned they can sit back and wait.

"They have to deal with their business first and David has to beat Ruiz. "But if they can talk respectfully and sensibly we can do a deal."

Haye, Britain's first heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis's retirement in 2003, added he'd been taken aback by the reception he received upon his return to his home city of London.

"It was very surreal, getting off at Stansted Airport, I didn't expect to be mobbed like that."

Haye had promised to part hard immediately after the fight but admitted Monday: "I was too tired, it was the sheer relief of realising my dream."

Reflecting on the bout, Haye said: "I'll always be landing punches, he (Valuev) was missing aimlessly. It was like shadow boxing, he couldn't hit me. He didn't know how to do it.

"We knew he could get frustrated and miss. I wanted to put on a master-class. I have out 21 out of 22 opponents, this time I showed a different side of myself. People didn't know I could stick to gameplan for 12 rounds.

"There wasn't a doubt in my mind (about the result) until one judge gave it 114-114. I thought 'what the hell was going on?'."

Boot added: "Having belief in David's natural ability against all the nay-sayers .. that came to fruition on Saturday. There's immense pride, pride in David and pride in the job we've done collectively." Haye injured his right hand early in the fight with Valuev and said he would now need medical attention.

"The right hand is pretty bad, I'm going for an X-ray. I hit Valuev on the chin was like hitting someone on top of head.

"Then he licked his lips. I had to be sparing with my right hand after that. But I was technically and tactically sound."




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