Wladimir Klitschko on ESPN2's First Take

Wlad Klitschko was on ESPN2's First Take today to promote his fight against David Haye. There is a running joke on Dan Rafael's ESPN.com chats about how bad First Take usually screws up their boxing questions and information, so let's see how they do today.

Wlad was in a studio, not the First Take studio, and was interviewed on-camera by Jay Crawford.

Why fight Haye? He isn't someone who has had a big name before this fight.
Wlad had never heard about Haye before either, but Haye has been so loud and mouthy, the fans want Klitschko to fight him. He was so visible in his mouthiness towards the brothers.

What's his reaction to the Haye t-shirt?
Wlad says it was below the beltline. It has become personal. He said this has nothing to do with sports, it's over the edge, and he will punish Haye for it.

Pre-fight line about giving Haye a "pizza face" for 12 rounds? Jay said he thought this was one of the funniest lines he has heard.
Wlad says it's not really funny. He wants to punish Haye for his mouth. He wants to beat him for 12 rounds, give him the pizza face and then knock him out in the 12th round with the Steelhammer. Wlad actually used the term "the Steelhammer."

How personal is this?
He doesn't want to see any t-shirt like Haye's. What's going to be next, a shirt with his mother's head cut off? The shirt bothered him.

Why the shift to Eastern Europe for the heavyweight boxing elite?
This answer wasn't anything that made any sense to me. I would have to re-watch this to catch exactly what Wlad was talking about.

That's it.
Wlad's English was decent to good. I believe that he is personally annoyed by Haye and truly insulted. I did think that the announcer and Wlad went just a slight bit overboard selling the personal angle, but it wasn't too bad. First Take got the facts right, but they didn't get into too many names of fighters, or past history, or weight classes, which is usually their weakness.

Posted by uatu


spartan117 said...

I'm not familiar with Haye's shirt. What happened? And for that matter, what the hell is "the pizza face". I wish I would have seen the interview to get some unintentional hilarity.

The Franchise said...

He wore a t-shirt that showed him standing over the decapitated bodies of both Klitschko brothers, with him holding both of the heads.

Personally, I think Haye is either an idiot or a genius. On one hand, maybe he really is ticking Wlad off and he'll just get stomped.

On the other hand, perhaps he's in Wlad's head enough to get him out of his comfort zone, to get him to take more chances than he would normally take - which lately isn't many. If that happens, these head games may help him.

spartan117 said...

Agreed. When was the last time we've seen Wlad emotionally invested in a fight? I don't think I ever have.

uatu said...

at the very least, Haye's boisterousness appears to have landed him this fight.