David Haye has been dismissed as a ‘talker and a runner’ by his next opponent John Ruiz.
Beaten: John Ruiz (right) lost to Nikolai Valuev
The Briton may have beaten Russian giant Nikolai Valuev to secure the WBA world
heavyweight title last weekend, but Ruiz was unimpressed.
Despite earning the nickname ‘the quiet man’ over the years, the mandatory challenger has been prodded into throwing a few early verbal shots by Haye’s infamously loud approach.
Ruiz, expected to fight for his third WBA belt at the O2 Arena in March or April, said: ‘Haye is a guy who is a talker and, from what I saw the other night, he is a runner, too.
‘I expect him to do all the talking, but in the ring I expect him to do all the running. He will be a tough opponent but he doesn’t worry me one bit. I have been in a lot of fights and some of them got pretty ugly. The words don’t bother me at all.’
Haye repeatedly insulted Valuev in the build-up to their bout in Germany before succeeding thanks to a narrow points verdict.
He has also left the impression that beating Ruiz will be a formality on the way to a more lucrative unification showdown with WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko.
But the Puerto Rican, 37, who was paid £120,000 to step aside and allow Haye to challenge Valuev, insists he will be a worthy opponent. ‘I am always proving people wrong,’ said Ruiz.
‘He can talk all he wants, make himself feel better or whatever he needs to do to be ready for this fight because he needs to be prepared.
‘The beauty of boxing is that you have to step into the ring sooner or later and see who is the best.
‘It is all about winning. You can talk all you want, but you have to prove what you have been saying.’
- By Leo Spall - Last updated at 8:24 PM on 14th November 2009