John Ruiz is the WBA’s No.1 contender, and was in line to fight Valuev last time out for the championship, but he agreed to step aside, for allowing Haye to challenge the Russian, with the promise that he would be given the chance to fight the winner, money still talks in boxing.
An unhappy Ruiz though believed the fight would be staged in Las Vegas, while Haymakers plans were always destined for a first defense on home soil, and the challengers no show at todays press conferance didn’t please Haye too much.
Hayes trainer, Adam Booth added, “John Ruiz is a master at making great fighters look ordinary and we are very wary of the threat he poses,”
Ruiz 38, with a record of 44 wins, 30 by KO, 8 losses and 1 draw, has been stopped once in his career a devastating first round knockout in just 19 seconds by David Tua in 1996.
“I’m over the moon about having the fight in the UK and on Sky Box Office,” said Haye.
“It’s been 10 years since the heavyweight championship has been fought in Britain and everyone knows I had to go to Germany to take the title away from Nikolai Valuev.
“Now it’s time to showcase my skills again in front of the great British public. Haye had hoped to make his first defence at London’s O2 Arena, where he as fought a few times, Haye also ear-marked Millwall Football ground, The New Den as a possible venue, being a Millwall fan, but both stadiums were already booked on the date required.
“And I’m delighted to have the fight at Manchester’s MEN Arena. I’ve been there on many nights to watch Ricky Hatton, Joe Calzaghe, even Mike Tyson when he fought Julius Francis and the atmosphere was tremendous.
“I’m looking forward to getting back to what I do best – throwing my trademark Hayemakers. Ruiz is a come-forward fighter so I aim to get at him, break him down, and take him out in good style.
He is a boring fighter, I call him a cure for insomnia, but I wont be underestimating him
“He will try to drag me in the trenches, but I’ve got to stand with him, break his heart and knock him out, if he thinks that im the same fighter who lost to Carl Thompson, then let him.”
Golden Boy Promotions are to promote both the champion and challenger, and ring legend and Golden Boy founder Oscar de la Hoya believes Haye is the man to re-ignite the heavyweight division.
“With his explosive fighting style, heart, youth and charisma, David Haye is the most exciting heavyweight in the world,” said de la Hoya.
“On the other hand, John Ruiz is a very experienced fighter that knows what it takes to dominate in the heavyweight division and to win when it counts in a big fight. I expect a great fight that fight fans shouldn’t miss.”
Haye has made a statement in American with his win against Valuev, and Golden Boy were keen to work with Haymaker promotions, believing that the flamboyant Haye is the man to re-vitalise a dull heavyweight scene.