In part 2 of my interview with IBO heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko, I discuss with him the status of former champion David Haye. Haye pulled out of two fights recently with Tyson Fury, and Klitschko who has had similar experiences gives his views on the actions of Haye. Wladimir also spoke on his brother, and his future in the sport. Additionally Klitschko talked about the current heavyweight scene with Deontay Wilder, gave his thoughts on the return of Manny Pacquiao and also gave his lasting views on legendary trainer Emanuel Steward. Here is what Wladimir Klitschko had to say.
JENNA J: Wladimir, you mentioned that you felt bad for Tyson Fury, that’s something you had to go through yourself with David Haye pulling out of a fight, were you at all surprised or do you think that’s kind of how David Haye acts these days?
WLADIMIR KLITSCHKO: Well we had it a lot in the past of pulling out of the fights. David pulled out of a fight once he fought Nikolai Valuev, or there was suppose to be another fight with Manuel Charr or our first scheduled fight, but it was always in regards to health so I cannot not judge a person for pulling out, or a fighter for pulling out if he’s injured.
I would say I am not a doctor and David never went to me for a check in about his health, but if he is injured and he wasn’t able to perform, then it’s his call. And it’s very sad that sometimes, and I also had it in the past, in my case I had to postpone the fight due to some health issues.
I cannot judge David Haye in this case, how he’s going to do and proceed with his career. Is he gonna still be injured after his shoulder injury and surgery? I wish him the best of luck, I feel bad about it but I think this fight between Tyson Fury and David Haye, I was looking forward to it and it will be very exciting.
JENNA: Similar questions regarding your brothers career, he said that he wants to continue to box. Do you think right now at the age of 42 and having not fought in over year that he should?
KLITSCHKO: It’s something that also doesn’t make Vitali happy he’s supposed to fight previously but now they postponed his fight. His performance in the ring has been delayed and for right now he’s having his biggest fight and that’s the fight that is much tougher than any boxing fight, and that’s the fight on a political field of the Ukraine with everything that is happening right now in the Ukraine. I think that he is in his toughest fight.
But anyways, back to boxing. I think only Vitali can announce and say when he’s next fight is going to happen against whom, and also where. But Vitali is also not happy that he has a break for such a long period of time, and that’s a year now.
JENNA: Over in the United States, everyone is looking for that next guy. They’re looking for the next guy since Mike Tyson stopped being dominant and stopped being the fighter that he was. A lot of people are starting to talk about Deontay Wilder, I am curious to know what you think of him.
KLITSCHKO: Honestly, I had Deontay also in my training camp a year ago, when I was preparing for Mauriusz Wach and I think he is a tremendous fighter. I think that he has the qualities to be come a champion one day and it depends on how he is going to continue to develop and I am really impressed with his fighting record.
I think any boxer would be impressed and jealous of that record, 35 wins 30 by knock out. I don’t know that anybody in the history was having the same amazing record with no marks, so I wish Deontay good luck. He needs to continue doing the same way and I am sure if he keeps going the same way we’re going to meet in the ring. I think it’s going to be a great challenge for me and I think it’s going to be a great proof for Deontay.
JENNA: Manny Pacquiao recently returned to the ring, he beat Brandon Rios. People questioned whether or not he could come back from a KO loss like he did. You yourself rebuilt your career after a couple of KO losses. How do you think Pacquiao is gonna do going forward?
KLITSCHKO: Well I am sure it’s not that easy, he’s a little older when he lost his fight by a knockout which was last year, and I think with his performance (against Brandon Rios) he’s done things better, he won the fight and he made his camp comeback.
I am sure that he can show himself with a good performance against a lot of fighters in his division. And I think that Pacquiao is not over with the age in boxing yet. But that could be also said with in Vitali’s case. He needs to open up his own mind to find out what he is going to do next.
JENNA: Wladimir last question I have for you is in regards to your former trainer Emanuel Steward who passed. If he could look at you right now and where you are in your career, would he be happy with the direction your going in, and also do you think you made him proud?
KLITSCHKO: Absolutely, I think without Emanuel I would not become a long time champion. Each time, even right now, whatever I learned from Emanuel in the past I am using it in current days. I do hear his voice while I am boxing, either in the training gym or boxing ring during the performance. In a certain way, I hear what he is telling me, it’s kind of funny and interesting, but he’s not with us anymore but his spirit is definitely between us and among us.
He is by far and absolutely the genius in boxing, and I’ve been working with a lot of coaches and I have learned from all of them but I think the coach I learned from the most in the past was Emanuel. I am just going to continue with whatever he’s taught me and continue to proceed with that and trying even to develop myself to get even better.