David Haye's attempts to get under Wladimir Klitschko's skin may have paid off as the build-up to Saturday's showdown intensifies.
The Ukrainian IBF/WBO champion yesterday hit out at some of Haye's crude pre-fight goading, condemning the Londoner's "disgraceful and disrespectful" comments about executions, decapitations and ambulances.
Haye's trash talking is two-fold as be bids to promote the fight and also lure his arch-rival into a scrap rather than a boxing match in Hamburg.
Yesterday's final press conference was unsurprisingly compelling and 30-year-old WBA champion Haye's latest tasteless soundbite appears to have finally got Klitschko angry.
"This is going to be the most brutal execution of a boxer that you've seen for many, many years," he said. "I'm going to go out there and absolutely destroy him, really quickly."
Klitschko, 35, told Press Association Sport: "No matter what, it is disgraceful and disrespectful for a man to wish to damage your health.
"This game, this sport, is very intense and unfortunately there have been a lot of cases where people have been handicapped and people have died during and after fights.
"It's not something you can joke about to promote yourself.
"It's something you do not say. I felt embarrassed at the way David Haye acted in the press conference. Because it also casts a shadow on the sport.
"I just feel an obligation to give him some rehabilitation on July 2 because it will make him a better person.
"It's very important to put his feet back on the ground. I think with all the wins that he got recently he became really cocky and totally big-headed.
"I'm angry for the last three years but it has transformed into concentration and motivation now."
The buzz around the fight continues to increase with around 8,000 Britons heading for Hamburg and Sky Box Office drawing huge interest for a fight which is long overdue.
The pair's rivalry has run for three years - they were due to meet originally in June 2009 - and Haye said yesterday: "A lot of people didn't think it would get this far and thought I would pull out with an injury or something.
"But I'm here. I'm in tremendous shape and I'm ready to do what I always promised I'd do.
"Wladimir is in great shape, he's mentally prepared and for me that's tremendous.
"It's going to be fun to watch this big robot start malfunctioning. That's exactly what's going to happen.
"I'm healthy, my speed is ridiculous, my punch power is there and I'm in a really good place."Reuse content