22.02.07 – WBC cruiserweight boxing mandatory challenger David Haye will venture into the heavyweight division on April 27 when he meets Poland’s WBC no.12 ranked heavy Tomasz Bonin in a 12-round non-title affair. The heavyweight bout will take place at London’s Wembley Arena and will act as a stopgap ahead of Haye’s impending WBC world title attempt at cruiserweight.
The 33-year-old Bonin boasts an impressive 37-1 (20 KO’s) record and has been a professional since February 2001. After suffering his first and only pro boxing defeat in June 2004, Bonin has enjoyed an 11-bout winning streak. He meets Haye in the form of his life.
“Bonin is an aggressive, come-forward heavyweight who will ask me the kind of questions (Giacobbe) Fragomeni and (Lasse) Johansen did down at cruiserweight,” Haye explains. “He was a Polish national amateur champion, knows how to fight, and is similar in style to Fragomeni. I see Bonin as a three-stone-bigger version of Fragomeni.”
Haye adds: “My first choice opponent was obviously Enzo Maccarinelli. Unless I effectively signed my life away, though, it was never a realistic possibility. So, after realising it was never going to happen, I told (promoter) Frank Maloney to get me a WBC world-ranked heavyweight opponent who could help me make a splash at heavyweight. We tried a number of options in the top 15 and Bonin was the one man willing to fight me.”
While Haye eventually sees his long-term future at heavyweight, he’s still adamant that cruiserweight is where his short-term plans will unfold.
“I’m in line for a shot at the WBC cruiserweight title, and I’m determined to follow my plan through. What this Bonin fight offers me is an opportunity to give fans a teaser of what to expect when I eventually do step up to heavyweight permanently. By taking on someone like Bonin – ranked inside the WBC’s top 15 – I’m showing everyone what my eventual heavyweight goal is; to become WBC heavyweight champion.”
Subsequently, Haye, 18-1 (17 KO’s), is unmoved by his British rivals at heavyweight.
“The British heavyweights are all involved in some interesting scraps, but where do any of them lead?” Haye asks. “They keep getting told there will be a world title shot at the end of the rainbow, but it never happens. None of them are rated high enough. I don’t want to rely on the promise of a promoter to get to the top. I want to make strides by beating the necessary ranked opponents and forcing the issue.
“At cruiserweight I reached the WBC mandatory position without having even challenged for the British title. I’ve shown that if you aspire to reach the top of your division, there is no reason why you should exchange parts on the domestic scrap heap.
“I’m in line for a WBC cruiserweight title shot because I worked my way up the WBC rankings. I’ll do exactly the same at heavyweight. There are a lot of Eastern Europeans at the top of the heavyweight pile, and I feast on Eastern Europeans for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I’ve never lost to one in 16 years of boxing.”
So what can fight fans expect from Haye at heavyweight?
“They will see a fit, healthy and strong heavyweight who hasn’t had to starve himself to make weight,” says Haye. “Despite what some may think, I won’t be just bulking up to heavyweight by lifting heavy weights. That won’t do me any good whatsoever. I need to retain speed at heavyweight, as this will be one of my main attributes against bigger opponents. Also, just because I don’t have to make weight, doesn’t mean I will feast on fast food three times a day.
“I can’t cut corners just because I’m boxing at heavyweight. There’s a fine line between upright and smiling and flat on your back and unconscious in the heavyweight division. Everything you do at heavyweight is a risk. If Bonin hits me with the same shots Fragomeni did last November, I won’t be badly cut, I’ll be seeing stars. I’m aware of that.”
Haye’s bout with Bonin will also mark the Londoner’s first appearance at the capital’s legendary Wembley Arena since September 2004.
“We’re hoping to have around 6,000 fans there on the night, and I can’t wait,” Haye says. “It was impossible for us to do another successful promotion at York Hall because the demand for tickets is just too great right now. We had to move onwards and upwards to bigger venues and Wembley Arena is just perfect.
“I’m delighted to be able to kick off my assault on the world heavyweight title in London. I’ll be looking to fight in Las Vegas one day, so now is a good time to start rolling the dice and taking heavyweight gambles.”
For details on how to purchase tickets for Haye-Bonin at London’s Wembley Arena, please call 07885728330.
For more information visit David Haye’s official MySpace page at www.myspace.com/davidhaye
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