| 1.8°C Belfast

Champ can’t wait to land a home Hayemaker on Ruiz

WBA heavyweight champion David Haye is looking forward to fighting in front of a home crowd when he faces John Ruiz in Manchester in April.

The Briton claimed the title when he defeated Russian giant Nikolay Valuev in Nuremberg in November and now he faces Ruiz in the first defence of his title at the MEN Arena on April 3.

Ruiz is himself a former WBA champion and will be an experienced opponent for 29-year-old Haye, who is looking forward to entertaining a British crowd.

Haye said: “I'm over the moon about having the fight in the UK and on Sky Box Office.

“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 Nikolay Valuev.

“Now it's time to showcase my skills again in front of the great British public. 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, and the atmosphere was always 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.”

Oscar de la Hoya, of Golden Boy Promotions who promote both fighters, said: “With his explosive fighting style, heart, youth and charisma, David Haye is the most exciting heavyweight in the world.

“On the other hand, John Ruiz is a very experienced fighter who 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.”

Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer added: “David Haye versus John Ruiz is going to be one of the most explosive heavyweight fights we have seen in a long time.

“Both fighters are going to leave it all in the ring on April 3 and we at Golden Boy are very excited to be a part of such a great event that will show boxing fans that the heavyweight division is a division to once again pay attention to.”

Belfast Telegraph