Haye gears up for first title defence

MANCHESTER - David Haye will make the first defence of the WBA world heavyweight title against John Ruiz in Manchester on April 3.

MANCHESTER - David Haye will make the first defence of the WBA world heavyweight title against John Ruiz in Manchester on April 3.

The 29-year-old British fighter, a former world cruiserweight champion, won the heavyweight crown from Russia's Nikolai Valuev in Germany in November.

Haye will now face Ruiz, the WBA's No 1 contender and former champion, at the Man-chester Evening News Arena.

The 38-year-old American fighter didn't show up at Tuesday's news conference to announce the fight.

"We paid for his first- class tickets over here, a great hotel and tried to accommodate him as best as possible," Haye said. "He didn't get on the flight. I don't know what his reason is."

Ruiz said he was still training in Las Vegas and couldn't make the long trip.

"I apologise for not being there," he said. "It's an important fight in my career."

Haye has known since he beat Valuev on November 7 in Nuremberg that he would have to fight Ruiz.

"I will not only beat him but beat him spectacularly and knock him out," Haye said.

"I'm looking forward to getting back to what I do best - throwing my trademark 'Hayemakers'."

Haye labelled Ruiz a boring spoiler for his no-show but Ruiz countered by saying Haye's fight with Valuev was boring.

"In his last fight with Valuev, how many punches did he throw, 10 a round? How is that, calling me boring?" - Sapa-AP

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