By Kieran Mulvaney
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Helped by Muhammad Ali's former trainer, Britain's heavyweight WBA champion David Haye believes his speed and power will bring him victory in his unification bout with Wladimir Klitschko on July 2.
Haye will take on Ukrainian Klitschko, the WBO, IBO and IBF champion, in Hamburg's football arena in a long-awaited showdown.
"I've got the type of speed he will not have had to encounter as a professional. I've been working on my speed. I feel light and my punches are freakishly hard.
"I've always been able to knock people out with either hand, so if I catch him at any time, he's going to sleep."
The London fighter has been training in Miami's famed Fifth Street Gym, where Angelo Dundee trained Muhammad Ali, and he said the veteran cornerman has given him welcome words of wisdom.
"He came by yesterday and we had a good chat. He still knows his stuff," Haye said. "He was giving me some good advice, some tactics to implement when I get in the ring. I had a great game plan before, but Angelo's tweaked it."
Haye, who has a career record of 25-1 with 23 knockouts, predicted that Klitschko (55-3, 49 KOs) would try to make their mega-fight in Hamburg ugly and boring.
PULLING THE TRIGGER
"He's someone who can jab you to death for 12 rounds and is happy to do that," the Londoner said. "He doesn't let his right hand go, he doesn't really pull the trigger.
"I think he's going to come unstuck with that tactic when he fights me. I'm going to have to force him to fight."
A Haye-Vladimir Klitschko clash has been on the cards for two years but twice the two sides failed to finalize a deal after disagreeing on how to split revenues.
Haye and Klitschko appeared to have struck a deal for the July 2 fight in early January, only for talks to fall apart when Klitschko insisted on taking an interim bout with Britain's Dereck Chisora on April 30.
When Klitschko canceled that fight, citing an injury, the meeting with Haye was swiftly re-arranged.
Haye was confident the difficulties in putting the fight together will be long forgotten once the bell rings.
"That's all irrelevant. The only thing that matters is when we're both in that ring and the first bell rings and we go to war."
(Editing by Mark Lamport-Stokes)