HAMBURG, Germany -- Wladimir Klitschko won a lopsided unanimous decision over David Haye, adding the WBA title to his heavyweight haul on Saturday.
Klitschko dominated almost from the opening bell against a smaller fighter who took few chances, winnning for the 14th straight time and improving to 17-2 in title fights. But he never knocked Haye down in a fight that did not live up to its advance hype.
“He was scared to fight me,” Klitschko said. “I was expecting more of a challenge in the ring, but he was super defensive.”
The victory in a rain-soaked football stadium in Hamburg means Klitschko and his older brother, Vitali, hold all three major heavyweight titles. Wladimir already had the IBF title (and minor WBO, IBO belts), while Vitali was the WBC champion.
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All three judges gave it to Klitschko, scoring the 12-round showdown 117-109, 118-108 and 116-110.
Haye, who stirred most of the hype with often crass trash-talking, said he hurt a toe on his right foot in training and lost some of his explosive power because of it.
“I couldn’t give everything I needed to, it was really frustrating,” Haye said. “I had to knock him out and unfortunately I couldn’t do it.”
Haye slipped to the canvas repeatedly as he got into clinches with the heavier, taller and more experienced Ukrainian, who was fighting in his home base.
Referee Genaro Rodriguez finally had enough of it and gave Haye a count when he slipped in the 11th round. This time, Haye got quickly to his feet.
Haye came out slugging in the final round, landing a series of body punches and a good right hand to the head. But Klitschko came right back with some stinging jabs and right hands to take away one of the rare offensive threats of the night from the British fighter.
Klitschko (56-3) had wanted to knock Haye out, disgusted with the Brit’s trash talking. The fact that he didn’t disappointed him, though he was happy to join the major titles with his brother, who he has said he will never fight.
“We’re celebrating with my brother that we’ve collected all the belts in the heavyweight division,” Klitschko said. “It wasn’t as spectacular as I expected, but I was trying.”
Haye (25-2) fought defensively for the most part, unwilling to risk going inside and catching a Klitschko right to the head. He took off his shoe in the ring to show off a toe he said he broke three weeks ago.
“He’s big, strong and very effective at what he does,” Haye said. “It was definitely subpar for me.”