HAMBURG, Germany – Wladimir Klitschko believes he is the man to deliver the therapeutic defeat he thinks David Haye needs to become a "better person" after their highly anticipated heavyweight fight on Saturday.
The fighters have been swapping threats that perhaps go beyond the often outrageous buildups to fights — both have predicted sending the other to hospital after the bout in Hamburg's soccer stadium.
Haye's antics seem to have irritated Klitschko, who says Haye needs a reality check and therapy for his big mouth.
"My name is Dr. Klitschko. I am a therapist and on July 2 I am going to give you treatment. It is going to be reality rehab. I will knock you out into reality, which will be good for your life.
"You will be a better person and have better manners," Klitschko told Haye, who was sitting next to him at a news conference on Monday.
The 35-year-old Klitschko, the IBF, WBO and IBO champion who has a 55-3 record with 49 KOs, has a doctorate degree in sports science.
Haye, the 30-year-old WBA champion, appeared unimpressed, neither by Klitschko's academic nor the boxing record.
"This is going to be the most brutal execution of a boxer that you've seen for many, many years," Haye predicted. "I'm going to go out there and absolutely destroy him, really quickly."
The fight has been in the making for more than two years and Haye has used the time to repeatedly mock Wladimir and his older brother Vitali, the WBC champion.
He has worn a T-shirt depicting the image of himself holding the severed heads of the Klitschko brothers. Wladimir has promised to make him eat it after the fight.
Haye has introduced a game app for smart phones called "David Haye's Knockout," with users playing as Haye aims to knock the head off a giant eastern European.
Klitschko said he respects Haye as a fighter but not as a person.
"You have a certain attitude that is not so good for your life inside and outside the ring," the Ukrainian said.
Haye, a former cruiserweight fighter who has a 25-1 record, with 23 KOs, has called both Klitschko brothers "frauds," who only fight "little fat puddings who turn up for a pay check."
Klitschko acknowledged that Haye looked superbly fit and confident ahead of the fight.
"I am going to get challenged in the ring," Klitschko said.
But he had no doubt that he would be the winner, promising to punish Haye for 12 rounds before knocking him out.