David Haye talked a big game in the buildup towards his title fight with Wladimir Klitchko in Hamburg, Germany, last Saturday.
But talk means little in the ring, and Haye conceded that his words didn't back his actions in a recent interview.
You know what I'm like before the fight, I give it all the big mouth, Haye told Sky Sports. I talk the talk and normally I walk the walk. On Saturday night I didn't walk the walk and I'm gutted about that.
Pre-fight trash talk is very common in boxing, but Haye may have taken it a little too far. He refused to shake hands with Klitchko, and seemed to refuse to acknowledge him as a world class fighter. On Saturday, Haye's body language did all of the talking as he appeared to have little interest in taking a risk, even when he was losing rounds.
What made Haye's fight particular distressing was his style in the ring. Haye flopped more than an Argentine midfielder, and at one point it got so bad that he was penalized by the referee for a knock down when Haye clearly went down on his own volition.
There was also a tremendous lack of aggression by Haye. Despite a hard right hand that landed flush on Klitschko's cheek in the 12th round, Haye didn't seem to have a legitimate strategy to land punches that did damage.
After the fight, while being interviewed by HBO's Larry Merchant, Haye discussed his broken toe, which Haye said hindered his ability to push off for power punches. The response prompted Merchant to point out that such a comment sounds like an alibi.
To Haye's credit, he didn't pursue the toe injury as a reason for the unanimous decision loss. In fact, with more time to reflect, Haye sounded apologetic.
It's not an excuse for the result of the fight, Haye said. The result happened because he landed more punches than I did, the judges saw it that way and he won the fight on points.
I do believe I wasn't at my best and, had I not injured myself, I may have been able to spring a little faster.
Haye also said that he felt like he let many people down. I feel like I've let myself, family, everybody down.
What's next for Haye?
The London-born fighter is on the verge of retirememnt, but could squeeze in another fight before his October birthday, which he had previously mentioned as a his target date to call it quits.
It seems hard to believe that Haye would be able to land a prize fight against a Klitchko brother, which Haye continue to strive for.
I'm hoping they (Klitschko camp) have a change of heart, Haye said. They have had a change of heart in the past in negotiations.