This Friday, undefeated Danish cruiserweight Lasse Johansen will wade through a sea of hotile Londoners to challenge David "The Haymaker" Haye for the European championship. However, Johansen is brimming with confidence that his British excursion will bring him to the forefront of European boxing at the expense of Haye. "I look forward to facing David Haye in front of his own crowd," said Johansen coolly. "My last three fights have been in the Czech Republic, so being away from home is nothing new for me. I feel no pressure at all in this bout because I have nothing to lose. I know that I am the underdog but Haye knows that he has to win this fight. If he loses to me, it will be a big, big catastrophe for his career." Haye is 15-1, compared to 14-0 for Johansen. Sky Sports will televise the "The Hayemaker Hits London" in the UK starting at 10PM on SS1.
Six years ago as amateurs in Greece, Johansen and Haye met in the ring with the Englishman winning the competitive contest on points. The Dane was floored twice by Haye's startling one punch power but refused to stay down and pressed his rival's back to the wall for the rest of the bout. Before the dust had settled, Johansen managed to tag "The Haymaker" with a perfect uppercut, producing a mouth injury that kept Haye from participating further in the Acropolis Cup and likely winning tournament gold. The London based champion was not amused and has promised to extract his revenge upon the challenger when they meet at York Hall on Friday.
Johansen feels that his opponent's raw power will provide the ammunition that he needs in order to topple the favored hometown fighter. "I know that Haye is very fast and hits very hard but I have trained for this and he's not going to hit me," vowed Johansen. "I saw the fight in which Carl Thompson gave Haye his only loss and I could see in David's eyes that he knew Thompson was the better, stronger fighter who he could not stop.
"Haye uses every muscle in his body every time he throws a punch and if he cannot knock me out early, then I will win this fight. I am coming to London very fit, very fast and prepared to do everything that I can to win this fight. I do not make boring fights and promise that this will be fun to watch. When Haye and I fought in the amateurs I was too thin and only had a tremendous will to fight, but not the strength. Now I am much stronger and have the tools I need; I will make Denmark by bringing home the European title."
David Haye and Lasse Johansen collide on Maloney Promotions' "The Hayemaker Hits London" bill from York Hall on Friday, March 24. Also in action are many of the top prospects in Britain today such as Gary Woolcombe, Sam Webb, Ian Wilson, Jadgar Abdulla, Tom Glover and Robert Lloyd-Taylor.