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Talking Tough

Childish name-calling and insults are something that have existed for as long as anyone cares to remember. However, it's a bit more serious when you're preparing to fight for the Heavyweight championship of the world.

Just like a fine wine, the older you get, the more sophisticated your quips become. You could then argue David Haye's 3D pun-come-insult is somewhat vintage. Of his upcoming battle against Audley Harrison he explained to Shortlist: "People will be able to see a three-dimensional beating of a one-dimensional fighter."

Joe Frazier

Joe Frazier: “Hey man, what you been doing?”

Ken Norton: "My wife just had a baby."

Joe Frazier: "Congratulations! Whose baby is it?"

Willie Pep

Willie Pep: “Lie down so I can recognise you.” (when asked by an old opponent if he recognised him.)

Eddie Shaw

Eddie Shaw (boxing coach): “He has turned defensive boxing into a poetic art. Trouble is, nobody ever knocked anybody out with a poem.” (about Herol "Bomber" Graham)

Blackie Shrrod

Blackie Shrrod (American columnist): "He has everything a boxer needs except speed, stamina, a punch, and ability to take punishment. In other words, he owns a pair of shorts." (about a Heavyweight contender)

Mike Tyson

Mike Tyson: “[He] called me a ‘rapist’ and a ‘recluse’. I’m not a recluse.” (about writer Wallace Matthews)

More Tyson

Mike Tyson: “My main objective is to be professional, but to kill him.” (on fighting Lennox Lewis)

Mike Tyson: "Lennox Lewis, I'm coming for you man. My style is impetuous. My defense is impregnable, and I'm just ferocious. I want your heart. I want to eat his children. Praise be to Allah!" (on fighting Lennox Lewis)

Muhammad Ali

Muhammad Ali: “I’ll beat him so bad he’ll need a shoehorn to put his hat on.” (ahead of a fight against Floyd Patterson)

Henry Cooper

Henry Cooper, replying to boxing abolitionist, Baroness Edith Summerskill, about the brutalities of his sport.

Baroness: “Mr. Cooper, have you looked in the mirror lately and seen the state of your nose?”

Cooper: “Well madam, have you looked in the mirror and seen the state of your nose? Boxing is my excuse. What’s yours?”

Timothy Bradley

Timothy Bradley: "Your ego is too big. Humble yourself before someone shatters your glass jaw!" (To Amir Khan via Twitter)

Mike Tyson

Mike Tyson: “I’m gonna gut him like a fish” (At press conference ahead of fight against Kevin McBride)

David Haye

David Haye: “He makes the Elephant Man look like Pamela Anderson” (on Nikolai Valuev)

Nigel Benn

Nigel Benn: “The British press hate a winner who's British. They don't like any British man to have balls as big as a cow's like I have.”

Antonio Tarver

Antonio Tarver: “You got any excuses for tonight Roy?”

(To Roy Jones Jr. when called the the middle of the ring by the referee pre-fight)

Lennox Lewis

Lennox Lewis: ““I am definitely not scared of Mike Tyson. I am at the top of the food chain and he is looking to knock me off. Mike's an arrogant imbecile. He sounds like a cartoon character.”