“MY best night, I actually have three I want to list. No. 3, my win over Tye Fields [ko 1 in 2008]. No. 2, my win over Dominick Guinn [sd 10 in 2004] and No. 1, my win over David Tua [pts 12 in 2012]. I was the underdog my whole career, but the win over Tua means a lot because I worked so hard for that fight, and it all paid off. I did so much great preparation in the gym and when he dropped me in the 12th and final round, and he broke my jaw, I was able to get back up and continue fighting. And I won by a unanimous decision, which is unheard of in the other guy’s backyard. I went to New Zealand and I beat Tua.
“My worst night, I have two. The loss to Odlanier Solis [rsf 2 in 2009] and the loss to Hasim Rahman [ud 12, for the interim WBC title, in 2005]. The Solis loss bothers me because I took it for selfish reasons. I had just fought David Haye, another bad night for me, because I got too overemotional due to the bad way Haye and his people treated me while I was in London, and the money from that fight had gone. So I needed money and took the Solis fight on short notice, just for the money. I had two weeks to get ready. And the Rahman fight, I should never have taken. I had just beaten Owen Beck and Guinn and I was in line for a title shot. I should never have fought my friend, Rahman. I was too emotional going in and though I still think I won, it was a bad fight for me.
“I fought a lot of punchers, such as Tua and Wladimir Klitschko. But the hardest I fought was probably Nikolay Valuev [for the WBA title in 2006]. What happened was, just before the fight, Don King told us it would be fought in a 16-foot ring, even though we had trained for at least a 20-foot ring. I had had a good camp but once I had to fight him, such a big, tall guy, in such a small ring, all my preparation went out of the window. With a full-size ring I was going to make him overextend and then counterpunch, as I’m a natural counter-puncher. But that was such a mentally tough fight. That was the first time I had ever suffered a concussion. I had to spend a night in hospital and it was six or seven months before I was back to normal.