NUREMBERG: David Haye landed the WBA heavyweight title with victory over Nikolai Valuev and then set his sights on the Klitschko brothers as part of his quest to dominate the division.
The 29-year-old from London scored a majority decision verdict after taking the 2.13m tall, 143kg Russian giant the full twelve-round distance, using his superior speed to stay away from his opponent's close-range punches.
Haye must now face John Ruiz of the United States in a mandatory defence, but says he will then seek out either IBF and WBO champion Wladimir Klitscko or his brother Vitali, the WBC champion.
"Anyone who has a belt is in my sights now - definitely the Klitschkos," said Haye, who had secured fights with both Ukrainian brothers last summer only for the match-ups to fall through.
"The Klitschkos tried to lock me down in a crazy contract. I am free now to fight who I want to."
Haye revealed he had damaged his right hand early in Saturday's fight and was shocked at how hard Valuev's head was to punch.
"I damaged my right early in the fight, I think it was the second round, he has a very hard head, it was like punching a brick wall," said Haye.
"I have hit heavy bags before in the gym, but I knew I had broken my hand straight away."
Haye, Britain's first heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis's retirement in 2003, said it was an incredible feeling to have won.
"It's a bit surreal to be honest. When you strive for something your whole life, what do you do?" he said.
"Some people said I was crazy to fight this guy, but I proved the Hayemaker can turn it on when he wants to.
"I think I can clean up in this division and there is plenty more to come."
Having branded Valuev "a circus freak" before the fight, Haye said he had proved his value as a showman by backing up his brash claims.
"I say what the fight fans want to hear, I talk big and then I produce the goods," he said.
"I said I would make him look silly, I said he wouldn't hit me and that is what I did, I have beaten the biggest and tallest champion of all time."
Haye insisted his speed and athleticism was the key to the shock upset in just his third heavyweight fight as he inflicted only the second defeat of Valuev's career.
"The key was speed," insisted the new world champion. "People don't realise I am very fast, I have powerful punches.
"It was my speed and power. I am an athlete and if I wasn't boxing I would be playing football or rugby.
"Being a good athlete means you can put on good performances like that. My athleticism made the difference."
Valuev, 36, admitted he was shocked by Haye's performance.
"From my point of view, the main thing which went wrong today was the pace," said the Russian.
"It was like a marathon for me and I wasn't prepared to run so much like you would in a world championships."
Haye said he sees few problems against Ruiz, a former WBA champion.
"I don't think he is the most entertaining. He has won the world title before and you don't do that by being a bad fighter," said Haye.
"I will be way too fast, I will knock him out."