British boxer David Haye conceded Monday that he failed to back up his big pre-fight boasts after surrendering his WBA heavyweight title to Ukrainian Wladimir Klitschko in Hamburg on Saturday.
Klitschko dominated the 12 rounds to earn a unanimous decision and add Haye's belt to the IBF, IBO and WBO straps he already owned.
Haye was hampered by a broken little toe suffered in training three weeks before the fight but said the physical pain was small in comparison to the mental side of defeat.
"It is my ego and pride that is hurting more than anything else," Haye told Sky Sports.
"You know what I'm like before the fight, I give it all the big mouth.
"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.
"I feel like I've let a lot of people down. I feel like I've let myself, family, everybody down."
Immediately after the loss Haye said his broken toe had hampered his movement, and said Monday he still did not know whether the result would have been different had he been fully fit.
"Whether [the toe] made a difference or not, I don't know. Maybe it did, maybe it didn't. Who knows? We'll never know. The only way to find out is to fight him again with it healed. That's a long shot."
The Klitschko camp have already played down the idea of a rematch but Haye is keen to avenge only the second loss of his 27-fight professional career — and would even be willing to change his long-held plan to retire on his 31st birthday.
"I've said it since I'm 10. I want to retire when I cease being 30 — and I cease being 30 on Oct. 13," he said.
"I've said it throughout my whole career but now it's round the corner, just over three months away.
"I'm hoping [the Klitschko camp] have a change of heart. They have had a change of heart in the past in negotiations."
Asked about a rematch with Klitschko beyond his 31st birthday, Haye added, "I'd have to seriously consider it. I'm just hoping if there is a date that pops up, it is before Oct. 13. But beggars can't be choosers."