Heavyweight Haye will have his day
15.08.07 - By Marc Andrews: The Heavyweight division is struggling. That is a poignant fact. The once great flagship weight class that provided such excitement and anticipation is now lumbering along slowly, like some of the giants now operating in it. The big names have retired or are just shadows of the fighters they once were. A cavernous hole has been left behind that cannot be plugged by the current crop of heavy combatants. It has at present lost its prestigious mantle to the busier, more competitive and often thrilling lighter weight classes of boxing.
Article posted on 16.08.2007
A heavyweight champion of yesteryear would instantly have been recognizable across the globe, and be acknowledged as the man to beat. He would possess the skills and self character to set himself apart from the competition.
These very attributes would draw a diverse mix of fans to the sport. Sadly many of these fans have drifted away. They crave and deserve the buzz a heavyweight fight should provide.
That said, the heavyweight scene desperately needs a Saviour. This man would need to carry bags of vibrancy to illuminate a dull stage. He would carry explosive knockout power in both fists. Opponents would be mesmerised by slick footwork and dazzled by lightning fast hands not seen by a heavyweight since the days of Ali. Alas, we do not have such a heavyweightÖ..Until that is, David Haye makes big the step up.
Britainís compelling David Haye campaigns in the Cruiserweight class and has set the division alight with some emphatic, destructive displays of raw power, speed and athleticism. In his last outing, Haye moved up to the heavyweights to take on Tomasz Bonin who was ranked eleventh by the WBC prior to their meeting. It took a scintillating Haye only a round to destroy the Polish fighter, who had only ever been stopped once before. His record of 19 wins out of 20 fights with 18 coming from knockout screams out serious intention. By hammering his way through credible opposition, he has earned the right to face the hard hitting WBC Cruiserweight champion Jean Marc Mormeck in his next fight. I recently spoke to David to find out how he is planning his future and what he hopes to achieve in the ring.
MA: Hello David. Very soon you will be facing Mormeck for the WBC and WBA Title. What will you be taking to the ring that night? Are you looking to be your usual aggressive self or will you show a little more caution considering the opposition?
DH: My usual aggressive self definitely. He comes out all guns blazing and will be trying to take me out, so I will just go after him from the opening bell and catch him with my power and get him out early.
MA: It will be a great fight and I cannot wait. Ok, next question. Haye V Maccarinelli. That is a hugely anticipated domestic showdown. If this fight is to happen, will it be at cruiser or heavyweight?
DH: It will be at heavyweight. My fight with Mormeck will be my last fight at cruiserweight. It could have happened on April 27 earlier this year. We offered Maccaranelliís team a large amount of money to get the fight on. For one reason or another they turned it down and Enzo ended up facing Bobby Gunn instead.
MA: So your future definitely lies within the heavyweight ranks?
DH: I am really a heavyweight now. Itís becoming harder for me to make the cruiser limit. I donít have to make an effort to become a heavyweight. I can comfortably carry 230lbs without losing any speed or fitness. In fact, I actually shed 13lbs to fight Bonin. Itís my natural weight. When I left the amateurís it was my intention to be a heavyweight, but I had to wait a little until I had a growth spurt. Thatís why I started in the cruiserweights.
MA: Where do you see yourself in three years time?
DH: I have two aims; one is to win the cruiserweight world championship. Then I want to move up and win the heavyweight championship. I have always said as a little boy that I want to be the heavyweight champion of the world. I want to go on and achieve what Evander Holyfield achieved by winning both.
MA: Do you plan to have a few more fights at heavyweight before you fight for the title?
DH: I wanna go straight for a title shot.
MA: It looks as though Holyfield might be handed another title shot. How do you feel about the possibility of fighting him?
DH: It seems really strange. He was my idol when I was growing up. To fight Evander Holyfield would be a dream come true. The man is a legend.
MA: You stand about 6í3Ē tall. How would you visualize a fight with Wladimir Kitschsko or a similarly sized boxer?
DH: I think it would be similar to the way Cory Sanders fought Klitschko. Sanders had the greater speed and won the fight. I donít think the heavyweights will be able to deal with my speed, footwork and boxing ability. Some of them just plod along and are very rigid in the way they fight.
MA: You are still only 26. Boxers seem to be having longer careers these days. Will you still be around in 10 years or so?
DH: My soul ambition is to be known as the number one fighter, the main man at heavyweight. I donít want 20 defences or anything like that. Once I win the heavyweight crown I will retire.
MA: The one blemish on your record came at the hands of the tough Carl Thompson in a thriller. What did you learn from that fight?
DH: That was the best thing that could have happened to me. It happened early in my career and taught me valuable lessons. I was not in the best shape. I unleashed early and got tired. I have since evaluated everything in my life. My diet has changed and everything is taken very seriously. It has worked and I think that the proof is in the pudding.
MA: Thanks again David and I wish you all the best in your next fight.
We should all place our trust at the hands of David Haye. He is the fighter we have been waiting for to rescue the ailing elite division. With his incredible talent, it is just a matter of time before we once again have a champion that the whole world will be compelled to watch.
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