Haye v. Maccarinelli– Let’s be realistic

haye vs mac 30.12.07 - By Andrew Wake: At last Frank Warren has delivered the match up that the majority of fight fans in Britain have been waiting for. I don’t need to tell you knowledgeable Eastside readers that this fight, between two battle cruisers who hit so hard they should have their gloves checked for horseshoes, will be exciting. I do, however, want to dispel some of the myths and misconceptions that people seem to have about these two “Great Brits”.

Since the fight, which will see three of the four principal titles on the line, was announced on Friday I have read copious amounts of articles and forum posts and the overall consensus is that WBA and WBC kingpin David Haye will win easily. To that I say “Hang on folks. Let’s not write off Big Mac..

The first subject for debate is the chins. Both have, in the past, appeared vulnerable and found themselves on the canvas but to say that one fighter has a better beard than the other is ridiculous. The general impression I get from people is that they feel the “Hayemaker” is the sturdier of the two. However, given that Haye was down in his last fight and was once floored by a super-middleweight called Lolenga Mock, I find it impossible to fathom how people have come to that conclusion, in fact, if anything, recent fights would suggest that it’s the Italian – Welshman who can withstand a better shot.

The belief that Maccarinelli cannot take punishment comes from his loss to Lee Swaby and the occasion Bruce Scott put him down. But let’s take the following facts into account. Firstly, when he lost to Swaby he was 19 years old and it was only his fourth outing as a professional and secondly, when these combatants step into the ring in March it will three months short of five years since “Big Mac” last hit the mat.

Another factor that appears to be getting overlooked is how much the former brickie from Swansea has improved since he joined Enzo Calzaghe’s camp in Newbridge. You only have to look at the way he worked patiently behind his jab to dominate big punching Guyanan Wayne Braithwaite and you’ll see that Maccarinelli is a fighter who has come on leaps and bounds and is now not far from being the full package.

Haye, like his British rival, has also improved since suffering his solitary defeat to Carl Thompson. If you want proof then look no further than when he was badly cut and forced to absorb some clubbing shots from Giacobbe Fragomeni. That night he showed his resolve and finished the tough Italian in the ninth stanza. However, the Mormeck knock down is, for me, what leaves the biggest question mark.

The next subject is power. One undeniable thing about these two pugs is that they bang so hard their opponents go down as if they’ve been hit by a rocket blast. On this issue opinion is split, the public believes Haye hits harder and most boxing journalists lean towards Maccarinelli. Haye has dispatched 19 of his 20 victims within schedule and Maccarinelli has a shot that, when tested by scientists at Swansea university, is comparable to the impact caused by a Transit van doing 30mph so I’m prepared to sit on the fence here and say that, until these warriors meet, it’s impossible to sway either way.

I suspect that a lot of the pro–Haye comments we are seeing at present are the direct result of Bermondsey man’s stoppage win over Jean-Marc Mormeck. That night in Paris was fantastic, not only for Haye himself but for British boxing in general. Haye dared to venture into the lions den and he came out victorious so he thoroughly deserves all the praise he’s receiving. But, and I don’t mean to take anything away from the newly crowned champion, one thing I noticed at the time was that on each occasion Mormeck threw a couple of punches he seemed to suddenly look tired and, having watched the fight again, I’m now beginning to question how much wear and tear there was on the Frenchman.

The bottom line is this: Yes both men have their vulnerabilities, yes they can both land concussive punches, but this is a pick ‘em fight and either man can win so lets end all this nonsense about David Haye stopping Big Mac in one round because it isn’t going to happen.

I may be going against the grain when I say this but I feel Enzo will be a much tougher assignment than Mormeck was and I also wouldn’t rule out this match up going the distance, it does seem unlikely but they’ve both done it before with lesser opponents.

Article posted on 30.12.2007

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