'Call Em Out Fridays': David Says He's The 'Goliath', But Should We Really Buy It?
By Vivek Wallace: In this weeks 'Call Em Out Fridays' session we take a look at a man believed by some to be the Heavyweight divisions knight on the white horse. By all accounts, the average fight fan would be greatly challenged to find a negative word anywhere in the press about this new phenom who comes to us by way of the United Kingdom.
Article posted on 09.08.2008
Not since a young Oscar De La Hoya has the world of boxing been graced with a marketers dream, equipped not only with skills to pay the bills, but those school-boyish looks that allows him to instantly tap into the non-mainstream female base around the world as well. On paper, his stats as well his prowess make him appear immeasurable.
Only trouble with that equation, as the NBA's legendary Pat Riley once the chided, "paper burns"! With Haye set to make his official heavyweight splash later this year, the official analysis of his ability to compete is well under way.. Like any other 'Call Em Out Fridays' session, we'll take a glimpse at the 'positive fan perspective' of David Haye, the not so positive 'critics perspective', and after I chime in with a personal perspective, we open the debate to the many readers around the globe who will definitely walk away with an opinion generated of their own. So, with no further ado, the time has come to place this weeks prominent boxing figure into the fishbowl, and let the analysis begin.......
David Haye - (Positive Fan Perspective): At first glance, what is there not to like about David Haye? Power, speed, stamina, style, and when the gloves are off, a pure 'ham' for the cams. Few fighters in the sport boast his magnetic presence, and interestingly enough, his first promoter apparently knew this as well, targeting venues like Miami Beach (SeVille Beach Hotel) and the Playboy Mansion in Beverly Hills, California, within his first 5 professional fights. For years now, Haye - like Joe Calzaghe - was a force to be reckoned with in the United Kingdom who suddenly came like a thief in the night to take the rest of the world by storm. The whispers were heard around the world as this mystery 'KO' artist knocked out foe after foe with what was viewed at the time as a very raw set of skills that had yet to be completely polished. It wasn't until Haye stepped in the ring with Jean Marc Mormeck and walked away with a brilliant 7th round TKO that the entire fight world started to take note. In his first fight on a United States telecast, carried by Showtime, the 'Haye-Maker' followed his grand performance against Mormeck with a two round destruction of Enzo Maccarinelli. If he hadn't been a notable figure in the U.S. to that point, there would be no denying him after this performance. Even for those with a few questions remaining, the curiosity level had clearly dipped as a force of this nature in the heavyweight division had been absent for quite some time. The mere thought of it was enough to ignite the fire that remains ablaze. As we often find in life, when something seems too good to be true, typically it is. This isn't to indict Haye, but the true test awaits, and of course there's always that crowd that will never believe 'it' until they see 'it'. That being said, we now examine their perspective a bit closer......
David Haye - (Critics Perspective): When you listen to those who simply aren't sold on David Haye, despite the great attributes we've seen of him, it's impossible not to fall into the huge web of speculation. Among the biggest criticism of Haye, and perhaps one that could ultimately prove to be the most fatal, is the fact he suffered key losses - (one professional, two amateur) - in 5 rounds or less. In 1999 there was a lost on the cruiserweight level in the World Amateur Championship to Michael Simms which came early in the contest, as well as a lost in 2001 to Odlanier Solis on the Heavyweight level (201 lbs), where Haye suffered a devastating 3rd round TKO. His professional career started with a bang, but came to a screeching halt when he found himself in the ring against the old, but very durable Carl Thompson who was the reigning IBO Cruiserweight Champion at the time. After apparently emptying his proverbial 'clip', throwing everything in his arsenal and subsequently hurting the older champ, Haye's hands would remain by his sides with his mouth wide open as he had totally fatigued himself by the beginning of the third round. Haye did enough to sustain his lead on the score cards initially, but by the 5th round it would mean very little as Haye - who had already been knocked down once by this point - would get his neck snapped by a bomb thrown by Thompson. Before the badly wobbled Haye could come back to his senses, the white towel from his cornerman's hand soared across the parameter of the ring faster than a Halley's comet, signaling a moment where most felt Haye's veil of invincibility was permanently lifted. Despite the great moments since this loss, questions ranging from Haye's conditioning, to his dedication, to his talent itself have began to fly down range, prompting many to think it's only a matter of time before Haye is completely exposed.
David Haye - (In This Writers Opinion): When you see David Haye in action, clearly, this is one of, if not 'THE' most purely talented fighter to land in the Heavyweight division, arguably since the young days of "Iron" Mike Tyson. Sure, Lennox Lewis was the more formidable fighter, and Holyfield, along with a few others were able to put together some great stretches as well, but from a 'total package' standpoint, the goods stack much higher. The flipside of that is the fact that you have to note that this pure talent that Haye boast is also paralleled by the fact that he's still very raw. Haye has only been in the ring professionally since December '02, and within that time, one can safely argue that Carl Thompson is the only fighter he has faced with any veteran ring smarts and we see how that turned out. What makes 'Project Haye' a risky proposition is the fact that he will now be in the only division in the sport where one single blow can end the show on any given night. In today's super-heavyweight era, the men are bigger, stronger, and far more durable than anyone he's ever faced. When you consider that Haye has been chin-checked with a not-so favorable result more than once over his professional and amateur career cumulatively, it's an open invitation to the questions that seem to come with his new territory. When it's all said and done, Haye's legacy could conceivably be a bigger question than some vision. In a strange anomaly of sorts, I currently see Haye being good enough to potentially defeat the best the division has to offer - Wladimir Klitschko - but somewhat raw enough to get obliterated by some James Toney like veteran who has a good enough chin to last the distance, coupled with great enough ring intelligence to run circles around him in the process. It'll be a helluva ride watching this talented young man rise to the top, but if the babes and bars don't stop him first, tempered experience may very well be the official culprit. Until that one positive or unfortunate negative career defining moment arrives, we all sit in anticipation as we take a glimpse at this very talented 'work in progress'. Mission number one is tentatively set for November 15th, in the United Kingdom. Who that number one victim will be is still pending. Stay tuned.
(Got Questions Or Feedback?: Contact ESB's Vivek Wallace at firstname.lastname@example.org, 954-857-6858, or show some love at www.myspace.com/anonymouslyinvolved)
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