Boxing


David Haye: Heading For A Fall?

By Dean Parr - When it was announced in early April that David Haye would be taking on Wladimir Klitschko, there was a huge amount of media interest. While it had been known that negotiations had been progressing for a while, the fight seemed increasingly unlikely to happen as months passed with a deal still not finalised. However, Haye eventually got his man after accepting a contract that he called a Ďjokeí; but while there was general excitement around this contest, I couldnít help feeling slightly disappointed upon hearing it had been signed..

Firstly, I canít see Haye being able to last the distance with Klitschko. To me, this seems like a step too far for Haye, who was actually stopped at cruiserweight by a man who weighed 44lbs less than Wladimir usually weighs. While Haye has improved vastly since his only loss, the question still remains: will Haye be able to cope with the ring control and power of Wladimir Klitschko? At this juncture, I donít think he will. To me, this is disheartening as Haye does have the potential to be a very good heavyweight and a British boxing legend, but this make or break fight could really put a spanner in the works of the grand ambitions of Haye, and this fight has come way too soon for him.

While Hayeís bravery and determination to go for such a high profile fight is admirable, the way he got himself this fight is also questionable to me. He hasnít earned this fight on merit - by beating all the best heavyweights, he has effectively talked himself into a world title fight at a weight at which he is unproven at. While he has caught the eye of the media and the British public in particular, isnít he really just piling pressure on himself he could do without? By trash talking as much as he has done, and more or less guaranteeing a knockout at somewhere round the half way stage, Haye has set the standard very high for himself. If he manages to achieve this, Haye will immediately become a British boxing superstar, but if he doesnít, it will take an awful lot for him to rebuild his momentum and get back in the spotlight again.

In my opinion, David Haye should look at fellow Brit Carl Froch as an example of how to conduct himself to get where he wants to be. Apart from the odd quip about Joe Calzaghe, Froch doesnít tend to get too involved in verbal abuse of his opponents, yet he has still ended up in a match against former pound for pound contender Jermain Taylor which will earn him valuable recognition in America. In addition, Froch is at an advantage because the Americans expect Taylor to steamroll through Froch, which means there is no pressure on the champion to perform. When you look at David Haye though, as opposed to working his way up the heavyweight ranks by merit, he has leapfrogged the other contenders by making the fight against Wladimir personal, and using underhanded tactics such as interrupting some of Klitschkoís charity work to trash talk with the champion. Itís arguable that fighters such as Chris Arreola, Ruslan Chegaev and Alexander Povetkin are more deserving of a shot against Wladimir than Haye, and that Haye should have fought one of these men to earn his shot.

Haye is young (for a heavyweight), brash and supremely confident, but unfortunately, I donít think that he has enough to beat a naturally bigger man that hasnít lost since 2004, which is a shame for the fans as he has a vibrant personality that the heavyweight division has been lacking. While the charismatic Londoner has the speed advantage and bags of power, I donít think that Haye can keep a frantic pace up for twelve rounds, and once fatigue begins to kick in and Wladimirís punches begin to get through, Haye is going to be in for a very long night, and even he will wish he waited a couple of years before taking a world title fight.

Article posted on 12.04.2009



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