It’s Put Up or Shut Up for David Haye
Boxing’s heavyweight division has been an abomination for the better part of a decade but it could get a breath of fresh air tonight as the Brash Brit David Haye takes on Wladimir Klitschko at the Imtech Arena in Hamburg, Germany. This much anticipated matchup has been almost a year in the making and will unify the WBA, WBO, IBF, IBO, and Ring heavyweight titles.
Robotic and methodical like brother Vitali, Klitschko depends on his telephone pole jab and height/reach advantage to pick apart what has been for the most part a hand-picked assortment of tomato cans. To his credit, Klitschko did get off the floor to beat Samuel Peter and has this cardio to easily go a full 12 rounds.
If Klitschko were ripe to be picked, it could be tonight. Both Klitschko chins have always been suspect and Wladimir’s three losses have all come by knockout to such boxing illuminaries as Ross Purrity, Corrie Saunders, and Lamon Brewster.
Klitschko called out Haye on YouTube in April of 2010 after continuous taunting of both Klitschko’s by Haye. Injuries and prior committments have made this fight a long time coming. Klitschko has been inactive since September recovering from a torn abdominal muscle. Smack-talking David Haye finally has his moment to shine. The former WBA, WBO, and IBF cruiserweight champion is 26-1 over his nine-year career and made the jump to heavyweight in 2008 beating Monte Barrett in his debut.
That set up a title fight with the giant Nikolai Valuev for the WBA championship which he easily won my majority Rata-Tat-Tat decision. Subsequent wins over John Ruiz and Audley Harrison set up the showdown with Klitschko.
Tale of the tape.
Klitschko is the much bigger man and will enjoy a 4 inch height advantage, 3 inch reach advantage, and weighed 242 to Haye’s 223 at the weigh-in.
Chin: Both fighters have suspect chins.
Heart: Haye is doubly dangerous when hurt. Both Klitscko’s have prior history of not handling adversity well.
Speed and Movement: Haye is extremely slick on his feet and present problems for the stalking Klitschko.
Power: Klitscko has a big right hook and wears opponents down with his ramrod jab. Haye has heavy hands but will need to land one right on the button to take out the big Uke.
Stamina: Klitschko has never had an issue with stamina. All four of Haye’s fights at heavyweight have been against much biggger men. It will be interesting to see how Haye responds to constant Klitschko pressure, leaning on, and tying up in the clinch.
Experience: This is Wladamir Klitscko’s 19th (16-2) world championship fight. He’s been a big payday stadium fighter in Germany for years. Haye has only fought 30 of his 102 career rounds at heavyweight and this is without question his toughest test to date.
While Klitschko deserves to be a small favorite, Haye is a very live dog here and this figures to be an excellent fight.
A Haye victory here would give the heavyweight division a much needed shot in the arm and set up a potentially big money rematch with Wladimir or even a matchup against brother Vitali, hopefully in the United States.
Haye brings game and smack to the party, boxing needs Haye to win in spectacular style.