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. Klitschko is a -250 favorite at Bodog but Haye is
gaining momentum from punters with a +180/190 takeback at most shops.
Wladimir Klitschko is on a 13-fight six-year win streak and comes into
the fight with a 55-3 career record with 49 wins coming by KO. 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
Chin: Both fighters have suspect chins. Advantage Push
Heart: Haye is doubly dangerous when hurt. Both Klitscko’s have prior
history of not handling adversity well. Advantage Haye.
Speed and Movement: Haye is extremely slick on his feet and present
problems for the stalking Klitschko. Advantage Haye.
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. Advantage Klitschko.
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. Advantage Push.
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. Advantage Klitschko.
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