David Haye: Unfair Criticism of a Great Fighter

Posted: October 13, 2008 in Boxing
Tags: , , , ,

TheEarlier today I posted something in a boxing forum which I thought should have been on my blog.  Everyone knows I’m a huge David Haye fan and today I got tired of listening to unfair criticisms of the fighter and fired back with my own thoughts for a change, and here’s what I had to say.


Nobody becomes the undisputed champion of anything in boxing with limited skills, limited ambition, or a glass jaw. Critics and fans all like to discredit Haye and use his one loss as a basis for all their arguments. The most common quotes from boxing fans regarding Haye (I’m paraphrasing) are:

  • If Cruiserweight Thompson can knock Haye out his chin won’t hold up at Heavyweight
  • Haye’s to small to fight or be effective at Heavyweight
  • Haye’s power will disappear when he moves up in weight
  • Haye has been dropped at Cruiserweight more than a few times, even journeymen Heavyweights will crush Haye
  • Haye is unproven at Heavyweight and will likely be exposed as a fraud or hype job.
  • Haye doesn’t deserve a title fight, he needs to prove himself first.

Comments such as these have helped to make Haye underrated, not to mentioned one of the most hated fighters in boxing. I think the Hayemaker is going to surprise (and piss off) a lot of people by becoming Heavyweight champion. Here’s my take on why.

  • Thompson got the stoppage over Haye only after taking a serious beating from Haye. A young inexpirienced Haye punched himself out and when that happens it doesnt matter how good, bad, old, or young your opponent is…you’re going to be in a world of hurt. Since then Haye has improved and learned to pace himself. I chalk this loss up to inexperience.
  • Haye has stated on more than one occasion that he struggled and often drained himself to make weight at Cruiserweight and is in fact a natural Heavyweight. If his statements are true then this means that the move up in weight will benefit Haye as his stamina and power will be all the better.
  • Haye proved his power carries over to Heavyweight when he beat the crap out of Bonin a little over a year ago. While Bonin may not have been a Klitschko caliber type of opponent, Bonin is a big man and got rocked and put down several times.
  • Even the best fighters get dropped. A fighter like Vitali Klitschko is a rare thing indeed. Wladimir has been dropped a number of times and knocked out on three separate occasions by opponents many feel where where less than quality opponents. The fact that Haye has been dropped means that he’s been caught with some good shots. That’s just boxing and I don’t believe its an indicator of a glass jaw or lack of talent. In fact I prefer fighters who aren’t perceived as invincible or unbeatable…it makes fights all the more exciting.
  • While it’s true Haye has had only one Heavyweight fight, I have to ask, why does everyone feel as though he has something to prove? The jump to from Cruiser to Heavy isn’t as big as some make it out to be an a large number of fighters move up in weight class after pummeling a division and find success. He was the undisputed champion at Cruiserweight and in my eyes that speaks volumes about his ability and skill set. I sometimes get the feeling that if Haye kept his mouth shut people would have a different opinion of him. Talk or no talk, Haye has a lot of talent that can’t be discredited simply because he calls people out.
  • Haye will be exposed as a fraud? Haye is British just like Khan and Harrision and because of his nationality fans and critics like to lump him in with his countrymen. This is a mistake in my eyes. Frauds don’t unify a division, frauds don’t get knocked down and climb off the canvas to win by knockout, and frauds don’t come back after a knockout loss to win titles.
  • While I think it would be smart of Haye to fight a couple of top ten guys before facing either Klitschko why do people feel he doesn’t deserve a shot at the title right off the bat? Haye is a champion, and an exciting one at that. Why is it that Pacman moves up and gets title shots and no one complains? Manny isn’t the only champion to conquer a division and move up into a title fight at a higher weight class so why do fans and critics want to make Haye the exception here? In my opinion, Haye deserves a shot at the title more than most Heayweight contenders do just based on what he’s accomplished thus far.

Like I said I believe the criticism Haye receives stems from fans and critics who don’t like big talking fighters. If Ali where fighting today and talked as he once did in today’s boxing world, I believe he’d be hated which is really a shame. I’m not comparing Haye to Ali here, simply drawing a parallel to make a point. Haye talks the talk but he also walks the walk..that’s proven in his record and his accomplishments. I often ask myself too, why when Haye calls out the Klitschko’s or calls heavyweights fat bums to people get so upset? Haye’s never once said anything that’s untrue. He is faster than most heavyweights, Wladimir is gun shy and can be boring to watch, and yes, many heavyweight are fat, uncommitted, and nonathletic. In my eyes Haye is exactly what boxing needs. An charismatic, fast, and powerful fighter who likes to bang and comes to fight in shape.

I also ask myself, why are people so sure that he can’t beat Wladimir? While I too am a fan of Waldimir his three losses tell me that he can be beat and will be beat again at some point. Haye has good power in both hands and he can put the pressure on a fighter. I think his chances against Wladimir are better than good. This is boxing however and either man could get caught with a big punch and if that happens the fight is over.

The last question I’d like to pose is why do boxing fans and critics pick fighters like Arreola and Toney or even Rahman to beat Haye? Are these people serious? Haye-haters like to talk about Haye being a hype job, well look at Arreola! He’s got to be the biggest hype I’ve seen in a long time. He’s a lot like Sam Peter, big punch, marginal (at best) skills, and to top it off the guy can’t even get in shape for a fight. He’s clearly uncommitted and I believe the moment he steps in against an A class fighter he’s going down…hard! While I don’t know that Haye would KO Toney, Toney’s far to old, slow, and shot to be any kind of threat to Haye. Rahmen is a joke so I won’t waste time with him. Does Haye’s gabbing make people hate him so much that they’ll inflate the skill sets and abilities of other fighters just to discredit the guy? I also laugh at the people putting their money on Barrett. Barret is a good test but he’s a fringe contender at best!

I believe Haye’s got a very good chance of making it big at Heavyweight and while I believe both Klitschkos to be formidable opponents I think Haye’s got a good chance at beating them both. I could be wrong but only time will tell. Win or lose the Haye hating will continue. He’ll never be good enough for some people who will label him as “lucky” or the best of a bad bunch.

  1. Dbeloved says:

    Haye is A Joke!!!
    No Defense, No Jab, Haymaker…That’s It…
    Live By The Haymaker, Die By The Haymaker…
    There Should Be More Boxing In Between Haymakers…
    However, All Criticisms Can Be Stopped If He Fights
    USS Cunningham. Running To A Different Weight Class
    Before Aquiring The IBF Belt Is Not Sweeping The
    Weight Class…

  2. Eamon says:

    You said you think Haye has a good chance at beating both Klitsckhos.

    Could you desrcibe the scenario in which he beats iron chinned Vitali? He has speed but how would he get inside that great jab? How would his shaky chin stand up to a 250 pound fighter with 35 kos in 36 fights? And how could he go 12 rounds given his stamina issues (of course he says he drained to make cruiserweights all fighters say something like that when they step up in weight, and even as an amateur he was gassed after 3 rounds, watch his fight with Solis on youtube.)

    Hayes chin is absolutely glass. Your comparision of it to Wladimirs is perfetcly fitting as everyone knows he can’t take a punch either. Getting dropped by former super middlweights like Lolenga Mock and Carl Thompson, getting rubber legs for a round and a half from a Jean Mark Mormeck glancing shot, and being rocked and dropped (although the red didn’t count it) by Monte Barret means you chin is below par, its not just something that happens to elite fighters, like you point out, unless of course they have chin issues.

    Haye has talent, hes fast and at he should carry decent power as a heavyweight, but given his flaws, and the specific strengths of Vitali, Its hard to picture him winning.

    Wladimir on the other hand would have been perfect for Haye, the first boxer to land a big punch would win, and given Hayes speed it would probably be him. But against one of the best chins in boxing that isnt going to happen, unless of course your talking about Haye geting knocked out.

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