David Haye’s Next Move

Posted: November 23, 2008 in Boxing
Tags: , ,

I’ve been following boxing for 23 years and while I would consider myself a hardcore boxing enthusiast there have only been a few fighters that capture and hold my attention to the point that I would never route against them. David Haye is one of these rare fighters for me and the first since Mike Tyson to get me as excited as I do to watch a fight.

Recently David Haye fought Monte Barrett in a fight in which many boxing fans and experts cast the Hayemaker as the underdog as if he was some inexperienced or untalented and protected fighter. Needless to say Haye blew Barrett out in the 5th round of a fight that saw Haye drop Barret a total of five times during the course of the fight. Now that Haye’s being taken slightly more seriously as a Heavyweight contender there are some things that I’d like to see him do both to increase his chances of success and to increase interest in his fights.

David Haye gives Monte Barrett a beat down November 15th, 2008

As big a Haye fan as I am and as happy as I am with the victory over Monte Barrett there are some things I saw in the fight that I think Haye needs to improve on if he’s to have any chance at beating the divisions top teired fighters.

Combination Punching: If there’s two things David Haye has in his arsenal it’s power and speed and these things when used properly can be devastating. In previous fights Haye threw much more combos than he did in the fight against Barrett. While I love watching a fighter throw bombs that’s not going to work against a fighter like Vitali Klitschko. The Haymaker is a great weapon to possess but those fighters who rely solely on that punch generally speaking eventually die by that punch. Haye needs to up his work rate a bit by increasing the number of combination’s he throws.

Jabs: Again David Haye likes to throw bombs and I don’t ever want to see the his numbers in that department decrease but I think Haye’s going to need to establish a good strong jab in order to keep the bigger heavyweights out and away as well as surprise them. I saw very little jabbing from Haye in the Barrett fight and that could be a problem as his competition gets stronger.

Defense: Haye’s best defense is a good offense and his ability to slip punches. If the Hayemaker can tighten up his offensive game he’s going to be tough to beat even by those sitting at the top of the division.

Stay Busy: I’m a big fan of the Hayemaker because he represents the things that boxing should be and the things that make boxing so much fun. The one thing Haye doesn’t need to do is take another 6 months off before he fights again. Active fighters often become popular fighters and as bad as he wants a Klitschko payday he’s going to have to wait until either Wladimir or Vitali is ready to give him that payday. Until then Haye should fight as often as possible. He’s stated emphatically that he’s going to clean out the Heavyweight division and well there’s no time like the present to begin a project. Realistically speaking there are only two Heavyweights today that I believe can beat the Hayemaker so he has little to fear from the likes of Arreola, Povetkin, or even Dimitrenko. The more decisive victories Haye puts under his belt before fighting a Klitschko the more money a fight with either brother will generate and the more interest there will be in such a fight and in Haye himself. Personally I’d like to see Haye enter the ring against either Klitschko as the number one guy in the division. As much as I want to see a Klitschko fight happen more wins against better opposition would only sweeten the match up.

Prove Himself: As a fan of Haye I’ve faced the fact that there are some people who will always hate the fighter no matter who he beats, what titles he wins, or how good he is for the sport. Outside of the haters there those like me who are already behind Haye and those who are on the fence waiting to see how he does against top contenders before throwing their support behind the guy. With his victory over Barrett Haye proved a lot of people wrong and won over a lot of fans. That said if he really wants to be a top draw at Heavyweight and the main man in the division he’s got to show tougher critics that he’s got the tools and skills to compete and win at the highest levels of the sport. This means again staying busy but not against fringe contenders like Barrett. I think victories over the following fighters would help spark interest in the fighter and show he’s ready to challenge for a title and would be intriguing and exciting match up’s.

  • Chris Arreola: Though I think Chris up to this point has been a protected fighter and has only limited boxing ability everyone and their mother is touting this guy to be the next great American Heavyweight champion. I think Chris represents all that is wrong with heavyweight boxing today and would love to see the Hayemaker come in and send Chris packing. I don’t think this fight would be much of a physical challenge for Haye but it would be a win over a fighters who’s surrounded by buzz and is considered a top prospect/contender. If you believe the rumors of Haye dropping Arreola in a sparring session a while back this fight becomes even more exciting!
  • Alexander Dimitrenko: This is a fight that would test David’s ability to deal with a bigger and faster heavyweight. Many insiders and fans seem to think Dimitrenko would beat Haye too and since Haye like a challenge this would be a great fight. Beating Dimitrenko would silence more critics and give Haye a bit more credibility as a Klitschko killer.
  • Alexander Povetkin: I know he’s going to be fighting Wladimir Klitschko in the near future but since he’s considered a top contender this is another fight Haye might want to consider since a win over Povetkin would mean he beat one of the divisions best. I think in this fight however Haye’s experience and power would put Povetkin on his back by mid fight.
  • Sam Peter: Peter is another fighter I’ve never been able to get behind and while he’s a big lumbering heavyweight he carries a really big punch. Sure Vitali wiped the floor with Sam and basically wrote gatekeeper on his forehead but a fight with Peter would be exciting because well Sam’s a big name in the sport and if he connects with Haye, Haye could be in real trouble. I give this fight to Haye though based on speed and conditioning alone.

The following are fights Haye should stay clear of for a variety of reasons:

  • James Toney: Toney’s an all time great but his time has come and gone. Though a defensive master, he’s far to small, old, and out of shape to compete with the Hayemaker. If Haye beats Toney he’s proved nothing, gained nothing, and will have probably bored and irritated many people.
  • Hasim Rahman: Not only is Rahman fighting Klitschko and going to lose but he’s a nobody. His knockout victory over Lennox Lewis aside, Rahman has done nothing to show he’s anything but a one trick pony. Not only that but now Rahman is well into his mid 30’s and more importantly quit on his stool against James Toney not to long ago. As far as boxing goes, Rahman is a “never was” who’s now past his prime and done nothing of late to prove he can compete at the top or even the mid levels of the sport. Hopefully Wladimir sends Rahman into retirement come December 13th. There is nothing to gain by fighting Rahman.
  • Any Other “Legend”: David Haye has very good boxing skills as well as natural ability. If he wants to build a fanbase, sell fights, and fill seats he’s got to stay away from fighters in the 35-40 year old age range. Bernard Hopkins is one of a kind in that he keeps himself in shape and works hard to compete at the level he does at his age. In the heavyweight division it’s hard enough to find young guys who are willing to work hard and come to fights in shape. The active heavyweight legends are all fat and non threatening and would do nothing for Haye’s career or popularity.

The one other thing that I believe Haye needs to do is to stay away from both Wladimir and his more dangerous brother for at least two more fights. Do I think Haye’s got the ability to beat them both now? Yes I certainly do however his inexperience at heavyweight could be his downfall if he chooses to battle it out with a Klitschko to soon. Both brothers hit much to hard and are too technically sound to be taken lightly. Haye’s young enough to improve on his skill set and practice a little patience. A few more fights will do wonders for him even if he truly is ready now.

In conclusion, I was and still am impressed by his dismantling of Monte Barrett however there are things I saw in and from Haye that I know the Klitschko’s saw and could expose if care and proper preparation aren’t taken before a fight with these guys. It could be that Barrett’s awkwardness and balance made the fight somewhat sloppy and it could be Haye was overly excited but regardless of what caused some of the slop Haye’s got to tighten things up a bit. Win or lose however the heavyweight divisions going to be exciting with Haye around!

  1. Akers says:

    I don’t think Haye will avoid the Klitschko brothers. News from the UK in his interviews days after the Barrett fight, is that Vitali has agreed to fight Haye next summer, and Wlad has, not surprisingly, ducked the fight.

    Vitali had mentioned he’d like to fight Lennox Lewis instead, but Lewis said at the MGM last night, jokingly, that maybe he’ll fight after the Klitschko brothers fight each other.

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