Posts Tagged ‘David Haye’

On August 3rd, 2008 after knocking Enzo Maccarinelli out, WBA title holder David Haye proclaimed in a post fight interview that was just as exciting as the preceding fight,  that he was moving up to heavyweight where he vowed to clean out the garbage and put an end to boring fights and end the era of overweight, over-the-hill contenders.  He vowed to take on all comers and said more than anything he wanted to end Wladimir Klitschko’s reign as Heavyweight Champion of the World.  This news and Haye’s public and entertaining confrontation of Wladimir Klitschko had many boxing fans overly excited and had me elated.  As a fan of knockout artists I had been a casual fan of Haye’s since the Fragomeni fight but it was during that post fight interview with Al Bernstein that turned me into one of Haye’s more ardent supporters.

That was 2008 and my how  things have changed.  In the 2 years since putting the heavyweight division on notice and giving boxing fans something to salivate over, Haye’s had just 3 fights, which from a boxing fans perspective looks horribly unambitious especially for a talented man in his prime.  Rather than doing as promised and disposing of “fat/old bums” and taking on the Klitschko’s, Haye has instead spent his time making excuses, backing out of fights, and taking fights with opponents that truthfully had no business being in the ring with him.  These mismatches came against B and C level fighters all of whom where either well past their prime and/or where never that great to begin with.  This however is the David Haye of 2010, a new man, a business man who consistently looks to the road that poses the least amount of risk and the highest reward.  Some boxing pundits and even fans might argue that boxing is a business and that this is true of all fighters.  While this may or may not be true Haye’ has made a career out of doing as little as possible for as much money as possible and over time, especially as of late, it’s turned the majority of his fan base off.

Haye’s career from the summer of 2008 – present has been plagued by excessive inactivity, excuses, less than spectacular opponents, and talk, talk, and more talk. I found the talking entertaining up until Haye backed out of two fights with the Klitschko’s.  While there may indeed have been “slave” contracts that would have handed control of Haye’s career and money over to the Klitschko’s the manner in which Haye pulled out at the last minute and with excuses looked awfully suspicious.  What I call “Haye’s Syndrome” seems to reoccur prior to and just after a Haye fight.  A long layoff coupled with lots of trash talk and information about a possible opponent is how it begins.  Then after months of additional silence, team Haye announces there’s trouble with negotiations (regardless of opponent) and that a new opponent will need to be found.  A few more months pass and Haye announces an opponent who’s either way past their prime, severely faded, or was never really that good to begin with.  The post fight symptoms of Haye’s Syndrome are talking/hyping up a fight with a Klitschko, trash talking other heavyweights who he’ll never fight, retirement at the age of 31 and of course how he only wants to fight the best.  Haye’s Syndrome is like clockwork and it’s as predictable as time itself.

Haye’s talked extensively about fighting both Klitschko brothers and unifying the division.  For a long time this remained exciting, entertaining, and gave boxing fans something to look forward too…a meaningful and exciting heavyweight championship fight.  Unfortunately the chances we’ll see a  fight with either Klitschko grow smaller and smaller by the day.  For a long time I defended Haye’s decision to back out of his previous supposed fights with the Klitschko’s on the basis that they simply wanted to much control over Haye’s career and money.  Well recent negotiation breakdowns between Haye and Wladimir Klitschko have me rethinking things.  Haye has repeatedly complained that the Klitschko’s where being unfair in negotiations and that he wanted to fight them badly but would do so only if the terms and contracts where fair.  Very recently Haye got what many feel was an extremely fair deal from Wladimir Klitschko.  Apparently the deal was for a 50/50 split on the fight purse with no future contractual obligations to team Klitschko yet Haye’s people now claim this isn’t a fair deal either.  It’s been reported that Haye refused the offer because Klitschko wants to split all the TV revenue 50/50 as well which I believe is more than fair considering Klitschko is the one who’s recognized as the Heavyweight Champion of the World.  Haye’s merely a title holder and the WBA title holder at that.  Given the fact that Haye goes out of his way to call out the Klitschko’s, trash talk them, and repeatedly claim he wants fair options I find the TV revenue to be a suspiciously convenient and trivial matter.

If David Haye really wanted to fight Wladimir he’d make the fight happen.  Even with the WBA strap, Haye’s nothing more than a Heavyweight titlist, he is not, I repeat, not the Heavyweight Champion of the World.  If he so desires to be he must travel down Klitschko Road and beat the number one man in the division.  Haye stands to make much more money fighting a Klitschko than any other fighter as well, even with or without TV revenue’s so again I find it curious that Haye is unwilling to fight.  In fact I believe Haye’s marketability and career are going to suffer as a result of his latest refusal.  Fighting Audley Harrison later this year will be like pouring salt onto an open wound too and isn’t going to do anything good for Haye.


Wladimir Klitschko calls out David Haye

While I used to defend and support Haye, I now find myself in a much different position.  The excuses, long layoffs, weak opponents and talk have gone from entertaining and exciting to old and irritating.  Haye promised to change the heavyweight landscape and bring excitement and athleticism back to the division.  The division has seen no change and the excitement we’ve seen has had little to do with Haye.  The outcome of the fight against Barrett was predictable, the Valuev fight was boring and I thought Valuev won by 2 rounds, and the Ruiz fight was nothing more than a gross mismatch cooked up by boxing politics.  I’ve been a boxing fan for nearly 30 years and in that time I’ve seen fighters drop belts and titles to make fights happen.  I’ve seen fighters accept what many would consider questionable terms and contracts in order to get a fight they want to move ahead.  I’ve also seen fighters work aggressive to secure the best opponent possible and to fight as often as possible.  Some I’m left wondering, what’s Haye’s excuse?  What’s the holdup?  What the real reason Haye won’t fight a Klitschko (in this case Wladimir)?

Could there be other details about the proposed 50/50 deal team Klitschko made that we just don’t know about?  There certainly could be but Haye’s silence on the matter speaker volumes and makes me look at Haye in a whole other light.  Wladimir even went so far as to make a video publicly calling David Haye out, a calling I might add that the biggest mouth in boxing completely ignored.  Months have gone by now and there’s still no response to that video which also adds to my suspicions that Haye wants nothing to do with either Klitschko.  While I don’t for a second believe David is afraid to fight them or anyone for that matter, I do believe that the David Haye of 2010 is more of a business man than a fighter and is looking to milk his WBA title for all it’s worth.  I believe he’ll then retire at the end of 2011 having never fought either Wladimir or Vitali though he will continue to claim that he accomplished great things in the division and was the heavyweight champion of the world.  I know see Haye as a man who wants to take less risk than he’s ever taken before in every one of his fights.  Should he take a fight with a Klitschko and lose his career is, for all intensive purposes, over. Although he would stand to make a large sum of money from just one Klitschko fight, he’ll take the easy road and fight unqualified opponents for less money to ensure that his winning streak continues.

Many will disagree with me but I see Haye beating both Klitschko’s.  He’s faster and hits harder than both of them.  Vitali is great but has looked old as of late and I don’t believe Wladimir will be able to weather Haye’s aggression, should he bring it to the fight that night. Haye wants to retire at the age of 31 and as the unified heavyweight champion (or so he says).  Well Haye had better get a move on.  He’ll be 30 in just a few short months and both Wladimir and Vitali are tied up with opponents this fall.  That means Haye has two choices, remain inactive for the remainder of the  year, or fight another overrated bum.  My money is on inactivity though I won’t be surprised to see a fight with Harrison made very soon.  Haye brings excitement when he actually fights but he no longer fights the best and would rather spend his time making one excuse after another.  Shit or get off the pot David!  You claim the Klitschko’s are boring and bad for boxing but it’s now become a case of the pot calling the kettle black.

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!

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.