Klitschko reaches agreement to fight Haye – News
By Eric Thomas: World Boxing Council heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko (39-2, 37 KO’s) has reportedly reached a preliminary agreement to fight WBA heavyweight champion David Haye (23-1, 21 KO’s), according to the latest boxing news. In an article with the Ukrainian daily Dakty, Klitschko “In the near future I plan to fight Haye and take the title. The preliminary agreement has already been reached.”
Before the 38-year-old Klitschko can take on Haye, the British heavyweight star must first get by his next fight, former two-time WBC heavyweight champion John Ruiz, whom he fights in early 2010. There’s no certainty that Haye will get by Ruiz, however. Thus far, Haye hasn’t looked nearly as impressive in the heavyweight ranks compared to his prior form while fighting as a cruiserweight. Haye threw little more than 10 punches per round against Valuev and had to be content with winning a 12 round majority decision.
In Haye’s last bout on November 7th, he struggled badly in beating 36-year-old WBA heavyweight champion Nikolay Valuev, a fighter who was regarded by many as having the distinction of being the weakest of heavyweight champions. Before that fight, Haye was close to signing for a fight with Vitali Klitschko. But instead, Haye chose to take the fight with Valuev.
This left some people in the boxing world with the impression that Haye wanted to take the easier fight for fear that he would be beaten by Vitali. Haye also was near to fighting IBF/WBO heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko on June 20th, only to come up lame weeks before fight complaining about a back injury.
Vitali defeated American Kevin Johnson by a one-sided 12 round decision last Saturday night in Berne, Switzerland, winning every round of the fight on two of the judges’ scorecards and 11 of the 12 rounds on the third. Klitschko’s opponent was in the survival mode from the opening seconds of the fight, staying on the ropes and hunkering down in what appeared to be a strategy to prevent from ending up as Klitschko’s 38th knockout victim.
If that was Johnson’s strategy, which is hard to see any other way given his lack of offense in the fight, then it worked perfectly for Johnson. He stayed upright then entire 12 rounds and was never hurt in the fight. However, by not taking any chances to let his own punches go, aside form throwing jabs and an occasional right hand, Johnson lost round after round and spoiled what may end up being his only attempt at challenging for a world title.
Klitschko returned from a four year retirement last year, beating then WBC heavyweight champion Samuel Peter by an 8th round stoppage. Klitschko followed that victory with stoppage wins over Juan Carlos Gomez and Chris Arreola, two of the best heavyweights in the division. Like most of Klitschko’s previous bouts, he made it look easy in beating them.
It’s hard to say how much better Haye can do than Johnson. Haye is the same size as Johnson, but with shorter arms and a not as good jab. Certainly by watching Haye’s bout with Valuev, it would seem that he would be way in over his head in a fight with Klitschko. This fight has the makings of a mismatch, although casual boxing fans will probably buy it up just the same.