Is Haye Better Off Not Fighting Wladimir?
By Chris Williams: With today’s news about Wladimir Klitschko deciding to end negotiations with David Haye due to a variety of reasons, I think Haye might be better off now without the fight. The reason is simple: Haye hasn’t the experience, the size, or the chin to compete against a fighter as big, fast, skilled and as powerful as Wladimir, and by taking on a fighter with as much overall talent as Wladimir, I believe it would be way too much of a step up for Haye.
The end result would probably be Haye getting knocked out in a few rounds, something that would be an embarrassing experience for him given all the trash talking and boating that he did earlier while trying to get Wladimir in the ring. However, Haye is much better off moving on to other fighters, and working on developing a name for himself in the heavyweight division.
Frankly, all that Haye has accomplished in the cruiserweight divisions, winning the WBC/WBC/WB) titles, doesn’t count as a heavyweight. Beating fighters like Enzo Maccarinelli, Jean Marc Mormeck, Giacobbe Fragomeni, Alexander Gurov, pales to fighting someone like Wladimir Klitschko or his brother Vitali.
Those cruiserweights are good, there’s no doubt, but probably not even the best fighters in the cruiserweight division at this time. Haye was knocked down by Mormeck, Lolenga Mock and Carl Thompson. That tells me that Haye’s accomplishment as a cruiserweight were probably terribly overrated by fans and writers that appeared to have drunk the kool-aid, buying into the hype without evaluating the talent that Haye actually faced.
This is why Haye has more work cut out for him in the heavyweight division than many people might think. Many boxing fans feel that it was justified to vault Haye over more deserving fighters in the heavyweight ranking because of his former status as a world champion in the cruiserweight division. Unfortunately, Haye earned that by fighting some fighters that probably couldn’t hold a belt today in the cruiserweight division. Because of that, Haye needs to wake up and realize that his accomplishments as a cruiserweight were pretty hallow, that he probably would have been knocked out if he fought O’Neil Bell, Steve Cunningham or Tomasz Adamek.
This is why I think that Haye needs to start from scratch in the heavyweight division and focus on beating some good journeyman before moving up against top 15 opponents. He shouldn’t be wasting his time fighting heavyweight champions when all it will probably do is produce a knockout loss for Haye. I say you put him in with fighters like Michael Grant, Brian Minto, Cedric Boswell, Matt Skelton, Sinan Samil Sam, Ray Austin and Audley Harrison.
After fighting those guys for awhile, then slowly start putting him in with top 10 fighters. If he can get through these tests, then go ahead and put him in with someone like Wladimir. By then, Vitali will have long retired from the sport, but that’s okay, he would have knocked Haye out in the 1st round anyway.
Haye will need to change his retirement age goal of 30 to something more realistic, say, 35, because it will take him some time to build up his poor heavyweight skills good enough to beat good fighters and not get knocked about by subpar fighters.