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Chagaev vs. Klitschko: Is Ruslan a Tougher Opponent Than Haye?

chagaev46432446By Scott Gilfoid: Not too many people are giving Ruslan Chagaev (25-0-1, 17 KOs) much of a chance against Wladimir Klitschko on June 20th, predicting that Chagaev will be beaten as easily as Wladimir defeated the undersized Sultan Ibragimov in a one-sided 12-round decision win in February 2008, but I think Chagaev will do a lot better than Haye would have ever done.

I don’t know that Chagaev is going to beat Klitschko, mind you, but I think Chagaev has the power and the chin to stick around a heck of a lot longer than Haye ever would. That’s too bad that HBO doesn’t want to show the Chagaev-Klitschko fight, because this fight will turn out to be much more entertaining that watching Wladimir walk out and knock Haye out in the 1st or 2nd round with left hook or right hand.

I’m frankly surprised that HBO was willing to show the fight because if they had looked deeply into Haye’s record they would have seen that he has a trouble taking big shots to the head by big punchers like Wladimir. A 1st round knockout by Wladimir wouldn’t have pleased any fans who probably would have felt cheated that the fight didn’t go at least eight rounds so that they could watch Wladimir give Haye a beating for all the trash talking he had been doing in the past couple of months.

Chagaev, 30, may have lost a step since winning the World Boxing Association heavyweight title two years ago when he defeated big Nikolay Valuev in 2007, but Chagaev still has plenty of power and talent to give Wladimir more than good test on June 20th.

I can’t say the same thing for Haye, who I think would have been extremely lucky if he could have taken the first big hit that he takes, with his brittle chin. Chagaev is much more a rugged heavyweight in my view and has in a different class than a fighter like Haye, who is used to beating up cruiserweights.

Chagaev is going to be putting some serious pressure on Wladimir and the best thing about it is that no one, perhaps least of all Wladimir, is expecting it. I think Wladimir has chosen Chagaev because he sees him as a soft tough and feels that he can take him out without that much trouble.

I can see how Wladimir would fool himself like this because Chagaev has been kind of inactive the best couple of years dealing with an illness and hasn’t been able to keep himself sharp by fighting regularly. But what Chagaev brings into the ring that Haye doesn’t is experience, a great chin and an ability to stay calm under fire.

Haye would be in big trouble once Wladimir starts hitting him with big shots, and I’d be willing to bet that Haye would start running all around the ring trying to get away from Wladimir. It would have been fun to watch but it wouldn’t be all that entertaining because of the shortness of the bout.

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