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Haye vs. Valuev: David did the Right thing by Going After Nikolay

haye4534By William Mackay: David Haye suddenly pulled out of his September 12th bout with World Boxing Council heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko yesterday, and is now looking to fight WBA title holder Nikolay Valuev on November 7th instead. Haye, 28, wasn’t happy with the way that he was treated during the negotiations with Klitschko nor with the final deal that was offered to him.

So instead of taking the deal, and perhaps being stuck fighting his next two fights against the Klitschko brothers should he have pulled off an upset, Haye moved on. The Klitschko brothers are their management team are none to happy about the latest move by Haye, calling him “unprofessional.”

However, this was a much smarter move on Haye’s part than if he had signed for the fight with Vitali. Not only will Haye have a much better chance of winning against Valuev than he would have against the powerful Klitschko, he’ll be free of the never ending rematch clause that he would have been stuck with if he had been able to defeat Vitali.

Of course, getting by the huge bear-like 7-foot Valuev won’t be an easy task for Haye. The Russian fighter is nine inches taller than Haye and outweighs him by close to 100 pounds. Valuev, 35, has traditionally done well against fighters Haye’s weight level, although Valuev had serious problems with the movement from Evander Holyfield in his last fight in December.

Holyfield, weighing only 214 pounds, circled the ring for most of the bout, coming in close occasionally to land short combinations before getting away. There’s little question that Haye will use a similar strategy against Valuev. Haye won’t want to stay in range of the big clubbing shots from Valuev and let himself get tired out from the mauling of the Russian giant.

Valuev doesn’t hit that hard, but he probably can punch hard enough to take Haye out if he can hit him enough times. Haye hasn’t faced any serious heavyweights before this fight and it will still be a huge step up in competition for him by facing Valuev.

Haye did the right thing by taking this fight over the Vitali fight, though. Haye would have been a long shot to beat the big Vitali, and by taking on Valuev, who looks to be on the decline, Haye stands a good chance of winning. Valuev is a champion, but he’s probably not even the 10th best heavyweight in the division at this point in his career.

If it wasn’t Haye, another heavyweight like Kevin Johnson, Chris Arreola, Eddie Chambers or Lamon Brewster would have beat him sooner or later. The best thing of all is that by going after Valuev and his WBA title, Haye could win up the champion of one of the weakest alphabet titles in the heavyweight division.

The WBA contenders are lacking in quality and even a fighter with a chin as weak as Haye’s is has a good chance of holding down the title for a year or two with little problem. In almost every weight class, the WBA champions are considered less talented than the other champions, so Haye would be in good company.

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