News – Haye Set to Fight Vitali Klitschko
By Sean McDaniel: Having lost his first opportunity at fighting a big money fight against one of the Klitschko brothers, former cruiserweight champion David Haye (22-1, 21 KO’s) is on the brink of signing for a fight against Vitali Klitschko for a bout that will be taking place on September 12th and will be shown on HBO. Haye, 28, injured his back and couldn’t fight IBF/WBO heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko on June 20th.
The fight instead went to Ruslan Chagaev. In a way, this worked out even better for Haye, because he’ll be taking on Vitali, who is arguably the more popular of the Klitschko brothers and the tougher and more exciting of the two.
Vitali may not have quite as much power as his younger brother with his left hook or right hand, but Vitali isn’t afraid to mix it up with his opponents and go right after them. Wladimir doesn’t use his tools, saving them often until late in the fight when he’s absolutely certain that his opponent is weakened and ready for the taking. Only then does Wladimir open up with a small amount of his overall offensive weapons.
Haye has made a verbal agreement for a fight that will likely take place in Germany. The only thing that now needs to be worked out is the details before contracts are signed for the fight.
Vitali, 37, was supposed to fight his WBC number #1 mandatory challenger Oleg Maskaev. However, Vitali went to court to get out of fighting the bout next and was given en a ruling that allowed him to go ahead and fight Haye. It’s unclear whether Haye will end up being a better opponent than Maskaev, because Haye’s experience at heavyweight is very limited and he didn’t look at that good in his 5th round stoppage over journeyman Monte Barrett in November 2008.
Haye looked slow and very hittable in the fight. He appeared to be knocked down from a left hand from Barrett in the 5th, but the British referee ruled it a slip. Haye stayed down for a long time after being dropped by Barrett, which isn’t a good sign for Haye now that he’s looking to fight Vitali.
It’s unlikely that he’ll be given the benefit of the doubt if he’s dropped again, so it would be a good idea of Haye to try and get back on his feet as quickly as he can or else he might find himself getting counted out in Germany.
Regardless of how well Haye does in the fight, the bout will likely be a huge success in terms of selling out one of the large German sports arenas and getting PPV buys for the fight. Haye will no doubt be a big part of that along the way with his extraordinary promotional skills, which are second to none in the sport.
Even if he can’t back it up in the ring, Haye will get a lot of attention for this fight with his mouth. Hopefully, Haye can stay on his feet long enough to give the crowd their monies worth.