Haye-Valuev: Will Big Nikolay Maul David?
By Chris Williams: On November 7th, former WBA/WBC/WBO cruiserweight champion David Haye (22-1, 21 KO’s) will be facing a fighter over 100 pounds heavier than him and almost one foot taller 7’0” World Boxing Association heavyweight champion Nikolay Valuev (50-1, 34 KO’s) in Germany. By that time, Haye, 28, will have been out of the ring for almost but not quite 12 full months since his last fight against 38-year-old journeyman Monte Barrett. Haye was careful in selecting Barrett’s name from the top 15 in the heavyweight division, staying away from arguably much more dangerous fighters like Kevin Johnson, Odlanier Solis, Eddie Chambers and Alexander Povetkin.
The win over Barrett pushed Haye up in the rankings and gave him a smidgen of credibility to a segment of the boxing community. At the same time, it allowed Haye to get high up enough in the rankings where he was able to talk his way into fights against both Klitschko brothers.
The fights unfortunately never came off because Haye backed out of both of them with excuses about a back injury (for Wladimir) and not liking the contract with Vitali. Now, Haye is only two months away from fighting the huge 324 pound Valuev, and more than a few boxing fans are hoping that Haye doesn’t bail on this fight too as it gets nearer.
Regardless of Haye’s lack of heavyweight experience against quality opposition, many boxing experts are predicting that Haye will knock Valuev out. I initially went along with the pack mentality, and thought that Haye’s hand speed and power would be too much for the huge Russian fighter. But I’m starting to have my doubts about it now. I watched a few of Valuev’s older fighters from 2006 against Barrett and Owen Beck, I think Valuev might end up smothering Haye on the inside with his huge size.
Valuev has slowed a lot since 2006, to be sure. However, Valuev still is quite good at mauling his opponents on the inside as he showed against John Ruiz in his 12 round decision victory last year in August. Granted, Valuev had big problems with the movement and short combinations from 46-year-old Evander Holyfield last year in December, winning by a controversial 12-round majority decision. But when Valuev was able to get near enough to Holyfield in that fight, Valuev looked good in landing short punches and wrapping him up in his bear-like embrace.