Haye vs. Valuev: David Not afraid of big Nikolay
By Chris Williams: Despite precious little experience at the heavyweight level to speak of former cruiserweight champion David Haye isn’t the least worried about facing WBA heavyweight champion Nikolay Valuev next month on November 7th, he says. But then again, Haye would probably say the same thing if he were facing IBF/WBO heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko or his brother WBC champion Vitali Klitschko. Haye has already been supremely confident about his own abilities, maybe too much so.
Next month, we’ll see if Haye’s inner self belief will translate into a victory over the big Russian heavyweight. Haye says that he’s getting used to punching upwards with his shots, and that it uses different muscles of his shoulder compared to fighting smaller fighters. For Haye, it’s even a bigger jump because many of his opponents in the cruiserweight division have been from 5’11” to 6’1”.
Only a couple of his opponents have been in the 6’4” and 6’5” range, but both of them were rail thin compared to big 320 pound Valuev. Haye will be giving up both height and weight to Valuev, and he’ll have to come up with a way to compensate for his lack of size. Haye is counting on his speed and power enabling him to get in close and punish the slow moving Valuev before the giant has much time to react.
Haye, however, will have to make some adjustments to his style of fighting. In the past, Haye has depended on landing pot shots at medium range. But against Valuev, Haye is going to be getting hit when he comes forward because of the much longer reach of the Russian. Haye’s chin is going to have to be much better than it has been in the past for him to win.
Haye has had problems against cruiserweights in taking shots, and he’ll have to be able to take the power of a much bigger fighter in the seven foot Valuev. He may not as hard as some of the heavyweights in the division, but he hits hard enough to stop fighters with weak chins like Haye.
Haye had an opportunity to fight the Klitschko brothers, but backed out on both fights. This in turn has caused many boxing fans to lose interest in Haye just when he was in the process of possibly becoming a world wide star. Haye might have been better off taking the fight with Vitali Klitschko, at least, even if there was a two-fight rematch contract, because Haye would have gotten credit for facing a tough fighter like Vitali.
Of course you might say that Haye would have been beaten badly by Vitali, but he might have been better off losing to Vitali rather than being seen as being afraid to face him. Haye has been inactive for the past year, last fighting in November of last year against Monte Barrett. Haye feels that the time off won’t effect him any, but it likely won’t help him either.
The goal in mind for Haye is if he can beat Valuev and capture his title, Haye would then be in a good position to negotiate a big money fight against one of the Klitschko brothers, preferably Wladimir. It’s the younger brother that Haye mentions when speaking about a unification bout. But no matter which Klitschko he fights, Haye still wants to fight the Klitschko brothers, preferably Wladimir.
It’s the younger brother that Haye mentions when speaking about a unification bout. But no matter which Klitschko he fights, Haye wouldn’t be favored to win. Basically, Haye would have a punchers’ chance of beating Wladimir, and essentially no chance of defeating Vitali, aside from winning by virtue of Vitali injuring himself in the ring.
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