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Haye 218: Is he too light for Valuev?

By Sean McDaniel: British heavyweight David Haye came in at a svelte 218 pounds for his title match against WBA heavyweight champion Nikolay Valuev on Saturday night at the Arena Nürnberger Versicherung, Nuremberg (Nürnberg), Bayern, Germany. In terms of past fights during Valuev’s boxing career, he’s always very well against heavyweights that have come in under 220.

The last time Valuev fought a fighter in the same weight range as Haye was against Evander Holfyield last year, a bout in which Valuev had problems with the movement and speed of Holyfield early on. However, in the 2nd part of the bout Valuev came on and dominated the bout with his size.

Valuev won’t have quite so much a size advantage against Haye, but he will still have an incredible 97 pound advantage over the British fighter. That’s something you can’t ignore, especially when viewing how small Etienne looked compared to Valuev in that fight.

In 2003, Valuev stopped 209 pound Vitaly Shkraba in the 4th round. Valuev weighed in at 320 for that fight. And in 2002, Valuev took out a 215 pound Konstantin Prizyuk in the 3rd round. Also in that year, Valuev destroyed a 213 pound Yaroslav Zavorotny in the 3rd round. In 1999, Valuev stopped 214 pound Alexey Varakin in the 1st round. Now, of course, none of these fighters are in the class of Haye, but it shows that Valuev had dominated when facing fighters that are below 220.

I don’t think people realize how much of an advantage a 100 weight surplus can have for a fighter, in particular when you add nine inch height and seven inch reach advantage for Valuev. That is going to be a big problem for Haye to have to overcome in this fight. Haye has the better power and speed, but Valuev has the better reach, height, chin and jab compared to Haye.

Haye’s punches won’t likely have the same effect on the much larger Valuev compared to the way they did against the much smaller 200 pound cruiserweights that Haye is mostly accustomed to fighting during his career. Valuev can’t be stopped by a single shot, meaning that if Haye wants to win this fight, then he’s going to have to depend on throwing flurries. That of course is a risky scenario for Haye because he could walk into one of Valuev’s clubbing shots and end up getting taken out or badly stunned for his efforts.

Valuev is going to make Haye look ridiculously small in comparison in this fight. If Haye’s power doesn’t have any effect on Valuev, it’s doubtful that Haye will be able to box his way to a decision over the big Russian. He doesn’t have the boxing skills needed to win a fight over the course of five rounds and even if Haye does make it that far, he probably won’t win a decision in Germany.

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