Haye defeats Valuev, but stinks up the joint with his running
By Scott Gilfoid: British heavyweight David Haye (23-1, 21 KO’s) defeated World Boxing Association heavyweight champion Nikolay Valuev (50-2, 34 KO’s) by a 12 round majority decision last night to take Valuev’s WBA title at the Arena Numberger Versicherung, in Nuremberg, Germany. The final judges’ scores were 116-112, 114-114 and 116-112. I had the fight scored a draw. Haye, 29, frankly fought a horrible fight with with his constant running and his low (we’re talking really low) punch output. Seriously, this was one of the worst bouts I’ve ever seen in all my life.
If this was supposed to be Haye’s coming out party for America, I’d have to say that he failed miserably. I’ve never seen a fighter fight so timidly in all the years that I’ve been watching boxing. It was as if Haye was afraid of his own shadow the way that he fought. I know that British boxing fans love their fighters, but come on, you can’t say that Haye looked good in there against Valuev.
That was some awful boxing. Audley Harrison would have probably made it much more exciting that Haye did. And I don’t buy Haye’s excuse of hurting his right hand early in the bout one bit. I’ve heard that one before and it’s been used way too many times. And to think that Haye has been calling Wladimir Klitschko boring. That’s like the pot calling the kettle black.
At least Wladimir averages 50 to 60 punches thrown per round unlike Haye, who was throwing roughly 10 punches round against Valuev. It was something awful. 46-year-old Evander Holyfield did a much better job against Valuev, throwing more punches, scoring more and making it more exciting. Holyfield didn’t get the win, as people all know, but I think he should have won by at least four rounds.
Like I said, I saw Haye-Valuev as a draw and I was being very generous in giving some of the rounds for Haye in which he did little other than throw a few pot shots and basically run like a virgin on prom night. Haye was supposed to be the exciting heavyweight, someone who was supposed to clean up the division and bring new excitement to the heavyweights.
But Haye looked like a track star out there, running constantly and throwing only cheap pot shots. Really, that’s not much of a change from what Haye has always done. Haye has always pretty much been a pot shot fighter who doesn’t throw a lot of punches. He doesn’t like to get hit, so he stays on the outside and looks to land one big shot at a time.
As such, Haye’s work rate is usually low. He didn’t use to run, though, and if this is going to be his new exciting style in the heavyweight division, well I hate to break this to Haye fans but I don’t think he’s going to catch the imagination of boxing fans. I still don’t know what the reaction is for U.S. fans, but if this fight is seen by a lot of Americans, I can’t imagine that they’ll be enthused by the way Haye fought. Oh yeah, I forgot, Haye says he hurt his hand. I don’t buy it. I tell you, if Haye uses that 10 punch per round garbage against other heavyweights, ones that are more mobile than the slow, 36-year-old Valuev, Haye is going to be in big trouble. That was really awful to watch.
Much of the time last night, Haye’s one punch at a time pot shots missed their mark and either were blocked are just didn’t land at all. There was a significant amount of fans in the audience who cheered loudly for every punch that Haye threw, even the many that missed by a mile. It didn’t matter if he swung at air, Haye’s fans were cheering like mad man for every shot he threw. But Haye wasn’t doing much in the fight but circling the ring and using a ton of side to side movement.
Every once in a great while, he’d throw a wild pot shot that usually missed. Some of the times, he’d land but the shots had nothing on them because Haye looked so scared of being hit. Haye ran worse than Floyd Mayweather Jr. by far. I know that a lot of British boxing fans don’t care for Andre Dirrell, but he mixed it up much more than Haye.
You can’t tell me that Haye was throwing more punches than Dirrell. Haye made Dirrell look like Aaron Pryor last night, a fighter that never stopped punching in his fights. After listening to all the pre-fight bragging from Haye, I expected a lot more from him. He was supposed to knock Valuev out, and maybe Haye could have if he had just let his hands go. Instead, Haye did nothing until the 12th round when he briefly hurt Valuev with a hard left hook to the head that staggered the big Russian.
But what does Haye do? Instead of going after Valuev, Haye starts running again and circling the ring. What was that? If it wasn’t tragic it would be comical. I couldn’t believe it. Power sluggers like George Foreman and Mike Tyson must have been in shock watching one of their fellow power punchers in Haye fight so damn timidly. Like I said, I know Haye doesn’t like the way that Wladimir Klitschko fights, but he puts more shots together than this.
After the fight, Haye, who looked like he’d just cured cancer instead of running all around the ring and boring me half to death, had the gall to mention wanting to fight the Klitschko brothers in the near future. I think that’s a bad idea. Haye needs to fight John Ruiz, hopefully beat him by a close decision, and then try to defend his WBA title against the likes of Kali Meehan Denis Boytsov, Kevin Johnson and Ray Austin. If Haye’s lucky, he might be able to hold onto the WBA title until he turns 31, at which time Haye says he wants to get out of boxing.
I doubt that Haye could beat Johnson or Boytsov, and he may not get by Ruiz either. You have to be able to throw more than 10 punches per round in the heavyweight division unless you’re knocking your opponents down left and right. I didn’t see that happen last night. Just saw a punch of running, missing and a handful of pot shots from Haye.
Frankly, Haye looks too small for the heavyweight division. He reminded me a lot of Monte Barrett last night. I know that Haye beat Valuev by two of the judges’ scores, but I saw it as a draw. I think there are at a minimum 12 to 14 heavyweights that would have done a better job against Valuev than Haye did last night. Let’s face it, Valuev isn’t the best heavyweight in the division and probably shouldn’t have been a champion a long time ago if he had been facing other top contenders like Johnson, Odlanier Solis and Alexander Povetkin, to name just a few.
This fight was absolutely horrid to watch. I’m glad that Valuev isn’t the champion anymore and thankful that Haye got the win, but I think we have just exchanged one boring champion for another. Haye, with his pot shot style of fighting and his fear of getting hit, will likely do little to excite the heavyweight division. Haye’s power was much better at the cruiserweight level where he was able to rock his opponents with his pot shots.
Last night, Haye looked like a little child compared to the huge Valuev and his punches did little. Haye was very lucky he wasn’t facing a heavyweight with a much better work rate and power than the limited Valuev. He would have been in trouble if that’s the case.
- David Haye says he would have KO’d Oleksandr Usyk at cruiserweight
- Tyson Fury is “not retired” says David Haye
- Why Did Russia’s Nikolai Valuev & the Klitschko’s of Ukraine Never Fight?
- David Haye wants Tyson Fury fight