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Haye vs. Ruiz: Will David look good against the Quiet Man?

David Haye John RuizBy William Mackay: World Boxing Association heavyweight champion David Haye (23-1, 21 KO’s) arrived in the heavyweight division with great fanfare in November 2008 in the 2nd fight of his heavyweight career against Monte Barrett. Haye won the fight by a 5th round stoppage, and quickly used that fight as a springboard for a fight against IBF/WBO heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko. Unlike a lot of heavyweight, Haye didn’t have to work his way to the top. He made it by self promotion and by the fact that he had previously held titles at cruiserweight.

In beating Barrett, Haye did the job in stopping the 38-year-old heavyweight, but he failed to shine and live up to the expectations that some fans had for him. Next, Haye, after pulling out of bouts against both Klitschko brothers, wrangled a deal for a fight against WBA heavyweight champion Nikolay Valuev.

Unfortunately, Haye looked even worse than he did against Barrett in winning a narrow 12 round majority decision over Valuev. Depending on whom you asked, Haye either looked great in winning the fight or stunk up the joint completely. I’m in the latter category. I think Haye didn’t do enough to win the title, and if I was to be kind to Haye, I would give a draw for his efforts in the fight. It’s not that he was poor defense, because he rarely gave Value many opportunities to land any punches with all the running that Haye was doing.

However, offensively, which is supposed to be Haye’s strung suit, he looked exceptionally poor as he ran around the ring throwing on average 10 to 15 punches per round. Haye is supposed to make up for that poor performance this April when he takes on mandatory challenger John Ruiz at the M.E.N. Arena, Manchester, Lancashire.

Let’s hope that Haye does look better than he did against Valuev, because I don’t know how Haye could look any worse without losing his title. Of course, with the fight taking place in Haye’s native England, it’s probably going to take next to a miracle for Ruiz to get a 12 round decision over Haye. It’s not impossible, but I’m thinking it will require at least three to four knockdowns of Haye for Ruiz to win by a decision. That I think is possible given Haye’s tender chin, but I don’t know if Ruiz will be able to catch up to Haye if the British heavyweight is sprinting around the ring like he did against Valuev.

But you have to wonder whether Haye will look as poor as he did against Valuev come April 3rd. I hope Haye doesn’t stink out the joint again, but I think this is what we could see. The screaming British fans could make Haye more brave and willing to mix it up with Ruiz, but I think once Haye tastes a little of Ruiz’s power, he’s going to turn tail and run for the remainder of the fight and basically pot shot his way to a win, averaging probably little more than 10 punches per round again.

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