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Haye says he’s going to “decapitate” Ruiz

David Haye John RuizBy William Mackay: World Boxing Association heavyweight champion David Haye (23-1, 21 KO’s) is predicting a knockout victory on Saturday night against John Ruiz (44-8-1, 30 KO’s) in Haye’s first defense of his WBA title. In an article at Sky Sports News, Haye says “I wouldn’t bring my family either, if I knew I was going to get decapitated!” Haye, 29, is hoping to put on an impressive display in front of what will likely be a sellout crowd at the M.E.N Arena, in Manchester, England. Haye previously had a shirt made showing him holding the decapitated heads of both Klitschko brothers in his hands. Unfortunately, Haye was never able to fight the brothers, but it looks like he’s still focusing on him being able to take off heads.

Although Haye would likely be the last person to say it, he has a tremendous amount of pressure on him to not only defeat the 38-year-old Ruiz this Saturday, but to do it by an impressive knockout like he used to do before moving up to the heavyweight division in 2008. Haye was once an exciting fighter while campaigning as a cruiserweight.

However, since moving up to heavyweight, Haye hasn’t looked like the same fighter he was at the lower weight. He’s defeated several heavyweights, but no one in the class of the Klitschko brothers or some of the other top contenders in the division like Alexander Povetkin or Eddie Chambers. Ruiz probably isn’t much better than Valuev, so Haye should have a better than average chance at winning the fight. Haye thinks he’s going to score a knockout, but it might not be that easy. Ruiz has a good chin, has only been stopped once in his 18-year pro career.

Haye was only 11-years-old when Ruiz turned pro in 1992. Obviously, the experience is heavily in Ruiz’s favor in this fight, as Haye hasn’t really fought anyone seriously tough at the heavyweight level and his cruiserweight experience is so-so. When Haye held titles in the cruiserweight division, it was before top fighters like Marco Huck, Tomasz Adamek and Ola Afolabi were a factor. Haye would have his work cut out for him if he was still down at that weight.

Haye says “He’s [Ruiz] gonna get knocked out and maybe subconsciously he knows that. That’s why he told his family to stay at home. I’m bred to do this. I’m a fighter through and through. I know what it’s like to be in hard fights, I know what it’s like to dig dip and I’m expecting to have to dig deep. I’m mentally prepared for a tough, grueling fight – but a fight he will end up unconscious in.”

If Haye is going to back up what he says, he’s going to have to fight with more aggressiveness than what he’s shown in his fights with Monte Barrett and Valuev. In both of those fights, Haye threw few combinations and was mostly limited to one pot shot at a time. That probably won’t be enough to defeat a quality fighter like Ruiz. To beat Ruiz, a fighter has to be willing to stand and trade with him.

That’s going to be a dangerous thing for Haye to do, because Ruiz has excellent power, a good inside game and a powerful right hand. In his last night against Adnan Serin in November 2009, Ruiz chopped Serin down with uppercuts and straight right hands. Ruiz ended up clubbing Serin into submission in that fight. Haye’s punches might not have any effect on Ruiz, who has a good chin. In that case, Haye is going to have to hope that his stamina and chin will hold up for him in this fight.

This fight could end up being similar to Haye’s fight with Giacobbe Fragomeni in 2006. Haye’s shots had little effect on Fragomeni. Haye found himself getting hit a lot and ending up bleeding and somewhat battered by the time he was eventually able to stop the smaller Fragomeni in the 9th. Like Fragomeni, Ruiz will probably walk Haye down, landing on the inside and forcing Haye to trade.

If Haye isn’t up to the task, he could find himself going home a loser on Saturday night. Ruiz is a lot better than Fragomeni in my estimation, both bigger and more powerful. Haye could find himself in a real fight one Saturday night, one that he may not be ready for. In recent photos of Haye, he’s looking slightly pudgy, as if he’s bulked up a little too much for this fight. Haye should be trying to come in as light as possible for Ruiz so that Haye can retain his quickness and endurance. However, Haye looks to be in the mid 220s, perhaps even more than that.

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