Is Haye overlooking Ruiz?

By Boxing News - 03/23/2010 - Comments

Image: Is Haye overlooking Ruiz?By William Mackay: If you haven’t noticed already, WBA heavyweight champion David Haye (23-1, 21 KO’s) has been talking a lot in the media about wanting to fight the Klitschko brothers. The Klitschkos in turn have been trying to decide which brother will be the one that gets to fight Haye and get the big money payday that goes along with a fight against him. Overlooked in all of this is two-time heavyweight champion John Ruiz (44-8-1, 30 KO’s), the number #1 mandatory challenger for Haye’s title, and who will be fighting Haye on April 3rd at the M.E.N Arena, in Manchester, England.

Ruiz isn’t happy about this, saying in an article at ESPN, All I’ve heard him [Haye] talk about was fighting the Klitschkos. There has only been one person I wanted to fight and that is David Haye.” Spoken like a true professional. Ruiz has great discipline, and is a blue collar throwback fighter from a bygone era. It’s too bad all fighters can’t be more like Ruiz. He sets a good example for how to prepare for an opponent. Haye, 29, seems to be counting his chickens before they’ve hatched.

If Haye isn’t careful, he’s going to end up getting beaten by Ruiz on April 3rd, possibly by a knockout and then all Haye’s talk of fighting the Klitschko brothers will go down the drain. If Haye gets beaten by Ruiz, and you got to expect that it would have to be a serious beating to get the victory in Haye’s home country, then Haye will have to work his way back to a title a shot by fighting some top contenders to get in the position.

With few named fighters worth fighting in the heavyweight division, the Klitschko brothers will likely wait around long enough for Haye to get back in position again for a bout against one of them. However, a fight between Haye and one of the Klitschko brothers will be a lot less popular because of a loss to Ruiz. This is why Haye needs to be concentrating completely on Ruiz, and not thinking about fighting the Klitschko brothers.

Haye isn’t that good of a heavyweight that he can just go out and destroy a well schooled ex-champion like Ruiz. Haye is a small heavyweight, and doesn’t hit as hard as some people think he does. If Haye goes out there on April 3rd thinking Ruiz will fall over like many of Haye’s opponents at cruiserweight, he may find himself sadly disappointed. Even worse than that, Haye could find himself taking punishment from Ruiz.

Haye is good at dishing it out, but when it comes time for him to take shots, he looks very vulnerable, even against light punching cruiserweights. Ruiz might not be a huge puncher at the heavyweight level, but he would be more than a handful against any of the cruiserweights that Haye has fought during his career. Ruiz would likely beat all or most of them without any problems.

Actually, I can’t think of one opponent that Ruiz couldn’t beat on Haye’s resume. Carl Thompson would be the most trouble for Ruiz, but I think he’d nullify Thompson’s offensive weapons by crowding him, clinching and working his body. Frankly, I wouldn’t be the least surprised if Ruiz ends up stopping Haye.

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