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Why Ruiz is going to destroy Haye on Saturday night

By Scott Gilfoid: If you were to look at John Ruiz and WBA heavyweight champion David Haye side by side, you would probably come to the quick conclusion that the 38-year-old Ruiz has no chance this Saturday night against the younger, stronger, faster 29-year-old Haye. You would be wrong, though, because Ruiz may not be as young or as fast as Haye, but I believe he is a lot smarter fighter and much tougher.

Haye likes to think of himself as an intelligent boxer/puncher, but in terms of his boxing skills, Haye is a pretty basic fighter. He’s not the type of guy that’s going to out-box anyone other than maybe the lumber, slow-footed former World Boxing Association heavyweight champion Nikolay Valuev. That’s not that big of an accomplishment, really. Haye hasn’t had to depend on boxing skills to get him by all these years. He instead has almost entirely depended on using his ability to slug it out with his opponents to get his wins.

It’s been even easier for him because he’s fought almost exclusively in the cruiserweight division, which is perhaps the weakest division in all boxing right now and has been for ages. Haye believes that he’s going to be able to take Ruiz out without too much trouble, and many of Haye’s own countrymen feel the same way. They see Ruiz, note that he doesn’t look very powerful, and figure that Haye will be able to take him out without problems.

It’s going to be a brutal shock to them and to Haye when he fights himself taking a beating at the hands of Ruiz on Saturday. The reason why it’s going to happen is because Ruiz is a much more skilled fighter than Haye in my view, and someone who is incredibly hard to fight because of the different things that Ruiz brings to the table.

You can’t really predict what Ruiz will do in any one instance, because he fights in a variety of styles and is able to change at any moment. Ruiz can be an incredibly tough inside fighter, throwing power shots to the body and hard uppercuts to the head. If he wants to shut you down completely, he can do that by using his punch and grab technique, which he is a master at.

On the inside, Ruiz is skilled at wrestling with his opponents round after round without tiring. I’ve never seen one of his opponents that could wrestle as well as Ruiz. He’s just a level above other fighters at this kind of inside game. Ruiz can also throw down when he wants to, and can show some really good power with both hands. He doesn’t show it all the time, but instead throwing medium strength punches and then all of a sudden loading up on a big shot and hurting his opponent. Like I said, Ruiz is hard to predict.

Of Ruiz’s three losses in the past five years, only one of them – his defeat by Ruslan Chagaev – looked legitimate to me. I think Ruiz got totally messed around in his two defeats against Valuev. Both fights took place in Germany, where Valuev conducts his fights. Basically, I only see Ruiz having been beaten one time in the past five years and that was a very close decision to Chagaev. I think Ruiz would have won that fight had Chagaev stood and traded more. Instead, Chagaev used a lot of in and out attacking in that fight and limited what Ruiz could do.

Either way, Haye is going to have big problems against Ruiz on Saturday night. If Haye tries to bum rush him and take him out with a flurry of shots like he did against Enzo Maccarinelli, I think Ruiz will drop Haye with a big right hand. I hope Haye does try to fight like this, because he’ll run into one of Ruiz’s counter shots.

If Haye decides to hit and run all night long like he did against Valuev, I see this playing into Ruiz’s hands as well. He’s a master cutting off the ring, and against the slow footed Haye, it’ll be like child’s play in trapping Haye against the ropes and getting to his fragile chin with a hard shot. Haye will actually make things worse if he runs, because he’ll only tire more, lose power on his shots and make things easier for Ruiz when he eventually connects with a big shot.

At the end of the day, I see Ruiz destroying Haye because of his greater experience and better overall talent. Speed, power and youth are nothing when matched against a talented fighter like Ruiz. He’s going to make Haye look like a first rate amateur on Saturday night and embarrass him in front of all his British fans at the M.E.N Arena.


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