Don’t hold your breath waiting for Haye-Klitschko
By William Mackay: If you’re hoping that World Boxing Association heavyweight champion David Haye (24-1, 22 KO’s0 will be fighting one of the Klitschko brothers any time soon, think again. I don’t expect Haye to fighting both of the Klitschko any time soon, and probably not until 2011, if at all. Judging by how evasive Haye’s manager/trainer Adam Booth whenever the Klitschko’s names were brought up, I think it’s safe to assume that neither of the Klitschkos will be on the agenda for the next fight.
It’s pretty easy to see why. Haye, 29, received good money to beat the 38-year-old John Ruiz (44-9-1, 30 KO’s) last night at the M.E.N. Arena, in Manchester, England, and with the rematch clause that Haye has with former WBA heavyweight champion Nikolay Valuev, it’s another easy opportunity to make big bucks for a safe fight. Haye has to face Valuev anyway, so you can expect that fight to happen next.
It will allow Haye to milk the title before having to face one of the Klitschko brothers, and likely get beaten. Based on how Haye looked last night, I don’t see Haye being competitive with either of them. Provided that Haye gets by Valuev, which is no sure thing given how poor Haye looked last time out against the big Russian, Haye will probably then face the winner of the Kali Meehan vs. Ruslan Chagaev bout.
It will likely be Chagaev. That will be a tougher fight than Ruiz, because Chagaev is a little better, but not much. Chagaev might give Haye some problems if he can take advantage of Haye’s bad habit of throwing looping and badly telegraphed punches. Haye is pretty wide open when he loops his shots and really invites counter punches down the middle when he throws those kinds of shots and also when he telegraphs his punches.
Chagaev could end up knocking Haye out unless the British fighter learns to throw straighter punches. It’s one thing beating up on a 38-year-old Ruiz, who probably doesn’t deserve to be ranked in the top 10 given that his best wins in the past six years have come against Andrew Golota and Jameel McCline. Ruiz hadn’t been beating any real top fighters in the past six years, and yet will still ranked at number #1, even though he was beaten two times by Valuev, once by Chagaev and was soundly beaten by James Toney.
The Toney fight was later changed to a 12 round no contest when Toney tested positive for a banned substance. But never the less, Ruiz hadn’t beaten a real top 10 guys in the past six years for him to be given the number #1 spot. The WBA should have had someone like Odlanier Solis at number #1, Tomasz Adamek #2, Chris Arreola #3, Denis Boytsov #4, and Robert Helenius #5.
Those fighters are probably the best that the WBA currently has listed in the top 15, but none of them are ranked like that. Boytsov is ranked #5, Solis #7, Arreola #15, Adamek #9 and Helenius #12. What this means is that Haye will likely have a chance to really milk his WBA title for a long time before he’s faced with a threat from one of the top contenders that would have a good chance at beating him. Again, I don’t expect Haye to fight either of the Klitschko brothers any time soon.
It could happen in 2011, but if Haye continues to make big money against beatable old guys like Ruiz, then I see Haye taking the safer track of fighting these guys until he runs out of options. Solis, Boytsov, Adamek, Arreola, and Helenius would have a very good chance of beating Haye.
If it comes down to the point where Haye has to fight one of those guys as his mandatory, I think Haye might then opt to fight one of the Klitschko brothers. But it’s going to be awhile before those fighters are ranked high enough to put pressure on Haye, so he has time to milk his title a little longer.