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Haye shows porous defense in Ruiz win

David Haye John RuizBy William Mackay: WBA heavyweight champion David Haye showed a leaky defense in taking out an old 38-year-old John Ruiz in the 9th round last night in front of 20,000 screaming British fans at the M.E.N. Arena, in Manchester, England. Haye knocked Ruiz down four times in the fight before it was eventually stopped in the 9th with Ruiz taking punishment along the ropes and unable to really defend himself. I’m no big fan of the Klitschko brothers, but I have to say I think they both would make easy work of the Haye that fought last night. Haye’s defense was simply atrocious.

Haye blocked few punches and mainly needed to use foot and upper body movement to avoid the shots from Ruiz. But when Ruiz, who has a limited reach due to his average 6’2” height, was able to get close enough to throw, he landed surprisingly easy. Haye will have problems with the Klitschko brothers; big problems. Both of them fight on their back foot, and are very hard to bit because of their height and reach.

Haye wouldn’t be able to just reach over and hit them like he was against the shorter Ruiz. Haye would have to take a lot of chances by lunging forward at them to try and connect. This wouldn’t be an easy thing, because Haye would be getting nailed with jabs all night long. And because of Haye’s weak chin, he’d have to be on guard constantly from getting hit with hard left hooks and right hands from either of the Klitschkos.

Basically, Haye would be a British version of Eddie Chambers, only with more muscles. It wouldn’t matter that Haye can punch harder than Chambers, because he wouldn’t be able to land his shots against the taller Klitschko brothers. Haye would be getting bombed from long range all night long and wouldn’t be able to land enough solid punches to make himself competitive.

As it is, Haye doesn’t throw a lot of punches, I’ve noticed. He didn’t throw a lot of punches in his win over Nikolay Valuev last November, and he didn’t throw a lot of punches last night. With Haye absorbing a constant rain of jabs, left hooks and right hands from the Klitschkos, he wouldn’t be able to make any significant difference in the fight when he would land an occasional punch.

That’s pretty much what all the Klitschko brothers opponents are limited to, just an occasional shot here and there. Haye showed that he can beat an old fighter the same size as him last night in Ruiz, but beating bigger heavyweights like the Klitschko brothers would be asking too much of the short Haye.

What we would likely see is Haye’s work rate, which was pretty anemic last night, drop back down to a pathetic 10 punches per round like in his fight against Valuev. That’s simply not enough punches to beat top flight heavyweights like the Klitschko brothers. That’s what I see happening. It’s too bad Haye doesn’t have a better defense, because if the guy knew how to defend himself in a halfway decent way, he’d be a lot better fighter.

Unfortunately, I think Haye’s defense is only one part of Haye’s problems. He also has problems with his stamina. Haye looked positively exhausted after only one round against Ruiz last night, and continued to look tired until the 7th when Haye started getting his stamina back a little. That won’t do against the Klitschko brothers. If Haye shot his load after the first round against the Klitschkos, he would be barbecued in the following rounds.

As porous as Haye’s defense looked last night, I think he would have been taken out in the 2nd or 3rd rounds by the Klitschkos. I can’t see him lasting any longer than that as tired as he looked. Haye was totally gassed out, looking the same way he did against Carl Thompson in his 5th round knockout loss in 2004. Haye says he’s improved since then, that he’s learned his lesson. I think he didn’t learn anything. Haye just hasn’t fought anyone with any kind of punch, a decent chin, or the aggression to really go after him. The Klitschko brothers would have been all over Haye in the tired state that he was in last night.


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