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Haye: “The Klitschkos, all their careers, have fought guys who are clearly overweight, out of shape, happy to keep getting a payday”

By William Mackay: World Boxing Association heavyweight champion David Haye (24-1, 22 KO’s) took a moment to comment about the Klitschko brothers following his 9th round TKO win over John Ruiz last Saturday night, saying in an article at the Telegraph “The Klitschkos, all their careers, have fought guys who are clearly overweight, out of shape, happy to keep getting a payday.” Haye seems to be disappointed in the physical fitness of the heavyweights.

If Haye sticks around the division for any length of time, which doesn’t appear likely given that he’s talking about retiring in two years, he’ll face an assortment of physical body types. Unfortunately, many of them aren’t built like body builders and are carrying around a generous coat of fat, unlike Haye. At cruiserweight, Haye had less of a problem with that, because most of the fighters are typically smaller, and have to keep their weight around the cruiserweight limit of 200. At heavyweight, the fighters are a lot bigger and some of them can and do carry extra weight.

Haye had this to say about Vitali’s next opponent: “This Albert Sosnowski guy, Audley was favourite to beat him, then he gets a title shot. You can understand him. He’s in it for the business, but Vitali was talking about Valuev, then that never materialized. Now he’s fighting this Sosnowski guy. His [Vitali Klitschko] career is littered with guys like that, who he’s clearly going to beat very easily. So I don’t really pay him that much attention. Valuev wouldn’t be as easy as Vitali thinks.”

It sounds like Haye is hoping that Vitali would have problems with Valuev. Haye struggled badly with the seven footer and barely won the fight by a 12 round majority decision. Few people give Valuev much of a chance to beat Vitali if they were to fight. The two attempted to put a fight together, but Valuev’s management team was asking too much money and Klitschko instead changed his mind about wanting to fight him and went in another direction. I think Vitali would knock Valuev and dominate him from start to finish. Vitali would have the size, the chin, and be willing to go after Valuev in a way that Haye was unwilling to in his fight with Valuev last November.

Haye also had this to say about the fighters that have beaten the Klitschko brothers: Corrie Sanders was the same size as me. He knocked Wladimir out. Chris Byrd beat Vitali. Ross Puritty knocked Wladimir out. Lamon Brewster knocked out Wladimir. So the guys who beat them have been small heavyweights. They’re both very beatable.” Sanders is actually 6’4”, an inch or so taller than Haye.

Sanders is a southpaw fighter with big power and fast hands. Wladimir made a crucial mistake in going after Sanders without knowing how dangerous he is and paid a big price by being knocked out in the 2nd round in 2003. Vitali was beaten by Byrd in 2000, but was well ahead in the fight at the time the bout was stopped because Vitali had injured his shoulders. Wladimir ran out of gas against Puritty, a big puncher with an iron jaw in 1998. As for Wladimir’s loss to Brewster, Wladimir ran out of gas after punching himself out in the 4th round and was taken out in the 5th.

It’s true that the Klitschko brothers are beatable, but it’s unclear whether Haye is the one to do it. He hasn’t faced anyone as of yet, and has been matched very carefully and not put in with any real dangerous fighters at heavyweight. Haye went after Valuev, the weakest of the heavyweight champions, rather than facing the Klitschkos. And before that, Haye fought Monte Barrett and Tomasz Bonin at heavyweight rather than arguably tougher contenders like Odlanier Solis (who already stopped Haye as an amateur), Alexander Povetkin and Samuel Peter.

Haye’s trainer/manager Adam Booth hasn’t said who Haye will be facing next, but it could be a rematch with Valuev. Haye may not like it, since he says he wants to unify the heavyweight titles, but there is a rematch clause and unless Haye wants to pay Valuev a step aside fee so that Haye can fight the Klitschko brothers, he will likely end up facing Valuev again. It will interesting to see if Haye does opt to pay Valuev a step aside fee. My guess is he might not. It’s a less risky fight than facing the Klitschko brothers.

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