Ruiz would have stood a better chance against Haye if he used his old fighting style
By William Mackay: 38-year-old John Ruiz made a huge mistake in trying to slug with WBA heavyweight champion David Haye last Saturday night. It was a game plan that was doomed for failure from the very start, and it’s too bad that Ruiz and his trainer didn’t make adjustments after the 1st round. Ruiz was knocked down twice in the 1st when he went right at the faster, more powerful Haye trying to punch with him.
What Ruiz needed to do at that point was scrap plan A of trying to mix it up with the heavy handed Haye and go back to his old punch and clinch style that Ruiz used in the past. That’s the style that has brought Ruiz a lot of success over the years and it’s strange that he would abandon it this late in his career. Ruiz never did test his new slugging style against a good heavyweight until he fought Haye.
Ruiz should have recognized that he might not have the physical tools to punch with the more powerful Haye. If he had thought about it and seen that he had no real chance of beating Haye with pressure and power, he could have gone back to his old clinching style and perhaps tired Haye out on the inside with wrestling. You could see that Haye was struggling with his stamina after the 1st round.
All it would have taken was for Ruiz to plant himself on Haye like a big weed and basically maul him into tiring out. With all those muscles, Haye would have probably ran out of gas before long and ended up being taken out by Ruiz. Who cares if the fans wouldn’t like Ruiz’s clinching. At least he would have a better chance at winning the fight than he did trying to slug with the faster Haye.
As we’ve seen with Bernard Hopkins, he’s extended his career against younger, faster fighters by using Ruiz’s punch and clinch technique. Hopkins isn’t ashamed to use the old punch and clinch style and it’s clearly worked for him, so why not Ruiz. He should have stuck with what brought him to this point and hugged Haye all night long.
Haye’s got a lot of useless muscles on his frame, the type that are more of a liability than asset for fights that go more than six rounds. What Ruiz needed to do was jab and dive in head first to grab Haye. It would have worked every time. Once Ruiz was on him, the referee would have probably allowed Ruiz and Haye to work it out on the inside. In the UK, the referees seem to be much more tolerant about fighters wrestling on the inside. Look at Ricky Hatton. When fighting in the UK, he was allowed to wrestle on the inside to his heart’s content without being pulled off or penalized. Based on that, i would expect Ruiz to be able to get away with his brand of wrestling all night long. Haye, with his big muscles, would have exhausted after a round or two. At that point, Ruiz could have probably just blown a tired Haye over with his breath. That’s how tired Haye be from a good night of wrestling from Ruiz. I can’t believe Ruiz didn’t go back to his old fighting style. That was a big mistake.
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