Should Haye fight Audley Harrison before facing the Klitschko brothers?
By William Mackay: WBA heavyweight champion David Haye (24-1, 22 KO’s) recently beat John Ruiz by a 9th round stoppage. Haye, bragging about the win afterwards on the Studio Five show, said “I broke his [Ruiz] nose, jaw and gave him a perforated eardrum. He was in a bad way. He had his million dollars that night.” Recently, Haye has been talking about wanting to fight the Klitschko brothers, but is undecided about whether to fight one of them or someone else. Since Haye seems to be in doubt about who he should fight next, I think Haye would do well if he was to choose European Boxing Union (EBU) heavyweight champion Audley Harrison (27-4, 20 KO’s) instead of going after the Klitschkos right away.
By fighting the 38-year-old Harrison, Haye would be proving who the best heavyweight is in the UK, and would get even more praise if he were able to beat Harrison. Last Friday night, Harrison showed great courage and heart by fighting with a bad right shoulder from the 2nd round on until stopping opponent Michael Sprott in the 12th round with a powerful left hook to the head. The ending was one of the most exciting ones I’ve seen ages, as Harrison was behind in the fight and needed a knockout to win.
Harrison came through under pressure, revived his career and put himself into the thick of things in the heavyweight division. Harrison would like to get a fight against World Boxing Council heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko later this year. However, before he does this, Harrison will have to make up his mind whether he wants to hold onto his EBU title and defend it against 6’7” Ukrainian Alexander Dimitrenko or if he wants to vacate his title and seek out a fight against Vitali.
Harrison sees the Klitschko brothers as the better option compared to Haye, preferring to fight them because the Klitschko brothers have been considered the best in the division for many years and are well known in the United States. Haye, as popular as he is in the UK, is totally unknown among casual boxing fans in the United States. The Klitschko brothers have been around fighting off and on in the United States for 10 years now, and are well known fighters, even to casual fans.
This is why Harrison wants a fight with one of the Klitschkos rather than Haye. But I think Harrison could be convinced to take a fight with Haye if David were to suddenly show a lot of interest and make it clear to him that he was serious about fighting him. This fight that could help Haye in two ways: 1. it would show who the best heavyweight is in the UK.
Right now, people assume that it’s Haye. However, with Harrison’s big 6’4 ½” size and big left hand knockout power, you can’t know for sure how Haye would react if he was to be hit on the button by one of Harrison’s biggest left hand shots. 2. Haye could learn from a fight against the tall Harrison and use that in his following fights with the 6’6” Wladimir and 6’7” Vitali Klitschko. Harrison may not be as big as the Klitschko brothers, but he’s pretty close and could give Haye some needed practice for a big fight against one of the Klitschkos.
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