When Is Haye going to man up and fight Wladimir Klitschko?
By William Mackay: Man, I am so disappointed in David Haye (24-1, 22 KO’s) since he moved up to the heavyweight division. Haye was an impressive fighter at cruiserweight, I’ll give him that much. But since he moved up to heavyweight, he’s been all talk and no action.
Haye has talked long and hard to the media about wanting to fight both of the Klitschko brothers, but instead he goes after World Boxing Association heavyweight champion Nikolay Valuev last year when it came time to challenge for a heavyweight title.
To Haye’s credit, he won the fight, just barely, and is now one of the three heavyweight champions in the division. But since then, Haye has been acting less than thrilled at the prospects of taking on the Klitschko brothers and proving himself to be worthy of being one of the heavyweight champions.
It would be okay if Haye talked so much about wanting to fight the brothers. He would still be expected to fight them, since they badly want to unify the titles. But Haye has been the one calling the brothers out, talking about how boring their styles are and how he was going to breathe new life in the heavyweight division. You can’t say that he has. His fight with Valuev was totally boring, and I lost track of all the rabbit punches he landed against 38-year-old John Ruiz in his last fight in April. Although Haye lost a point in that fight, I thought he should have been penalized multiple times and/or disqualified for the rabbit shots. He looked like he got rabbit crazy at one point.
I saw the same rabbit shots in his fight against 38-year-old Monte Barrett in 2008, the fight in which Haye appeared to be knocked down by Barrett in the 5th. The English referee didn’t count the knockdown but it sure looked like a knockdown to me and I’ve seen it on replay in slow motion a hundred times.
Haye has recently emerged from seclusion and still hasn’t mentioned who his next opponent will be. Most boxing fans figure it will be 38-year-old Audley Harrison, which honestly doesn’t surprise me at all. It would have surprised me two years ago before Haye fought his first fight at heavyweight, but now that I’ve seen Haye matched against 38-year-old Barrett, 36-year-old Valuev and 38-year-old Ruiz, the 38-year-old Harrison fits among that list quite nicely.
I now think that Haye was never serious about wanting to fight the Klitschko brothers. For whatever reason, I think he’s intimidated by them and doesn’t want to get brutally knocked out, even if it means getting the chance to get the biggest payday of his career.
Haye just doesn’t seem willing to take the plunge. So after Harrison, I expect Haye to continue to milk his title against older and weaker threats rather than stepping up and facing the Klitschko brothers and likely getting knocked out. It’s too bad.