Will Haye’s tactics work against Klitschko?
By John F. McKenna (McJack): WBA Heavyweight Champion David Haye (25-1, 23 KO’s) and his brain trust are obviously relying on a strategy which they believe will take IBF, IBO, WBO and Ring Magazine Heavyweight Champion Wladimir Klitschko (55-3, 49 KO’s) out of his game plan in their upcoming Heavyweight Championship unification title fight on July 2.
Apparently the Hayemaker camp realizes that he has very little chance of trying to outbox Dr. Steelhammer and want to turn the fight into a brawl in which Vladimir loses his cool and attempts to go after Haye in an attempt to knock him out. Haye believes that if the fight turns into a slugfest he has a much better chance of winning.
This strategy shows the desperation in the Haye camp. Like everyone else Adam Booth and company have seen how successful Wladimir has been over the past several years under the tutelage of Emanuel Steward. Klitschko has been able to use his powerful left jab to maximum efficiency. Whoever Vlad fights has to eat his left jab in an effort to get inside and land shots to his head or body. Normally what happens however is that Klitschko is able to employ his grab and hold technique to smother any effective punches from being landed by his opponent on the inside. The dilemma which every fighter who faces Dr. Steelhammer is how to get past his left jab?
The danger any fighter faces of course is that Vladimir packs a KO punch in both fists. He has the ability to knock out any fighter with either hand as demonstrated by his forty nine knockouts. Attempting to move inside on Wlad in an effort to land a pot shot or a flurry of punches is a very risky proposition. Wladimir’s brain trust is as good as it gets and undoubtedly they are anticipating the tactics the Hayemaker will use on July 2.
Klitschko has improved enormously since he took on Steward and that improvement continues. He has recently been working on timing the punches of his opponents so that he can counter with either his right cross or his potent left hook. There is a list of fighters who thought that they could solve the problem of trying to get inside on Wladimir. Whether you like him or not one must concede that his forty nine knockouts in fifty two victories against ranked contenders is pretty impressive.
Let’s take a look at what David Haye’s chances are to defeat Wladimir Klitschko. He will undoubtedly continue to attempt to unnerve Klitschko in the lead up to the fight. Haye will continue to play psychological warfare games with Klitschko. The question is will the Hayemaker use those tactics in the fight itself? There is no question that Haye has gotten under Vlad’s skin. When Muhammad Ali fought George Foreman in Zaire in the “Rumble in the Jungle” Ali continued to play psychological warfare with big George throughout the fight. When George blasted away while Ali lay on the ropes, Ali continually asked Foreman “Is that all you got?” When George began to tire Ali said “Don’t fall now George, the whole world is watching!” At the time of the fight Foreman was thought to be unbeatable and the psychological war fare played a part in Ali’s great victory. Can Haye do the same thing with Klitschko?
Haye is sure that Dr. Steelhammer despises him and to him that is a good thing. Haye’s fans should not make the assumption that their hero can accomplish what Ali did.
Ali was a master boxer with a great left jab which Haye has not yet exhibited. Further Ali had a tremendous chin which Haye does not have and Ali’s defensive skills were as good as any heavyweight in history. Klitschko over the past few years has been able to stick to his game plan. The stakes are much higher for this fight but it is more than probable that he will not blow this opportunity to achieve huge recognition not just in Germany and in his homeland but in the USA and all over the world. HBO for the first time in years is showing one of Wladimir Klitschko’s fights. At this stage of his career Vladimir wants to silence his detractors by putting on a masterful performance. He will stay in his game plan and take Haye out in the middle to late rounds unless Haye gets careless and gets caught early by Vlad’s left hook.