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Haye appears to be rattled

David Haye Haye vs. Klitschko Haye-KlitschkoBy John F. McKenna (McJack): David Haye (25-1, 23 KO’s) has appeared agitated at the recent press conferences during the promotional tour to hype his fight with Wladimir Klitschko (55-3, 49 KO’s) at the Imtech Arena in Hamburg, Germany on July 2nd.. “Dr. Steelhammer” has been calm and confident during his public appearances. The title unification fight between Haye and Klitschko is one that boxing fans have been clamoring for to determine once and for all, who the premier heavyweight in the world is.

David Haye holds the (WBA) belt, while Wladimir Klitschko holds the (IBF, IBO, WBO and Ring Magazine) versions of the Heavyweight Title. Initially it was hoped by the Haye camp that their fighter would be able to unnerve Vladimir with his usual antics and trash talking prior to the fight. Part of Haye’s strategy was to get under Klitschko’s skin and force him into making mental mistakes once they get into the ring. For a period of time it appeared that David was successful at annoying Vladimir. The Klitschko camp, undoubtedly knew what Haye’s strategy was, and have reacted to it. In the more recent press conferences Wlad has gone out of his way to appear calm and gentlemanly, even injecting his dry humor into the mix. Haye on the other hand at times has appeared childish by unwilling to shake Klitschko’s hand when he extends it. In some instances Haye has refused to be in the same room with Klitschko. At one point Haye said that it was all he could do to keep from attacking his July 2nd opponent. The contrast in the behavior of Haye and Klitscko is striking and has not gone unnoticed by the media and with “Dr. Steelhammer” maintaining his cool he appears to be winning the media battle, at least for the time being.

In a recent interview Klitschko said that he wanted Haye to enter the ring first and stated that he wants to make sure the fight really comes off this time, obviously alluding to Haye pulling out of their June 2009 fight at the last minute. In reality he wants “The Hayemaker” to sweat it out waiting for “Dr. Steelhammer’s” grand entrance. This strategy apparently worked for Vlad’s big brother Vitali when he fought Odlanier Solis on March 19, 2011. Odlanier was unable to look at Vitali during the referees instructions before the fight and was quickly disposed of.

Wladimir has said over and over again that he will let his fists do the talking on July 2, but to some extent he seems to be enjoying the pre fight hype and feels that contrary to what his opponent thinks, Haye will be the one who succumbs to the pressure. Wladimir points out that he has fought more quality and mandatory opposition, than Haye has fights. Klitschko believes that there is no substitute for experience and that Haye’s downfall will be his unwillingness to fight the best opposition.

Vladimir feels that while his losses were painful, they made him a better fighter. After each loss he did a self inventory and worked on improving his weaknesses. Acquiring Emanuel Steward as his trainer has been most beneficial and since bringing him on board, Vlad has been the most dominant heavyweight champion in decades.

Most of Wladimir Klitschko’s opponents have been in the Super Heavyweight category.

As good as Henry Cooper was he weighed only 185 lbs when he nearly knocked out Cassius Clay (later he became Muhammad Ali). Joe Frazier weighed only 206 lbs when he won the first fight with Ali. Ali usually weighed in at about 217 lbs for his title defenses. Sonny Liston, who was considered a monster at the time, only weighed 214 lbs. Big George Foreman was 6’3” and weighed in around 220 lbs. Rocky Marciano and Jack Dempsey weighed in around 187 lbs. Joe Louis, perhaps the greatest heavyweight of all time before we got into the media hype of the Ali era, weighed about 200 lbs.

It will be interesting to see how the final weeks go in the lead up to the Haye vs Vladimir fight on July 2nd. Hopefully this fight will live up to the hype. Boxing needs a good Heavyweight Championship fight to bring boxing back out of the doldrums.

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