Klitschko vs. Haye: A credible analysis
By Dee Patel: I am not a regular writer, but a genuine boxing fan, and have had enough of the many the articles written here on this subject. Every article has either stated that Klitschko is a fraud, or that Haye will not stand a chance. Some even predict PRECISELY what will happen, and how!
But what is really likely to happen?
I will fully admit that I am a David Haye fan, and I have not rated Wladimir Klitschko as highly as I should – Namely due to the level of competition he has faced over the past years, his lack of visible passion, and his stifling of the Heavyweight division.
But on July the 2nd, in what is probably the biggest Heavyweight Match since Lennox Lewis Vs. Vitali Klitschko, David Haye challenges Wladimir Klitschko in what is already gearing up to be a nail-biting encounter. This fight is the only fight outside of Mayweather-Pacquiao that will be likely to peak the interest of the casual fan. David Haye, who is a brash, and former undisputed champion is the only threat to the Klitschko’s dominance of the heavyweight division. But how much of a legitimate contender is he? And how much is merely hype?
Not counting Haye’s loss to Carl Thompson, he has an unblemished record in the Cruiserweight Division, and is (thus far) undefeated as a Heavyweight. But questions have been raised as to the strength of those he has defeated. An ageing Monte Barrett, an aging John Ruiz (though mandatory), Nikolai Valuev, and Audley Harrison. Whilst none of these names rank highly on any all-time pound-for-pound list, they are no better or worse than the fighters Wladimir Klitschko has recently faced – Take Eddie Chambers or Samuel Peter for instance. I can more than understand people’s issues with the Harrison fight, but did anybody object prior to fight night? I even remember Frank Bruno, and a fair few boxing pundits being convinced that Harrison will pull off the upset. Many of the American fans reading this also don’t particularly realise how much of a grudge match this was in Great Britain. As for Nikolai Valuev; Well, he held one of the belts didn’t he?
Haye however, could’ve fought any of the other boxers in the division and still would have faced the same criticism. Perhaps he should have taken Mike Tyson’s advice and fought the exact same people the Klitschko Brothers did? Regardless, I feel that whilst the calibre of Haye’s opponents in the heavyweight division has been mediocre at best; like the K-Brothers, you can only fight what is available.
Question marks have also been raised about the durability of Haye’s chin, and by the more skeptical of his critics; his complete lack of boxing skills. For Haye to become Undisputed Champion – Nay, for ANYBODY to become Undisputed Champion in ANY weight division takes a certain level of boxing skill. With all the ABC Belts out there, to be undisputed champion puts to bed any statement about his lack of boxing skill. As for his chin, many boxers face these issues, and whilst you cannot have a ‘chin transplant’ as was sarcastically suggested for Wladimir, over time, one can learn to protect their biggest weaknesses, and also learn to improve. Take Amir Khan being hit flush on the chin vs Breidis Prescott, and then examine the difference against Marcos Maidana. The same goes for Wladimir Vs. Corrie Sanders. He was knocked out then, but when caught flush on the chin by Samuel Peter, he didn’t even go down. But one thing David Haye does have is superior speed, agility, and for a man of his size, he DOES possess real punching power.
Many question marks have also been raised about Wladimir. Whilst he possesses the discipline, does he possess the heart to carry on when the going gets tough? As much as this is a test for Haye, this is also a test for Wladimir. He has never faced an opponent as fast and as powerful as David Haye. As such, this is the one chance Wladimir has to prove that he is more than an inferior champion in an even more inferior division. Further questions have been raised about Wladimir’s ability to fight on the inside – Something Haye will no doubt attempt to exploit. But Wladimir holds the majority of the belts, has not lost over the past 7 years, and he has great technical ability in the ring. He knows how to utilise his size and reach advantage, and has the ability to beat opponents before even stepping foot into the ring.
Moving on to the fight itself, this is a battle of athleticism, power and speed, competing against experience, power, and size. I believe one of two things will happen. Either Haye will manage to hit and move, thereupon moving inside of Klitschko, or he will not be able to get past Klitschko’s jab.
The question remains however, Will Haye be able to get inside? Or will Klitschko manage to keep him at bay? The odds are stacked against Haye – Mainly because the fight will naturally be fought within Klitschko’s preferred fighting range. It is up to Haye to work past the ever-dominant jab. As simple as it sounds, this is easier said than done. Haye will inevitably tire both from Klitschko’s jab, and the constant movement his strategy will require. This is why I believe that if the fight goes past the 6th Round, it will be nigh on impossible for Haye to win. As cautious as Klitschko is, we are all in for a dull fight if Haye decides to counter-punch all night. And with that caution, it is highly unlikely that Klitschko will provide Haye with a good enough opportunity to counter effectively enough. Rather, I would expect Klitschko to attempt to continuously keep Haye at bay with his jab, requiring Haye to use a lot of footwork.
Ultimately, Haye will utilise his speed and power to work his way inside, and he will most probably knock Klitschko out within 6 rounds.
Or, he simply will not be able to get past that jab – And we will simply see a repeat of Klitschko Vs. Chambers (Albeit a slightly better version of Chambers).
Both Haye and Klitschko have their fair share of fans and critics alike. Many people make the mistake of criticising Haye’s boxing credibility because they simple do not like his obnoxious nature and arrogance. The same goes for Klitschko with regards to his boring fights and the constant stream of bums he has been fighting. But neither of them is as good or bad as their critics and fans like to suggest. Make no mistake, Haye may be overrated, but he is still by far, the best contender of the past decade. And Wladimir still holds nearly all the belts.
I personally think Haye DOES possess the ability to beat Wladimir – And I am putting my money on it happening.
But predictions aside, this is the first fight in many a year to get people so passionately arguing and debating that it is starting to remind me what Heavyweight boxing is supposed to be.
Regardless of the outcome, I SIMPLY CANNOT WAIT.
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