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Excitement builds for Haye – Klitschko

David Haye Wladimir KlitschkoBy John F. McKenna (McJack): With the title reunification fight between WBA Champion David Haye (25-3-23 KO’s) and IBF, IBO, WBO and Ring Magazine Champion Wladimir Klitschko (55-3, 49 KO’s) looming just a month away, the excitement and anticipation is starting to build. David Haye’s tactics of continually sticking the needle into Klitstchko is a promoters dream and whether you are a fan of his or not David’s antics sells tickets.

The July 2 showdown in Hamburg, Germany will be shown in the USA on HBO. This will be the first fight by either of the Klitschko’s to be shown on HBO for a couple of years. HBO stopped showing the Klitschko fights because they were not competitive and the December 2009 fight between Vitali Klitschko and Kevin Johnson was the last straw for HBO. Johnson fought in a defensive posture all twelve rounds, showing no offense whatsoever. Vitali won all twelve rounds, but Johnson succeeded in not only making himself look bad but Klitschko as well.

The 2008 Heavyweight title fight between Vladimir Klitscko and Sultan Ibragimov was equally as boring. In the Ibragimov fight Vladimir fought in his usual safety first manner taking no chances and content only to win. “Dr. Steelhammer” easily defeated Ibragimov but fans in attendance and those watching on TV were turned off by his performance. Wladimir’s trainer Emanuel Stewart could be heard exhorting his fighter to step up the pace, recognizing that this was not a fight which was going to showcase Wladimir’s talent. At one point in between rounds, Emanuel told Klitschko in frustration “This is going to be bad!” Stewart’s urging of Vladimir to make the fight somewhat appealing for the fans fell on deaf ears and the fight was a dud. Since his fight with Ibragimov, Vladimir seems to be paying more attention when Emanuel tells him to step it up. In his fight with Eddie Chambers, Klitschko finally pulled out all the stops after Stewart again pressed him for more action and he knocked Chambers out with seconds remaining in the final round.

It is clear that Wladimir Klitschko has come a long way since he brought on Emanuel Stewart as his trainer. Slowly but surely he has regained a great deal of the confidence he had lost after being knocked out three times a half dozen years ago. His punching power was always there although he did not always know how to use it effectively. Vlad’s conditioning and training regimen is much improved also since he began working with arguably the best trainer in the world. Now that he has the conditioning down pat, he can concentrate on boxing techniques while in training camp.

David Haye for his part knows how to generate excitement in the boxing world. His camp most certainly knows that he will not be able to score a one punch knockout of Klitschko and that he will have to work on another strategy. The strategy of all the fighters who have faced Vladimir over the past few years has been a dismal failure. Something new needs to be attempted. The “Hayemaker” and his brain trust are already in training and are surely working on a way to effectively counter “Dr. Steelhammer’s” obvious height and reach advantages. Jess Willard at 6’6.5” and 245 lbs was roughly the same size as Vladimir Klitschko. Jack Dempsey was 6’1” and weighed only 187 lbs. I’m not suggesting that David Haye is another Jack Dempsey, but he has speed, power and is explosive. Haye’s only chance is to use head and body movement while moving in and overwhelm Klitschko with not just one punch, but a large volume of punches. Stranger things have happened. No one gave Dempsey a chance against Willard who had never been off his feet.

Both Haye and Klitschko seem to not like each other and are equally committed to fighting the fight of their lives. A great fight would do much to restore the Heavyweight Championship to its rightful place where it was once heralded as the most exciting event in all of sports.

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