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Haye: I’ll be very surprised if Wladimir makes it to the 6th round

David Haye Wladimir KlitschkoBy Jason Kim: Despite being the much less experienced fighter and the smaller guy, WBA heavyweight champion David Haye (25-1, 23 KO’s) is saying that he’ll be very surprised if IBF/WBO heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko (55-3, 49 KO’s) makes it to the 6th round on Saturday night in their mega clash at the Imtech Arena in Hamburg, Germany. Haye expects to get to Wladimir long before that with an early night’s work in chopping down the big Ukrainian heavyweight.

“If it goes to round six, Klitschko is a lot more durable than people make out,” Haye said to “I am doing everything I can to make sure this fight is exciting and that Wladimir Klitschko ends up on his back.”

Haye said pretty much the same things before his fights against Nikolay Valuev and Audley Harrison, two other big heavyweights that Haye fought. However, Haye was the opposite of exciting in either of those bouts and fought rather timidly for the most part other than when he finally attacked a stage struck Harrison in the 3rd.

One would hope that Haye isn’t underestimating Wladimir. Haye’s experience in the past has come against much lesser fighters, both at the heavyweight and cruiserweight level. Beating up on older fighters at heavyweight and no-name guys at cruiserweight might have swelled Haye’s head more than a little, making him think that he’s better than he actually is. We’ve seen this kind of thing in the past where a fighter is force fed weak opposition to the point where they think they’re invincible. But when they’re put in with a quality fighter they come apart and look truly awful.

Will this be the case with Haye? It could be. He’s powerful at times with certain punches but a lot of his other shots, especially when in close, remind one of some of the more average smaller heavyweights like Monte Barrett. We could see a terrible mismatch on Saturday night with Wladimir being the one ending the fight early, and not Haye. The background just isn’t there for Haye to be promising knockouts when the best opposition he’s faced at heavyweight has been guys that roughly on their last leg.

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