Should Haye get out now?
By John F. McKenna (McJack): Former World Boxing Association (WBA) heavyweight champion David “Hayemaker” Haye (25-2, 23 KO’s) who lost his title to heavyweight champion Wladimir “Dr. Steelhammer” Klitschko (56-3, 49 KO’s) on July 2, is in the unenviable position of contemplating his future.
For the past several years the “Hayemaker” had told the media and anyone else who cared to listen that he would retire before his 31st birthday in October. But supposedly Haye was under the assumption that he would defeat Wladimir Klitschko in their highly publicized match-up.
As everyone knows David Haye’s performance or non performance against “Dr. Steelhammer” was a tremendous disappointment. Wladimir, the younger of the Klitschko brothers pitched a near shutout at the Imtech Arena in Hamburg, Germany. During the match which was aired by the cable giant HBO, Haye embarrassed himself by repeatedly flopping to the canvas whenever Wladimir leaned on him or pushed him. Finally a point was deducted from Wladimir. But David pushed his luck until the referee called one of the flops a knockdown. It appeared to some that Haye was using the flops as a strategy to have points deducted from Wladimir.
To make matters worse, after the lopsided decision in Wladimir’s favor was announced David took off his shoe and claimed that an injured little toe was the reason that he put on such a dismal performance. No one bought the injured pinky routine. Haye was even lambasted in his native England by the London newspapers.
The problem the “Hayemaker” now has it that at the age of 30 he has the rest of his life to think about his lackluster performance against Wladimir Klitschko. It is not the way a fighter with David Haye’s pride wants to be remembered.
Fighters very rarely retire when they say they are going to. And when they do retire they usually do not stay retired. If Haye is going to return to the ring the logic is that he would be best suited to come back while he is in his prime rather than remaining inactive for five years. But Haye’s situation defies logic. The only way he can get a big payday is to fight Wladimir’s big brother Vitali, who as evidenced by last Saturday nights TKO of Tomasz Adamek appears better than ever. Forget that “Dr. Ironfist” is now 40 years old. He is in tremendous shape and as big George Foreman said the other day he would be a formidable foe for any past heavyweight champion.
During a recent vacation to the Caribbean Haye did some soul searching and had a chat with Lennox Lewis. Lewis supposedly gave Haye some tips on how to beat Vitali Klitschko and persuaded David to make the attempt against the elder Klitschko.
Vitali has gone on record to say that he would be agreeable to such a fight. He has a score to settle with the trash talking Haye and a grudge match as all promoters know sells lots of tickets even if the fight makes no sense.