Lennox Lewis: Haye needs some tune-ups to get a better deal with the Klitschkos
By William Mackay: Former heavyweight world champion Lennox Lewis thinks former two division world champion David Haye is going about it the wrong way by trying to negotiate with WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko from a position of weakness coming off of Haye’s loss to IBF/WBO heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko last July.
Lewis thinks Haye should fight at least a couple of tune-ups to try and redeem himself so that he can come into negotiations for Vitali in a better position to get a good deal than he’ll get now.
Lewis told Sky Sports News “He [Haye] should not think about the Klitschko brothers right now. He should beat a couple of other people…There is a lot of money for him on the table and that is important for any fighter. All he has to do is jump in there against one of the Klitschkos and take it, but he should have a couple of different fights first.”
Lewis is 100% correct, of course. Haye would be able to negotiate from a position of strength if he at least got up off his backside and would fight someone but it looks like Haye has got some fear and self-doubt holding him back. If you look at the way he’s willing to give up millions by choosing not to build his name back up, it leaves you with one impression that he’s afraid of losing. Look at the guys that Haye fought to get a title shot against Wladimir in the first place – John Ruiz (38), Monte Barrett (38), Audley Harrison (39), and Nikolay Valuev (36. Haye never took any chances to get the shot against anyone that was really dangerous and still almost lost to Valuev.
Haye needs to try and knock off some of the lower hanging contenders like Dereck Chisora, Tyson Fury, Tomasz Adamek, Alexander Ustinov, Kubrat Pulev, Manuel Charr, Mariusz Wach, Tye Fields, Chauncy Welliver. If he beats two or three of those guys, he’ll get a much better deal with Vitali. Ideally, Haye should go after the WBA paper champion Alexander Povetkin and capture his strap and then come back to the table against Vitali. But that would take some courage and I don’t think Haye is feeling too brave after being dominated by Wladimir.