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Leonard: Haye has to use his feet to beat Vitali

David Haye Vitali KlitschkoBy William Mackay: Boxing great “Sugar” Ray Leonard feels that former WBA heavyweight champion David Haye will have to use movement against WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko if their talked about summer fight takes place. Right now it’s up in the air because of Haye wanting more money than what Vitali and his management feel that he’s worth after Haye’s one-sided loss to Vitali’s brother IBF/WBO heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko last July.


Leonard told Sun Sport “David’s not that big of a heavyweight, so size will be a factor. If that fight comes to fruition, David will have to be mobile. He can’t be a stationary target. The extra money a fight like that would generate certainly doesn’t hurt. It creates a little incentive and that extra bit of motivation.”

It might not create that motivation if Vitali and his management fail to agree to what Haye wants, however. Haye wants to be paid well if he’s to come out of retirement and risk his neck against a big puncher like Vitali. Who knows what Vitali and his team are offering Haye, but it clearly isn’t enough for him to take the fight. In that case, the boxing public will have to be satisfied with watching Vitali take on heavyweight contenders like Bermane Stiverne, Alexander Dimitrenko and Chris Arreola rather than Haye.

It does without saying that Haye will have to use movement in order to beat Vitali. He doesn’t need Leonard to tell him that, because he already fights like that anyway. Haye moves constantly now that he’s fighting at heavyweight. You can make an argument that Haye probably moves too much because his work rate since moving up to the heavyweight division has been anemic. He doesn’t take many chances and he’s too risk aversive. Had Haye fought with more aggression against the younger Klitschko brother, he might have had a chance to win the fight.


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