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Vitali must fight Haye to preserve legacy

David Haye Vitali KlitschkoBy John F. McKenna (McJack): Former WBA heavyweight champion David Haye (26-2, 24 KO’s) has done a pretty good job of injecting himself back into the heavyweight mix. In July 2011 the “Hayemaker” was ineffectual and totally humiliated by his performance against IBF/WBA/WBO/IBO and The Ring heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko (58-3, 51 KO’s).

In the fight against “Dr. Steelhammer”, Haye used a broken pinky toe as an excuse for his poor performance. David even took his shoe off to show the injured toe to the press. Haye was widely panned even by his most ardent fans in the British Isles. As it turned out the fight was embarrassingly one sided in Wladimir’s favor. Haye made things worse for himself by using a strategy in which he flopped to the canvas several times during the fight whenever it appeared that Wlad was moving in to unload his arsenal of heavy artillery.

Needless to say the strategy backfired when at one point the referee, having enough of the flop downs, began to count when David once more fell to the canvas without being pushed or shoved. After his humiliating defeat Haye retired as promised upon reaching his 31st birthday in October 2011.

But Haye, who had been the darling of British boxing fans, did not stay retired for long. He left the door slightly ajar for a possible comeback against one of the Klitschko’s. With Wladimir shooting down any talk of a rematch with Haye, a fight with Vitali became a distinct possibility. “Dr. Ironfist” had voiced displeasure that his younger brother had not knocked Haye out and stated that he would like the opportunity to “Send David to the floor” as he put it.

As usually happens however when fight negotiations ensue between Haye and the Klitshko’s it became clear that it would be difficult to nail down a deal for a Vitali Klitschko – David Haye fight. Rather than wait for the “Hayemaker” to come around Vitali went ahead and decided to fight Derek Chisora (15-4, 9 KO’s) last February. “Del-Boy” put up a better than expected fight against Vitali and it was revealed after the fight that Klitschko had injured his left shoulder early on in the fight.

What followed the fight was the mother of all brawls as Chisora and Haye, who was attending the post fight press conference, started slugging it out. The brawl was captured on video and in a matter of hours went viral on You Tube.

Haye began a marketing campaign that would make any promoter proud. He even released a cartoon video on his I Phone which depicted him knocking Chisora’s head off. Say what you want about Haye, when it comes to marketing himself he is a genius. He was able to land a fight with Chi,sora without the benefit of being backed by any boxing commission. The fight, which took place in July, was a huge success, both financially and for Haye. David demonstrated that he still has fan appeal, blazing speed and KO power in both firsts. He went a long ways towards redeeming himself by scoring a spectacular 5th round TKO over Chisora.

Afterwards Haye immediately began to campaign for a match with Vitali Klitschko (45-2, 41 KO’s). Vitali went ahead with a fight with little known Manuel Charr (21-1, 11 KO’s). Haye chided Vitali for taking on an unknown opponent and intimated that “Dr. Ironfist” was avoiding him because of his easy stoppage of Chisora. Vitali reminded the “Hayemaker” that he had rejected a contract to fight him and chose to take on “Del-Boy” instead.

There are a number of boxing fans however who believe that Haye would fair much better against the older, slower Vitali than he did against Wladimir. And Haye is quick to correctly point out that no other heavyweight draws the interest of boxing fans that he does.

The sniping at Vitali by Haye continues on almost a daily basis. And let’s be for real, does Vitali want to ride off into the sunset of his career with a victory over Charr, who almost no one had heard of prior to his fight with Vitali?

Quite some time ago Vitali let it be known that the two fighters he most wanted to fight before he retired were Lennox Lewis and David Haye. With Lewis out of the picture it is almost a certainty that “Dr. Ironfist” will do whatever it takes to fight David Haye, even if it interferes with his new role as a politician.

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