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David Haye smashes Gjergjaj

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By Jeff Aranow: Former WBA heavyweight champion David Haye (28-2, 26 KOs) showed that he’s a real threat tonight to any heavyweight champion in the division with his 2nd round knockout win over the big 6’5″ Arnold Gjergjaj (29-1, 21 KOs) at the O2 Arena in London, England.

Haye knocked the 31-year-old Gjergjaj down four times in the fight. Two of the knockdowns came in the 1st and the other two in the 2nd. Gjergjaj appeared to quit after the second knockdown in the 2nd round. Gjergjaj had been down three times before this final knockdown and he just looked like he didn’t want any more of Haye.

40 seconds into the 1st round, Haye dropped Gjergjaj with a tremendous right hand to the head. The shot would have knocked out any heavyweight in the division. It was a credit to Gjergjaj that he got back to his feet after getting poleaxed by Haye. At the end of the round, Haye knocked Gjergjaj with huge right hand that put him down on his knees. Gjergjaj tried to say he’d been hit by a rabbit punch behind the head, but it was a clean looping right hand that hit him on the side of the head.

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In the 2nd round, Haye dropped Gjergjaj with a jab to the head. It was a simple jab, but Gjergjaj went down like he’d been hit with a big shot. In fairness to Gjergjaj, he was clearly still stunned from the knockdowns from the 1st round, and anything he was hit with was going to hurt him at that point. Haye staggered Gjergjaj with a right hand after he got back up, and it was clear that the fight was going to be over soon. Haye then flurried on the defenseless Gjergjaj with power shots with both hands until he sank to the canvas for the fourth knockdown in the fight. Gjergjaj then wearily got back to his feet and was asked by the referee if he wanted to continue. At this point, Gjergjaj shook his head as if to say ‘No, I don’t want to continue.’ The fight was then stopped.

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The win for the 35-year-old Haye sets up a nice match between him and American heavyweight Shannon Briggs (60-6-1, 53 KOs) for September. Briggs, 44, made quick work of replacement opponent Emilio Zarate (20-17-3, 11 KOs) in the co-feature bout in putting him down with a right to the midsection. It was a beautiful body punch. The fight was halted at 2:22. Before tonight’s performance by Briggs, there were many boxing fans who thought Haye would slice right through him with his big right hands. But with the power that Briggs showed in annihilating Zarate, he could take Haye out with a body shot if he chooses to punch with him. I think there’s no question that Haye will look to slug with Briggs. Whether Haye can stand up to Briggs’ body punches remains to be seen. When you punch as hard as Briggs does to the body, it’s not something you can will your self to take. The body can only handle so much when getting hit in the midsection. We could find out that Haye is just as vulnerable as Zarate was tonight when hit by Briggs’ body punches.

Other boxing results on the card:

Lee Markham UD 10 Joe Mullender
Joe Fournier TO 2 Bela Juhasz

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