Parker’s promoter sees Haye as easier opponent than Ruiz
By Scott Gilfoid: Dean Lonergan, the promoter for unbeaten #1 WBO heavyweight contender Joseph Parker (21-0, 18 KOs), sees David Haye (28-2, 26 KOs) as an easier opponent than #3 WBO Andy Ruiz Jr. (29-0, 19 KOs), who the 24-year-old Parker will be facing next month on December 10 in a fight for the vacant World Boxing Organization heavyweight title at the Vector Arena in Auckland, New Zealand.
The WBO made #5 WBO Haye the mandatory for the winner of the Parker-Ruiz fight. Whether the 36-year-old Haye will take that fight is the big question. Haye might choose to wait on a big money fight against IBF heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua instead of risking his hide facing the winner of the Parker vs. Ruiz Jr. fight, even though it would be in Haye’s best interest to win the WBO title before he faces Joshua. It would be surprising news if Haye agreed to fight Parker or Ruiz, because those guys have heavy hands. They hit too hard, and they would likely be able to take Haye’s power shots long enough to get to his chin and expose him as not being a true heavyweight.
If Haye wants to make the most money possible for the Joshua fight, he’ll pick up the WBO title first, so that he can go into the Joshua fight as a champion rather than just a challenger. There’s a big difference between being a contender and a champion. It would be very, very risky for Haye to fight someone like Parker, because he’s got the size, power, youth and most importantly the stamina to take Haye into the deep waters.
Haye looked tired after just one round in his last fight against Arnold Gjergjai last May. You can only imagine how tired Haye would look if Parker or Ruiz Jr. were able to take him past six rounds. Those are big heavyweights with heavy hands and a lot of weight on both of them. Getting hit by the likes of Ruiz or Parker has got to be an unpleasant experience if you’re an aging former cruiserweight. Haye is now a heavyweight, but some boxing fans see him as a pumped up cruiserweight rather than a true heavyweight with the frame that goes with that division.
“We thank the WBO for lining up David Haye. We see that as a much easier fight than Andy Ruiz Jr and once Joseph blasts through Haye, then Joshua will be the next cab off the rank,” said Lonergan to skysports.com.
Haye, 36, is supposed to be fighting next month in December, but the fact that he still hasn’t scheduled an opponent suggests that he might not fight. Even if Haye does fight in December, it’s hard to imagine him facing anyone better than the woeful opposition he’s fought since making his comeback last January. What good heavyweight would agree to fight Haye on a month’s notice? I can’t imagine too many.
Haye has talked about wanting to fight WBC cruiserweight champion Tony Bellew in a fight at heavyweight. There’s also talk of Haye fighting Alexander Ustinov for the interim WBA heavyweight title. The Haye-Bellew fight will likely take place in March of 2017 if the two fighters can negotiate the fight. That would be a pay-per-view event in the UK, believe it or not. Boxing fans would actually pay to see that fight, which is hard for me to understand. Bellew hasn’t even proven himself at cruiserweight by facing the truly best fighters, and he still hasn’t faced his #1 WBC mandatory challenger Mairis Briedis. Presumably, Bellew would be allowed to freeze his WBC cruiserweight title by the WBC so that he could move up and face Haye at heavyweight. Win or lose, Bellew would then be allowed to come back down and continue to defend his WBC cruiserweight title just as before.
“If Joseph Parker can get through Andy Ruiz, he will blast past David Haye in two or three rounds,” said Lonergan. “David Haye has no chance of fighting Joseph Parker. Should Joseph Parker defeat Andy Ruiz, we would love that fight. As far as we’re concerned, the winner of this fight will be fighting David Haye. My understanding is he is the mandatory. The [Parker vs. Ruiz] winner will face David Haye,” said Lonergan.
It sounds nice that Haye could fight the winner of the Parker-Ruiz fight, but I don’t see it happening in this lifetime. Are you kidding? With the kind of cash Haye can make fighting Joshua, do you honestly think he would risk his guaranteed payday by fighting the winner of the Parker vs. Ruiz fight? I don’t. Yeah, it would be a good move if Haye wanted to show ambition, because he would clearly make more money fighting Joshua if he had the WBO title in his possession. But I don’t think Haye wants to take the risk of fighting Ruiz and especially Parker in order to make that a reality. The chances of Haye losing to those guys are way too high for him to take the risk of facing them. I see Haye taking the soft road by taking a soft opponent in December, and then beating the brakes off of Bellew next March. From there, Haye will likely take another soft opponent later in 2017, and then waiting for the Joshua fight to take place in late 2017.
Haye would surprise me if he were to gamble on fighting Parker or Ruiz, because I see his whole reason for making a comeback to boxing so that he could get a payday fight against Joshua. Haye doesn’t strike me as wanting to take any risky fights before he gets his payday fight against Joshua. Once Haye loses to Joshua, I see him disappearing for three to four years before making another comeback to fight whoever is the top heavyweight at the time.