Haye wants to drag out Bellew fight for as long as possible
By Jim Dower: David Haye doesn’t plan on trying to knockout Tony Bellew right away on Saturday night. Haye says he wants to drag it out for as long as it can go before he gets him out of there in their rematch at the O2 Arena in London, UK.
Haye (28-3, 26 KOs) wants avenge his loss from a year ago against Bellew (29-2-1, 19 KOs) on March 24, 2017. That was a fight where Haye was not physically and mentally prepared for the style that Bellew brought to the ring, which was a defensive style. Haye wasn’t helped that he suffered a torn Achilles in the 6th. That injury compounded Haye’s problems, although he was still surprisingly competitive in the fight even while hobbling around on one leg.
”I am looking and bringing this fight as long as it can go,” Haye said to skysports.com. ”Normally, I look to close the show quickly but, this time, I will drag it out as Tony can stand up.”
It could be that Haye is trying not to put himself under mental pressure by saying that he doesn’t want to try and KO Bellew in the early rounds when in fact he probably does want to. Haye telling the boxing fans that he doesn’t want to knockout Bellew in the early part of the fight is a method for him to get pressure off him.
If Haye is serious about wanting to frag the fight into the deeper rounds, then he’s got a very good chance of accomplishing that goal, because Bellew was reluctant to attack him in the first five rounds last year in March due to his powerful jab attacking him repeatedly on the way in.
Haye isn’t saying that he wants to drag it out in order to torture Bellew, but it sounds like that. Bellew doesn’t have the reach or the jab to compete with Haye on an even playing field if he stays at range like he did in their previous fight. Bellew will need to get close enough to land his short left hooks and right hands for him to do well. Bellew does well when his opponents foolishly backup against the ropes the way that Illunga Makabu did in tier fight
“I’ve been world champion for 10 years on and off. I want to get back there. I need to right this wrong. He’s going for repeat, I’m going for revenge,” Haye said.
Haye should forget about thinking about winning another world title right now, and put his thoughts more on just trying to get past the 34-year-old Bellew. You have to crawl before you can walk. It’s not exactly a great sign that Haye was struggling badly against a fighter like Bellew the last time he fought. This is a guy that Haye should have been able to destroy without any problems if he had had the talent enough to win a world title at heavyweight.
Bellew wouldn’t be competitive against the heavyweight champions Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder. Haye barely getting the edge over Bellew in the first five rounds last year in their fight in March suggests that he doesn’t have the skills right now for him to win a world champion. Unfortunately for Haye, this might be as good as it gets for him at age 37. When a fighter gets old, inactive and dealing with injury and problems like Haye has since 2012, they lose a lot from their game.
Haye stopped fighting a lot starting in 2009 after he got a good payday in beating World Boxing Association heavyweight champion Nikolay Value by a close 12 round majority decision. Some boxing fans think Haye’s career slowed down at that point because tasted big money for the first time in his career, and he stared to enjoy the money. Whatever the case, Haye fought less frequently from 2009. Here is Haye’s ring activity level since 2009:
• 2009 – Nikolay Value
• 2010: John Ruiz + Audley Harrison
• 2011 – Wladimir Klitschko
• 2012 – Dereck Chisora
• 2013 – Inactive
• 2014 – Inactive
• 2015 – Inactive
• 2016 – Mark de Mori + Arnold Gjergjaj
• 2017 – Tony Bellew
In the last nine years of Haye’s career, he’s only fought twice in one year in two of the years in 2010 and 2016. Haye didn’t fight at all from 2012 to 2015. In 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2017, Haye fought just once. Haye’s deteriorated boxing skills are consistent with him not being active enough for the last 9 years. If you take any fighter and have him fight as seldom as Haye has in the last nine years, they’re not going to be the same fighter, and they’re going to have problems when they face good opposition as Haye did against Bellew. It doesn’t matter that Bellew isn’t as good as most of the top 15 heavyweights and cruiserweights in those divisions. Haye being a part time fighter for the last 9 years of his career has finally caught up to him and now he’s having problems, wishing he could get back his lost youth that he left behind over 3000 yesterday’s ago.
Haye needs to have a backup plan that he can use if he suffers another back injury during the fight. As fragile as Haye is, he could blow out a shoulder, Achilles, knee, elbow or suffer a bad cut. Haye breaks down too easily, and he can’t be counted on to stay healthy for a full 12 round fight without suffering some kind of physical problem. That might be the reason why Haye is saying that he wants to drag the fight out as long as possible. Haye might be worried that he’ll suffer a bad injury if he fights at a fast pace against Bellew on Saturday night. If Haye has an undisclosed injury from his training camp, then it’s not surprising that he would want to fight at as slow a pace as possible. Haye might not be able to fight at a fast pace.
“It’s been horrible. Do you know Bellew’s personality? He’s rubbed it in. I cannot allow that to happen again,” Haye said.
Bellew didn’t look good enough for a lot of boxing fans to have gotten on his bandwagon. If Bellew had been more aggressive and impressive, then the boxing fans would have been more excited about his career and potential since his fight with Haye. I think most boxing fans think Bellew only won because of Haye’s Achilles injury. Bellew didn’t help himself look better by his decision to sit outside of the ring for the last 13 months. Bellew should have gotten back in action and took on one of the top contenders at heavyweight or cruiserweight and shown that he’s a relevant fighter and not someone just looking for a payday against the ring rusty Haye.