David Haye vs. the Klitschkos: Who's the Better Choice, Wladimir or Vitali?

Tony BriscoeCorrespondent IJanuary 7, 2011

David Haye looks to fight either Vitali or Wladimir Klitschko before he retires on his birthday, October 11.
David Haye looks to fight either Vitali or Wladimir Klitschko before he retires on his birthday, October 11.Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

It’s not Ali versus Frazier or Tyson versus Holyfield, but the heavyweight division might actually see a quality match now that the Klitschko brothers are giving WBA title holder David Haye (25-1, 23 KOs) his choice of which one of them he wants to fight.


Haye’s choice between the two world champion siblings is about as easy as choosing between wrestling an alligator or taming a wild tiger.


Both brothers wield incredible punching power.


Wladimir (55-3, 49 KOs) has knocked out more than 84 percent of his opponents, while 88 percent of the fighters who got in the ring with Vitali (41-2, 38 KOs) were pounded into submission.


Although Vitali may have a higher knockout percentage, he is currently ranked second in the world in the heavyweight division behind Wladimir, who is more widely regarded as the better boxer.


Wlad’s most notable victories have been against Eddie Chambers, Sultan Ibragimov, Chris Byrd and Calvin Brock.


As of late, it appears as if Vitali Klitschko, the older of the two brothers, will be the more probable selection for Haye, since Wladimir will face off against Dereck Chisora (14-0, 9 KOs) April 30.


Assuming that Haye wants to keep his reputation as a heavyweight champ intact, Vitali would also be a more likely candidate considering his age. Vitali is 39 years old, and no offense to “Dr. Ironfist”, but his skills have diminished.


He’s not the fighter that he once was, and Haye could exploit this actuality if they square off this year.


Nonetheless, Haye will be a big underdog due to a combination of the Klitschko brothers’ devastating power and his utter lack of defense.


If Haye wants to have success against either Wlad or Vitali, he will need to box on the outside and use his speed to be elusive against the imminent physical attack he will be confronted with.


A significant factor in determining which Klitschko brother Haye will fight will be how hungry Haye is, nearing the end of his career.


Haye has been largely criticized for ducking both Klitschkos thus far in his career, and if he simply wants another win to cap off his career (although it’s definitely not guaranteed), I believe he will fight Vitali because it’s a safer fight.


Regardless of what is to come, Haye has stated that he will retire on his birthday, October 11, whether he faces either Ukrainian sibling or not.


The heavyweight division has undoubtedly suffered the most out of every class in boxing.


There are no all-time greats. No Iron Mikes, No Alis, but maybe Haye’s next fight will be a bright spot in grim times for the heavyweight class, and boxing overall.