It has been a long while since the boxing community was excited about a heavyweight bout. Ever since the Klitschko brothers took over the division, things slowed down to a halt, and the potential of a high energy fight has been diminished to a speck of hope.
The giants in Vitali and Wladimir have been uncontrollably dominating the scene, and either due to the lack of competition or to their less than exciting fighting styles (more Wladimir than Vitali) they have tucked the heavyweight division under the radar.
After much hesitation, speculation, drama, and media aggravation, a decent heavyweight bout is less than a month away. On July 2, Hamburg will host the long awaited match between Wladimir Klitschko (55-3-0) and David Haye (25-1-0). Germany will host, but I am confident that the British fans will fill the arena on fight night in support of Haye.
To be perfectly honest, I am a fan of the Klitschko brothers. I remember a long time ago, before they made a splash in America, I used to say that they would never get anywhere in boxing. I thought they were too mechanical and unnatural.
As Larry Merchant once said, “he moves like a construction crane.” In a way, they still move like cranes, but boy have they improved and found a way to use their size to their optimal advantage.
I have recently taken a bit of time to watch more of Haye’s bouts, and I have to say that I was impressed with his abilities. He has quick hands, decent head movement, and can definitely move quickly on his feet. Moving up to heavyweight, he seemed to have kept many of his Cruiserweight attributes, which makes him a dangerous fighter in the heavyweight division, where most fighters tend to be slower.
Both men have impressive knockout percentages as well as records. Still, looking at this fight, I am not seeing much potential for a Haye victory.
A lot of boxing fans on various forums claim that Haye will annihilate Wlad. They post videos of the Lamon Brewster and Corrie Sanders knockouts of Wlad, trying to predict what will happen to him.
Are they trying to compare Haye to either Brewster or Sanders? If so, this is a bad way of making their point. Since those days, Wlad is a completely re-molded fighter, and would rid of either man with no trouble if he faced them today.
For Haye, it’s getting closer to Wlad that will prove to be torturous. I believe that if Haye can get inside and land a few on Wlad’s suspect chin, he will drop the giant Ukrainian. The question is, how will he do this? Wlad has improved his defense as well as his capability of moving back, making his chin a distant target. His jab, well, we all know about that.
Can Haye walk through Wlad’s jab to get to inside? I don’t know. Being that Haye has never fought anyone like Wlad, the answer does not favor Haye. Wlad, on the other hand, has fought a slick fighter before, and was able to dictate the pace and land his rare, yet existent, right hands.
I can see Haye trying to leap in and chase Wlad around the ring, as Wlad moves back and clinches when they get too close for comfort. Between that and Haye hitting the floor, Wlad should be landing jabs throughout the fight however long it goes.
One thing I have just noticed after watching his fights, as most of you probably already know, is that Haye tends to leave himself completely open when he throws his punches; his inactive arm drop almost to his waist when he is on the offense. This will be noticed and taken advantage of by Emanuel Steward, with Wlad countering with left hooks and jabs whenever Haye fires away.
I am very excited to see this fight finally happen. I’m only hoping that both fighters come prepared and don't fall into any traps too fast, giving us some time to enjoy what we all hope to see: an action filled bout.