The best American heavyweight versus the best British heavyweight. Two fighters who enter the ring with the same intentions—to seek and destroy.
What would make this fight so compelling is that both men have huge power and are not without their defensive flaws.
Apologies to my British friends, but Haye can be a bit wild with his punches. And sorry my American compatriots but Arreola is defensively challenged. He is about as evasive as a lamppost.
And raw power mixed with openings created by either wildness or lack of movement adds up to a knockout.
Both men have good boxing skills honed in notable amateur careers. Haye was a silver medalist at the World Amateur Boxing Championships in 2001 where, after giving Cuban legend Odlanier Solis a standing eight count, lost via third round TKO.
For those unfamiliar with Solis, he is an Olympic gold medalist and three-time world amateur champion who has never lost in any type of world tournament.
Arreola had an amateur career consisting of approximately 200 fights and won the U.S. National Golden Gloves tournament in 2001.
So who would win?
Arreola, despite the fact that he gets hit early and often, is like a freight train that never stops coming. He absorbs punishment and finds a way to dole it back out. He is 26-0 as a pro with 23 knockouts. Actually only one of his bouts has even gone to a decision, and that was fifteen fights ago. His other two wins were by disqualification.
But he’s never faced anyone with the combination of quickness and power that Haye possesses.
Haye has used his hand speed and sharp, powerful punching to knock out 21 of his 23 opponents. His lone loss was by TKO to 40-year old Carl Thompson as a Cruiserweight back in 2004. After unloading everything he had on Thompson’s head for nearly five rounds, Thompson turned the tide and began battering Haye, causing his corner to throw in the towel near the end of the round.
So the questions are, would Arreola be able to withstand the quicker Haye’s assault until he could land meaningful punches of his own? And if and when he did, how would Haye react to them?
This is a fight that’s almost too close to call. It may come down to who has the tougher beard.
My feeling is that, in a fight resembling a World War II tank battle, Haye would be just a bit too quick for Arreola to deal with. I can’t imagine this fight going the distance, so after dealing with some adversity, I see Haye winning by stoppage sometime in the middle rounds.
But when two bombers like these step into the ring, anything could happen.
And I sure would like to see it if it does.