Reports are surfacing that a fight between David Haye and Vitali Klitschko could be in the cards. The two could meet as early as March 2012.
While many may view this as yet another boring heavyweight fight including a Klitschko, in fact this has the potential to be one of the best heavyweight bouts in years.
Both men need this fight. Haye doesn't want to end his career in the fashion he did against Wladimir. If Haye could beat Vitali, he could retire having beaten one of the most dominant heavyweights of all time and as heavyweight champion of the world.
Vitali needs the fight so that he can retire having beaten genuine challengers to his crown. Ever since he was thwarted by a horrific cut in his bid to beat Lennox Lewis, Vitali has struggled to find worthy opponents to beat. By beating Arreola, Adamek and then Haye, no one could deny that Klitschko had beaten the best that the division had to offer.
When it was announced that Haye would meet Vitali's brother Wladimir last year, it quickly became the most impressive heavyweight matchup in years. In hindsight it was a build-up that the fight could not rise to.
Perhaps I am falling into the same trap, but on paper Vitali makes for a much more interesting fight with Haye than Wlad ever did.
In his prime, Vitali would destroy Haye. Klitschko's height and power mean that he has to be considered as one of the toughest big men to beat in history. The best heavyweights from any era would struggle with the Ukrainian.
However in 2012, Vitali will not be in his prime. At 40 years of age, it is no surprise that Vitali doesn't have the greatest movement in the division. Yet no one in the division has been able to expose this.
Since his comeback in 2008, Klitschko's opponents have all looked out of shape or been past their prime. The notable exception would be Vitali's last fight against another former cruiserweight in Thomas Adamek.
Vitali's demolition of Adamek showed that he remains a top fighter, but Adamek lacks the pace of Haye. There were chinks in Vitali's armour and Haye may be the only man in the division with the tools to expose them.
Meanwhile Vitali has far more potential than his brother to knock Haye out, something many boxing fans would relish.
In 43 wins, Klitschko has a stunning 40 knockouts. If Haye fights as he did against Wlad, more than likely fans will be treated to a knockout.
Haye needs to calm down the smack talk. Before the Wlad fight, the majority of fans found his antics annoying. If Haye was to repeat them against Vitali, it would just be embarrassing. The Wlad fight was overshadowed by the hype, with tales of negotiations falling apart and each side blaming each other.
Vitali appears to want to bypass this, and has said that he will lower his pay demands to ensure that the fight happens.
This could benefit Haye, who needs to spend his time focusing on his opponent, rather than defaming him. He needs to swallow his pride and say that this fight is the time to make amends for his last fight. Rather than attacking Vitali, Haye needs to focus on himself.
After the turgid show he put on against Wlad, many may say that Haye doesn't deserve another shot at the title. However one loss shouldn't destroy a career and Haye remains the biggest threat to the Klitschko's.
There are other names in the heavyweight division who some might argue deserve the chance more, but do any of them have better tools to beat Klitschko than Haye?
For Tyson Fury it would be too much, too soon and he would be knocked out by Vitali. Klitschko has far more power than Fury's last opponent, Neven Pajkic, who knocked Fury down in the second round.
Another potential name is Robert Helenius. The Finn is definitely a potential challenger to the Klitschkos and could be in the ring with one of the brothers sooner rather than later. He just doesn't have the stature or following of Haye and will have to wait for his chance.
A few more fights (starting with Derek Chisora on Dec. 3) will do Helenius good. With only 16 fights under his belt so far, a Klitschko might be asking too much.
Do you agree that this has the potential to be one of the best heavyweight fights in years? If not, who would you rather see fight Vitali? Comment below.
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