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Against Wladimir, Haye Might Not Even Be As Competitive As Chambers Was

BY Frank Lotierzo ON March 24, 2010
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Now that Wladimir Klitschko 54-3 (48) has disposed of another top heavyweight contender who thought they'd come up with an infallible fight plan, the heavyweight division will next turn it's attention to the David Haye-John Ruiz WBA title clash on April 3rd. As most boxing observers know, Haye, who holds the WBA title, had fights lined up with both Wladimir and Vitali Klitschko before pulling out to fight WBA title holder Nikolay Valuev in November of last year. Valuev was the least formidable heavyweight in the world who held a major title. It also must be noted that that was a great move on Haye's part strategically and from a business perspective. One thing that can't be disputed is David Haye fully grasps the business side of professional boxing.

Haye, age 29, went on to win a majority decision over the massive Russian and if he can beat the always tough and durable Ruiz in less than two weeks, Haye versus either Klitschko would actually be a heavyweight fight that some fight fans might even walk across the street to watch. However, David Haye 23-1 (21) must now show that he's as good in the ring as he is at hyping and selling a fight. Haye wasn't impressive at all against Valuev and needs a good showing versus John Ruiz 44-8-1 (30) to bolster the interest in him as a legitimate threat to either one of the Klitschkos.

Last weekend Wladimir Klitschko knocked out top American contender Eddie Chambers with five seconds left in the 12th round with a single left-hook to the head after dominating the previous 11 rounds of their fight in Düsseldorf, Germany. Klitschko didn't do a whole lot to endear himself to fight fans outside of the Ukraine and Germany for a majority of the bout. But he fought his fight - and like he's been doing since he beat Samuel Peter five years ago, he shut Chambers down and looked impressive after being excoriated by trainer Emanuel Steward during the later rounds of the fight. Finally, after using his jab offensively and defensively to dictate the tempo, Wladimir fought with a sense of urgency and put Chambers away in a very devastating fashion.

When Klitschko, age 33, was asked about what his future plans were, he said, "My next fight has got to be against Povetkin, my mandatory challenger, and the only thing that will get between that is a unification fight with Haye. Me and Vitali have to fight between ourselves to see who fights Haye and that's the hardest bit about it. The fight with Haye will be the easy bit."

Apparently Wladimir Klitschko feels he owes it to himself to knock David Haye out.

Klitschko's words seem to be a bit more animated than normal and after being taunted by Haye through the media and his trainer during his fight with Chambers, maybe he's on the verge of fighting with a chip on shoulder for the first time in his career. It's doubtful the complacent Klitschko we're used to seeing will be the fighter who opposes David Haye if they ever meet.

"He believes he is such a smart ass. He has promoted himself very smartly, but we need to see some action from him. Action speaks louder than words and right now he is a loser because he bitched out twice - me and then Vitali. Let us finish the talk and lets fight. It is boring now," said Klitschko.

Again, language we've never heard spoken by Wladimir and it appears he's seething for a fight with David Haye. And based on Haye not getting within ten feet of Valuev during their fight, is it plausible to believe he'll go after Wladimir or Vitali if he fights either one of them? No. Some will argue that Haye was a solid boxer, aggressive and a big puncher during his days as a cruiserweight. And they'd get no argument here. But in his biggest fight as a heavyweight he stunk the place out and landed one memorable lottery punch in the last round.

The Klitchkos are completely different fighters than Nikolay Valuev. Everyone reading this understands as a fighter they do everything in the ring better than Valuev - including using their size and weight. They both hit harder and posses a more varied offense. It's doubtful Haye would even cause Vitali to change the expression on his face if he nailed him with his Sunday punch. In regards to Wladimir, Haye would fight with too much trepidation and his instincts to survive would take over once Wlad touched him a few times to his chest with a couple of hard jabs. Wladimir's jab would stymie Haye psychologically as well as offensively and defensively.

Eddie Chambers is faster and a better boxer than David Haye and as a heavyweight appears to be more willing, aside from his last fight with Wladimir Klitschko. And he couldn't deal with Wlad's jab and the threat of his right hand coming behind it, and look how the fight ended, he was knocked out by his left hook because he was paralyzed by the threat of the right hand.

If the boxing world is counting on David Haye to interrupt the reign of heavyweight dominance by team Klitschko, they better look to someone else instead. David is just too chinny and fights with more fear and cautiousness than Wladimir ever did based on Haye's showing against Valuev in his signature heavyweight fight. Oh sure, perhaps he might catch lightning in a bottle and nail Wladimir with something big and shake him real good and maybe get him out, but I'd bet after Klitschko walked him down a few times in the early rounds, Haye would be consumed more with not getting hit than hitting.

Only time will bear this out one way or the other. But if the 38 year-old Ruiz doesn't become an old man on the night of April 3rd, Haye isn't a given to win the fight. Perhaps if Haye is impressive and stops Ruiz, he deserves a second look. Then again despite Ruiz's physical strength being underrated by most fight fans, John probably doesn't intimidate Haye, therefore David will fight probably try and assert himself when they meet.

But until he steps into the ring with either Wladimir or Vitali Klitschko and we find out if his fist can cash the check his mouth has been writing for nearly a year, David Haye hasn't shown that a fight with either Klitschko will end any differently for him as it has for past challengers. And he'll just cash his check and go home like the rest.

Frank Lotierzo can be contacted at GlovedFist@Gmail.com

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