It may well be time to switch up the scouting report on David Haye. Best not to concentrate too much on his power, and that nickname, "Hayemaker." The Brit is in fact a clever boxer, and he showed it all night long against John Ruiz at Manchester Arena in Manchester, England on Saturday evening. Haye had Ruiz down in the first, fifth and sixth, moved adroitly, never lost his obsessive focus, and was never in a hint of trouble. The Ruiz corner threw in the towel at 2:01 of the ninth, having seen their man absorb one too many right hands from Haye, in his first title defense.
WBA champion Haye (from London; 23-1, 21 KOs coming in; former unified cruiserweight champion) weighed 221 pounds, while Ruiz (residing in Las Vegas; 44-8-1 with 1 NC, 30 KOs entering; No. 1 in WBA; two time WBA heavyweight champion) was 231 pounds at the weigh in. We could well have seen the last of Ruiz, who wasn't able to slip Haye's launches as well as he used to be able to. At 38, it may be time to hang on to this final payday, and proudly call it a career.
Ruiz came out hard, but hit the deck fifteen seconds in, off a right hand, after a jab. He shook off the buzz, and Haye banged him with a rabbit punch, and had a point taken away right after. In the second, Ruiz had his legs under him. He stalked the Brit, who backed up, and picked his spots. Haye looked comfortable and loose. He stayed in motion, and made Ruiz follow him, two steps behind. Haye's hard jab got Ruiz' nose bloody in the third. Jawny didn't clinch, I'm happy to report, and did manage to fire off multiple jabs and right follows a few times. Ruiz ate a couple flush rights on the kisser, but stayed erect. In the fourth, Haye took it easy. He shuffled left, steering clear of Ruiz' right. The challenger didn't cut off the ring as perhaps he should've, and for too much of the time, Haye was dictating tempo.
In the fifth, a one-two hurt Ruiz, and a rabbit punch finished the hurting, sending him to the mat at the tail end of the round. More rabbit punches sent Ruiz down in the next round as well. Ruiz may have been looking to get a point deduction. At the end of the round, Haye hit Ruiz behind the head again. Why wasn't Ruiz fighting fire with fire? Analyst Jim Watt, the ex fighter, dismissed the fouls, saying "they aren't heavy anyway." Ruiz' cornerman Miguel Diaz threatened to pull the plug if Jawny didn't pick it up. In the seventh, Ruiz at least stayed on his feet. He didn't inflict any damage, as Haye stayed smart and focused all the way through. In the eighth, Ruiz hung in but didn't do much. Same in the ninth, and after Ruiz got backed into the ropes, his corner tossed in the towel.
Come back for Ron Borges' detailed ringside report.
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV