From the heart of London, England comes power-punching cruiserweight David Haye, a 14-1 bloke with 14 stoppage wins, all coming in four rounds or less. At just 25 years of age, Haye and may be one of the top prospects emerging from Europe’s hottest division.
It is well knows that the cruiserweight division has largely been stagnant for many years stateside, and aside from O’Neil Bell (25-1-1) and Steve Cunningham (18-0), there doesn’t appear to be much hope on the horizon. Over in Europe, however, the sub-200 pound division looks to have a bright future with England’s Haye, 24 years old, 20-year-old German Marco Huck (11-0-0) and 24-year-old Polish cruiser Krzystof Wlodarczyk (33-1) leading the pack. At the age of 26 years, untested Russian Grigory Drozd (22-0) could be added to that mix of youngsters looking to take over from an aging group of cruiserweight crowns.
France’s 33-year-old Jean-Marc Mormeck currently controls both the WBC and WBA belts after his April win over Wayne Braithwaite, while 38-year old Johnny Nelson lays claim to the WBO crown. Panamanian Guillermo Jones, 33, owns several pseudo titles and put himself inline for a WBA championship shot with a surprisingly easy stoppage of Braithwaite. Also amongst the aging rulers is 34-year-old Ukranian Alexander Gurov, the current European Cruiserweight (EBU) titleholder, who must now face the young lion David Haye, thanks to Haye’s recent destruction of Vincenzo Rossitto (now 30-4-2) earlier this month.
As David Haye steps up in competition we will have the opportunity to learn more and more about the 6’3” prospect, as he has yet to go past five rounds despite meeting some decent competition. His first true test came in September last year when he learnt a valuable lesson in defeat to Carl Thompson when he challenged for the IBO championship. In his first professional loss, Haye came out like a bull facing a matador, trying to take his veteran opponent out in a most impressive manner. Instead, as is often the case, Haye was picked off coming in as the cagey southpaw Thompson stopped the Londoner before the fifth round came to a close. Thompson (33-6) had been stopped in five of his six losses and Haye seemed to go after the knockout as opposed to letting it come naturally. It was a lesson learned for the youngster who has gone on to win four consecutive bouts since that loss, including impressive second round stoppage victories over both Glen Kelly (31-3-1) and the Italian Rossitto.
The always superb looking Haye has made good on his vow to not repeat the foolish charge he made at Thompson and thus set up his next obstacle against Alexander Gurov. The bout, set to take place in London this December, will be for the EBU cruiserweight title and a most dangerous match for the local boy.
In Gurov, Haye will meet another veteran like Thompson, who also happens to be a southpaw and packs a heavy punch of his own. With a 38-4-1 professional slate and 33 KO victories, Gurov has also been stopped in each of his losses, which may tempt the eager and hard-hitting Haye once more. Patience will be a virtue as the Londoner makes another title challenge attempt to stake his claim as Europe’s top young contender.
Against Rossitto, he showed all the elements of an effective attack, using a purposeful jab to set up his heavy right, left hook and uppercut, and he even put together a body attack that took the will out of his Italian foe. When an effective one-two sent the former Italian champ reeling, the newly disciplined Haye didn’t rush in to be hammered by a counter; instead he waited for his opportunity and took full advantage, dropping Rossitto with a huge right that ended the night.
This was not a fighter who was hell-bent on taking his opponent out early, yet it happened nonetheless.
The new look of the cruiserweight division is filled with young power punching princes looking to end the recent reign of the kings who have of late ruled the division. Top among those challengers is London-born David Haye who has turned the lights out early on 14 of his 15 opponents to start his short career.
Current crowns must sleep uneasy these days: a youthful rebellion is underway and David Haye is leading the way.