Now that WBC heavyweight champ Vitali Klitschko 43-2 (40) has dismantled former cruiserweight title holder Tomasz Adamek 44-2 (28), is there any doubt that he'll make his next defense against another undersized heavyweight and former cruiserweight title holder? I wouldn't bet against David Haye being Vitali's next opponent sometime before next summer. Haye no doubt, despite stinking the arena out this past July in a fight against Wladimir Klitschko, still possesses the mouth and charisma to sell himself to the boxing public one more time and land a big fight. Who knows, it may even be easier this time to sell since many boxing fans would love to see Haye absorb the perceived beating that Vitali would gladly and willingly administer him.
David Haye 25-2 (23) may have conned some into believing his injured little toe prevented him from pivoting and getting off against Wladimir in his last fight, but it's highly doubtful that the result was altered by Haye's injury. Luckily for Haye he was fighting the Klitschko who will leave you alone and play patty-cake back if you don't try to hurt or go after him. Vitali is a different guy. He likes to mix it up and tries to force his opponents to engage with him. He no doubt was pretty sure that Haye lacked a spine of steel before he fought his younger brother, Wladimir. After seeing him from ringside flop all over the place during the fight and do everything he could to avoid exchanging and fighting Wladimir, Vitali's confidence has most likely escalated even higher and he's certain he couldn't lose to Haye. And more than that, he'd relish punishing and making Haye look like a fool and coward.
It's difficult to fathom that Haye really believes himself that he has the mental toughness and physical skills needed to dethrone Klitschko. And once they got into the ring and Haye immediately sensed that Vitali not only has no fear or trepidation about fighting him, but in fact wants to take his head off – it's hard to get excited about the prospects of of Haye coming out on top.
For Klitschko, a fight with Haye next makes all the sense in the world. First of all, he'd make over 10 million dollars for the fight. Secondly, he no doubt feels he has a score to settle with Haye due to the way he and his brother were excoriated by Haye in the press over the last couple years. Not to mention that Vitali can't be satisfied with the way Haye's fight with Wladimir unfolded, and inside he believes that he can give Haye the working over he has coming to him by someone named Klitschko. And thirdly, Vitali is probably only going to fight two more times at the most. So why not fight an opponent who has name recognition and at the same time you probably own both mentally and strategically?
Before Klitschko fought Tomasz Adamek this past weekend he said, “David Haye has hurt our family again. Wladimir beat him in a big fight for the world title and I am very proud. Unfortunately, the right ending was missing and I would like to catch up to David Haye in the ring and put him in the dust.” Vitali is a tough guy and natural fighter. There's no doubt about it, Haye won't be able to feint and shoulder fake Vitali from coming him after like he did Wladimir.
It's sad that after going 12-rounds with Wladimir Klitschko, Haye hasn't changed a single mind that believed he had no intention of ever trying go after Wladimir and take him down. All he can say is that he didn't get knocked out and even managed to win a couple rounds. It'll be interesting to see if Vitali tries to make a fight with Haye and Haye accepts. If he did, I wouldn't be surprised. It's just that I believe it'll be more of a business decision than anything else. At least with Adamek I was confident that he was certain he'd beat Vitali, and more than that he'd give it his best effort.
In order for Haye to agree to a fight with the older Klitschko, the money will have to be like the betting odds, long. If there is a fight between the two of them down the road, I for one won't believe Haye's there to do anything but grab some attention and get paid. And I doubt I'm the only one.
Frank Lotierzo can be contacted at GlovedFist@Gmail.com