I admired David Haye's ability to talk himself into a fortune, and I even admired his decision to take the money and run. But now he sounds like an idiot. Haye had a chance to endear himself to a lot of boxing fans if only he attempted to back up his words when he fought Wladimir Klitschko in his last bout. Sadly, he showed he's no different than any other heavyweight to challenge either Wladimir or Vitali Klitschko. In other words can't beat'em, won't try. Now his only chance to redeem himself is to act like a fool and become public enemy number one so the fans want to see him get the beating they feel he has coming to him.
As most boxing fans know former cruiserweight/heavyweight title holder David Haye recently retired on his 31st birthday. His plan is to go into acting and become an action hero star in the UK. This is plausible being that he's a nice looking guy with a good build who's capable of expressing himself. But he's hinted in his biography that he'd return to the ring if he could get another fight with one of the Klitschkos.
In his biography, Haye 25-2 (23) admits he simply retired from fighting anyone without the Klitschko surname. And speaking at the book’s launch, he said: ‘Only time will tell whether the Klitschkos need me more than I need them.'
Only in today's upside-down world could such a laughable statement like that be made with a straight face. It's so apparently obvious that the former heavyweight title holder doesn't want to fight and is only interested in scoring another big payday against Wladimir or Vitali Klitschko. The problem for Haye is, he put forth such a dismal effort against Wladimir this past summer, nobody wants to see him fight the bigger and more formidable Klitschko, Vitali. I mean how many times can fans sit through watching heavyweight title bouts that make Mike Tyson vs. “Bonecrusher” Smith look like Larry Holmes vs. Ken Norton? Granted, Wladimir didn't win any fans over with his “jab and look to see what Haye will try effort.” But he owns the title and the onus was on Haye to go get it. Not only did he not do that, he proceeded to blame a broken pinkie toe on his performance after the fight.
When Haye speaks of the Klitschkos possibly needing him more than the opposite, he's out of his mind. Neither brother needs David Haye. They can both continue marching to their own beat and drummer. They sell out in Germany whenever they fight, not to mention pocket huge paydays. In fact Wladimir just signed to fight another former cruiserweight title holder, Jean Marc Mormeck, who couldn't beat Haye when they met in 2007. Who was clamoring for that? Nobody. However, Wladimir will pocket another nice pay check and probably notch his 50th knockout victory.
On the other hand, why fight David Haye if you're close to getting a fight with one of the Klitschkos? He's a very skilled 215 pound fighter with a big right hand. He's dangerous and a threat to win at anytime in between the first and 12th rounds. The only catch is, other than getting paid for the fight, beating him doesn't necessarily net you much. He doesn't own a title belt and his career is mostly defined by his three year media war with the Klitschkos. That and the one night he came up real small when he finally stepped into the ring and challenged a tentative Wladimir, who he made look almost fearless if you didn't know better.
'If they want a tough challenge you’d think they’d beat down my door. If they want guaranteed easy victories then they can do what they've always done,' he's said.
Perhaps David Haye's living in suspended reality. His fight against Wladimir was nothing more than a 12-round sparring session. Like “Bonecrusher” Smith against Tyson, Haye finally cut loose in the last round and landed something meaningful, which had Wladimir looking shaky for a moment. Other than that, Haye was a monumental disappointment during the fight. Yet, he throws it out there that if either brother wants a tough challenge, they'll beat his door down. Interesting, because based on his showing against Wladimir, I think Vitali would fight Haye in a winner take all bout.
David Haye at one time was perceived to be a fighter who could bring some much needed excitement into the heavyweight division. However, all that went down the drain when he showed up on fight night against Wladimir Klitschko and fought to survive and not to win. Sure, he was shrewd in the way he hyped the fight, but his performance left a bad taste in the mouths of all the fans that were pumped to see it. Right now he's just an empty wagon making noise and trying to position himself for one more payday. It's impossible to take David Haye seriously as a fighter. And he has no shot at getting a fight with Vitali Klitschko without incorporating some Floyd Mayweather into his persona.
In order for David Haye to get back into the Klitschko sweepstakes, he'll have to put on the black hat like Mayweather, and start saying some outlandish things and really get ugly. That will inspire Vitali to want to fight him and by then fans will want to see Haye whipped so bad that they'll become interested in the fight. But other than going on a nasty campaign against the Klitschkos again, he has no game.
With nothing else going on in the heavyweight division it would probably go over. It worked once, maybe it'll work again.
Frank Lotierzo can be contacted at GlovedFist@Gmail.com