Home Boxing News Haye going to be a great? Hardly

Haye going to be a great? Hardly

So the word is out, David Haye wants to have just four more fights before retiring, should this be a sign of good things? Or bad? Well despite many of the little Hayeamaniacs™ claiming that his recent showing against John Ruiz was impressive and that he only needs to beat the Klitschko brothers to solidify himself as one of the greats, their claims are wrong. Haye with a current record of 24-1 (22) has had a swift rise to the top. Within seven and a half years as a boxer he has gone from amateur star to WBA heavyweight champion, having cleaned out the Cruiserweight division on the way there. Though when you look at his greatest wins they are all easy to pick apart:

aDecember 16th 2005 European Cruiserweight title fight (against Alexander Gurov)
Gurov went into the fight with a record of 38-4-1, a solid ledger and was blown out in just 45 seconds. Impressive right? Well yes and no, Gurov was 34 at the time had boxed just seven rounds in his previous four contests and they were against mainly nondescript opponents (the only one worth noting was Vincenzo Rossitto who had gotten injured in the fight) Gurov had been stopped four times previously in the previous 12 years and that included being stopped twice in European title fights.

April 27th 2007 “Debut” at Heavyweight (against Tomasz Bonin)
Haye’s first fight at heavyweight against Tomasz Bonin was actually his 4th above the 200lbs Cruiserweight limit. Like Gurov Bonin had a good looking record 37-1 though had also had the cracks over looked to make it look pretty. His only loss up to that point had come against Britain’s Audley Harrison in 9 rounds in 2004 and had since won the fringe IBC Heavyweight title. In the fight prior to facing Haye, Bonin had been decked by debutant Pavel Silvin in what would be Silvin’s only fight. Bonin was a fighter with around a 50% ratio against D class fighters and was never as impressive as his record had been made to look.

November 10th 2007 WBC/WBA Cruiserweight title fight (against Jean Marc Mormeck)
Although this is the fight that is often seen as Haye’s greatest win prior to becoming a fully blown heavyweight it’s also one that is flawed. Haye had gone over to Paris to fight the Frenchman who was 35, and was champion having taken the titles back from O’Neil Bell, a fighter who had had a messed up his training going in, (it had seen Bell chasing a sparring partner with an axe). Although Mormeck was regarded as the top fighter at the weight he was also there for the taking and was 33-3 going in (although two of the losses were early in his career). Moremeck was an impressive 6-1 in World title fights though his power wasn’t destructive (in fact it was less than 50% with only three stoppages in seven fights). In fact his last stoppage in a world title fight had come in 2003 against Gurov. Mormeck managed to deck Haye in the 4th round before being stopped. Although the win was a good one, Mormeck was an old man and never fought at Cruiserweight again (he took over two years out of the ring before returning in December 2009).

November 15th 2008 “Start of the campaign at Heavyweight” (against Monte Barrett)
After promising a top 10 fighter for much of the build up, Haye’s eventual opponent was the old, poor and small Heavyweight Monte Barrett. Barrett, like it seems to be the case for most Haye opponents was in the later part of his career, in fact he was 37 and he was 3-3 and has since not won a fight. The fight failed to sell tickets to the expected rate (with them being offered at a 2 for 1 prior to the fight) and Barrett had almost defeated himself whilst trying to get into the ring. The way Haye beat Barrett was scrappy, and although he kept decking Monte he seemed unable to really put him down for the count with his early onslaughts. The the Hayeamaniacs ™ would tell you this was impressive, but Barrett was stopped in two rounds next time out by Odlanier Solis and has now been stopped five times in 43 fights.

November 7th 2009 “WBA” Heavyweight title fight (against Nikolai Valuev)
How Valuev ended up with the title is a mystery that only the minds at the possibly corrupt WBA know the answer to, though lets try and explain.Valuev out pointed WBA charity case John Ruiz in December 2005 to win the title. After making 3 defences he would be out pointed by Ruslan Chagaev. Valuev won an eliminator for the WBA title by out pointing Sergey Lyakhovich who had lost in his previous fight. Chagaev had to pull out of a rematch with an injury and a rematch was rescheduled, this time it being called off due to medical reasons regarding Chagaev’s blood.

Valuev would again beat Ruiz, this time for the “Vacant” WBA title. A rematch was again cancelled due to medical problems (Chagaev had been diagnosed with Hepatitis B) This left the WBA With 2 champions, instead of stripping the man who was effectively an interim champion they stripped the “True” champion. Valuev was now the champion and his first defence was against Evander Holyfield, who many had felt had won the fight. (Sports Illustrated had it 118-110 to Holyfield whilst ESPN had it 1177-112 to Holyfield)

The result of the Holyfield fight had lead Dan Rafael to go as far as to say, “Valuev’s credibility as a titleholder is nonexistent. Why would anyone pay 10 cents to see him fight again, especially against somebody such as Wladimir or Vitali Klitschko? His nonperformance has reduced him to a joke.”

So when Haye went over to Germany and out scored the gigantic but dire Valuev it was hard to give Haye any real credit for the win. Even harder when he spent most of the fight on the back foot and punch stat figures (found on Boxingscene for what it’s worth) showed Haye throwing a mere 143 over twelve rounds (landing 98). Haye therefore threw 12.25 punches a round, hardly the work rate of an exciting fighter, especially due to the limitations of the “joke” that is Valuev.

April 3rd 2009 First defence of the WBA title (against John Ruiz)

Though again the Hayeamaniacs™ would declare this as exciting and excellent they are only half right. As far as heavyweight fights go it was exciting and Haye was impressive dropping Ruiz twice in the first round, once inside the opening seconds, before stopping him on his feet. Though the second knock down was counted, Haye was later penalised for rabbit punches, something he was guilty of through out the fight. Although Haye’s speed dominated the fight he seemed to be blowing hard in his corner for many of the rounds and seemed genuinely tired looking.

The result was praised by many for the fact that Haye had stopped Ruiz, though lets look at it with a twist. Ruiz was 38, not particularly fast and despite having not been stopped since 1996 he had also never faced a genuine KO puncher since 1996. Yes Ruiz was a genuine Heavyweight fighter though, like Barrett was old, well past his best and nothing that good to begin with.

So despite everyone proclaiming Haye as the next great heavyweight, if he intends to have just four more fights the best he could do is retire 28-1 and still not have proven himself. Despite the names of both Klitschko’s being talked about fighting Vitali would merely add more weight to fact Haye picks on the greying older fighters, Vitali turns 39 in July of this year. Sadly the Hayeamaniacs™ will hate this, but it looks like Haye intends to avoid anyone who may peak as a heavyweight when he does and instead stick to older fighters. So well done David, get out before Pulev, Helenius or Boystov get to their peak. What next, Holyfield? Hopkins?

Also note Haye’s manager Adam Booth has mentioned Tomasz Adamek as a future opponent. Although it’s an exciting proposition it’s got to be noted Adamek is a 33 year old who was a former Light Heavyweight champion and isn’t a true heavyweight at the moment having fought just twice there. Hayeamaniacs™ may have gotten on to the right guy, but if he intends to run away from the sport in the next 36 months he’s doing exactly the wrong thing.


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