I wrote an article in May pointing out the 5 reasons why I thought David Haye could beat Wladimir Klitschko and said, in the comments, that I would be happy to admit I was wrong if Klitschko won. Well, I’m not just happy, I’m ecstatic.
Klitschko produced a boxing performance for the ages. He showed that his ramrod left hand is the best tool in heavyweight boxing and possibly the best jab in the history of the marquee division. He dominated Haye from first to last, landed more punches and dealt with the best Haye had to offer with movement that belied his size and also rarely looked troubled.
Klitschko should never again have to answer questions about his quality, desire or devotion to the sport. He showed, in the words of Teddy Atlas, boxing 101. Set yourself in the centre of the ring, box off the jab, throw the right where possible and wear down your opponent so all of his tools are blunter than a butter knife that has been through the dishwasher 2000 times.
Haye looked destroyed after the decision. The grim realization that his best was nowhere near good enough to topple the chairman of the heavyweight board was writ large across his face. He had felt the jab, showed he could take a big right hand on the chin but also had no answer for the technical superiority of Dr Steelhammer.
All the bunkum regarding his broken toe also showed what many think, that Haye has a lack of class. Barry McGuigan, a man who knows a thing or two about big fights, said afterwards that Haye and Adam Booth were talking absolute nonsense. Never has a truer word been spoken.
Booth and Haye were so sure that their strategy would prove conclusive that they don’t just need to hit the drawing board, more have an honest chat about how the hyperbole and hate failed hugely.
I don’t feel sorry for Haye, he talked the talked but failed to walk the all important walk. Broken toe or no broken toe, he didn’t throw enough punches, failed to get on the inside and, although he troubled Klitschko more than anyone has recently, essentially didn’t have the boxing skills to beat him.
And that is the biggest issue. Power is power but boxing shouldn’t all be about that. The armchair fan wants a knockout and the ten men sat in my living room as it all went down were gripped in one sweaty beery embrace every time Haye landed on the chin, but were also as one in respect to Klitschko.
People will now wonder where Haye goes from here. A re-match? A fight against Vitali? I’m unsure. Booth and Haye were so sure that their strategy would prove conclusive that they don’t just need to hit the drawing board, more have an honest chat about how the hyperbole and hate failed hugely.
I like David Haye, I also like Wladimir Klitschko. But my respect for one has risen in unison with my questions about the other.
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