|Heavyweight Haye in Action|
Great Britain once again has a World heavyweight champion to call their own as WBA King David Haye continues to shake up a division which has been labelled ‘boring’ for the vast majority of the last decade.
The Bermondsey banger took the step up after a successful stint at cruiserweight and after demolishing American hard man John Ruiz in April, fight fans and punters alike can now look forward to a big year for the Hayemaker.
Odds compilers wasted no time in offering their thoughts on Haye’s next opponent, allowing backers the chance to get involved and secure the early value about a list of mouth-watering potential fixtures.
Haye has made no secret of his desire to fight one, or both, of the Klitschko brothers and unify the division. The Englishman says he doesn’t care which one, or in which order they come, but he does promise to do boxing a favour by ridding the sport that he loves of its dull eastern european dominance.
The brothers have never been known to duck anyone and with Haye now bringing a respected title to the table, at least one version of the much anticipated Haye v Klitschko should get the go ahead long before the end of the year.
At thirty-four years old, Wladimir Klitschko is the younger of the battling brothers but, despite having time on his side, odds compilers see him as the weakest link. I am no fan of the 6ft 6inch Dr Steel hammer but do believe the bookies have got this one completely wrong.
Haye’s main ammunition against the brothers would be his career shattering, not so secret weapon, the devastating Hayemaker punch that destroyed Enzo Maccarinelli whilst famously shaking Nikolay Valuev to his boots in Germany. Explosive power would have to be the key to any success here as I don’t believe either of the Klitschko’s can be out boxed. Despite Wladimir suffering three knockout defeats already, it doesn’t make him chinny – in fact the exact opposite is now true. Since suffering inside the distance defeats at the hands of Ross Puritty, Corrie Sanders and Lamon Brewster, Wladimir has retreated into a watertight shell, never again to load up, take chances, lower his iron curtain of a defence or repeat any of his previous mistakes.
The current IBF, WBO, and IBO World champion does everything by the book without being spectacular and I think that unwillingness to crowd please would be the deciding factor against Haye. No amount of trash talking, goading or downright ridicule would make Wladimir throw caution to the wind and allow Haye to get his big shots off, meaning the 8/13 currently offered by Skybet about Wladimir rates as possibly the best bet of the year for me. Boylesports obviously agree, making Haye a 7/4 second favourite.
38 year old Vitali Klitschko was famously stopped by Britain’s last World heavyweight champion, Lennox Lewis during their 2003 meeting.
Anyone who witnessed that fight couldn’t help but remember the sickening gash that forced Dr Iron Fist out when leading on the judges scorecards. The 6ft 7inch orthodox also suffered defeat at the hands of Chris Byrd but the current WBC ruler is a rather more aggressive fighter and with thirty-seven knockouts from thirty-nine wins, it is safe to say he gets results. A Haye v Vitali clash would be an explosive encounter and is exactly what the division, and sport as a whole, needs at the moment. Nothing captures the imagination of the masses quite like two hard hitting heavyweights going toe-to-toe on the big stage and I wouldn’t have a pound on such a meeting hearing the final bell.
Vitali recently came through a tricky test against British based Pole, Albert Sosnowski and if he was then to face Haye in his next outing, the California based prize fighter would enter as a lightweight 1/2 favourite (Skybet) against Haye’s appealing 21/10 price (Boylesports).
Away from the main two challenges, any current European champion would merit a crack at the biggest prize of all but it is hard to make a case for current king of the continent, Audley Harrison.
A-Force looked to be a punch away from retirement before levelling Michael Sprott in April and the Park Royal southpaw has now thrown down the gauntlet to Haye for an all British decider, although David doesn’t look too convinced. Two Londoners with the ability to knock each other out cold sounds inviting enough but Haye v Harrison has more in common with a circus act than a World heavyweight title fight.
Such a contest would be played out in front of a half empty London arena, with nothing more than loose change made on the pay per view revenue and it is little wonder businessman David Haye is avoiding the idea like the plague. He has nothing to prove – if he did beat Audley they would say it was expected and another slap in the face to followers of the noble art, but if Harrison did land that big left hook and sparked David, which he has the power to do, then the Hayemaker would have to retire and move as far away from civilisation as possible.
Surprisingly, the man dubbed ‘Fraudley’ is priced up at only 11/2 (William Hills) should such a clash become reality whilst Haye’s 1/8 (Skybet) starting price tells its only story. Critics say boxing can’t sink any lower, let’s just hope they are right. By Frankie Monkhouse www.fightingtips.co.uk
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- Vitali Klitschko: I want to teach David Haye a lesson (telegraph.co.uk)
- New ranking puts Audley Harrison closer to world title fight (telegraph.co.uk)
- Boxing: Harrison ‘in talks’ for world title shot (independent.co.uk)
- David Haye turned down Wladimir Klitschko bout over Ukrainian’s financial demands (telegraph.co.uk)