I was very much looking forward to this past Saturday’s heavyweight championship fight between Wladimir Klitschko and David Haye. Both fighters came into the ring holding a portion of the title and a large amount of animosity towards one another. The buildup of the bout was great. This was the most anticipated heavyweight fight since Lennox Lewis KO’d Mike Tyson back in 2002.
Unfortunately, as we see often times, the hype was better than the fight. Haye, the WBA Champ, has talked trash about Klitschko for three years. He promised everyone he would destroy the reinging IBF, IBO, WBO and Ring Magazine title holder. Well, the bell rings and Haye goes into poser mode. He mugs, he drops his hands and he talks. What he didn’t do is fight. His fight plan consisted of wild right hands and being pushed to the canvas.
Now, Klitschko isn’t exactly Mr. Excitement, but he is a smart, disciplined fighter who rarely puts himself in harms way. With Haye unwilling to take chances, all Klitschko needed to do was use his long left jab and drop in a few right hands. That is what he did. Also mixing in some left hooks, Wladimir was in complete control of the bout from the fourth round on.
At 6’5 and over 240 pounds, you would think that Klitschko would destroy his competition. Instead he just wears you down with that jab and his great size. His cautious style does make for boring fights. However, I’m blaming Saturday’s yawner on Haye. The former cruiserweight champ is a big talker, but he is also a big puncher. This past weekend, he didn’t seem to be that interested in engaging with his bigger foe.
After 12 lackluster rounds, Klitschko was awarded a convincing unanimous decision. During the post-fight interviews, Haye claimed to have a broken toe on his right foot that prevented him from getting the leverage to unleash his vaunted “Hayemaker” right hand. I’m not saying he’s lying, but making excuses after a loss is a time honored boxing tradition.
Luckily, the fight was on HBO and not pay-per-view. That being said, it still turned out to be a dull bout and another boxing match with more hype than fight.