David Haye Produces Career Best Performance To Blitz Arthur Williams

13.05.04 - By Elliot Worsell: When a finely tuned professional athlete perfectly executes a gameplan the results can often be decisive. In Reading last night, cruiserweight hot-shot David D. Haye 10-0 (10 KO's), a man tipped for the stars as soon as he laced on a pair of gloves, progressed to the next level of his glittering professional career as he bludgeoned a shell-shocked former world champion Arthur Williams 38-11-1 to defeat in three rounds of a scheduled eight. In a contest, many beforehand believed was risky matchmaking on Haye’s and manager Adam Booth’s part, the Bermondsey puncher banished all those frets by putting on a punch perfect exhibition of speed, power and lightning reflexes. It was a monumental step up for Haye, and knowing the threat posed by the 39-year-old Williams, he didn’t disappoint.

There was no lazy left hand, there were no right hand happy antics, and there was no getting caught with needless counter shots. Haye was at his intense best, and knew that he had to be to come out of this taxing contest with his perfect unbeaten record unscathed. The look of concentration and intent on the English champion throughout the bout told it’s on story. The constant use of the left jab to set up attacks another tell tell sign that he was taking Williams very seriously indeed. Naturally any man who racks up an IBF title, wins over Dwight Qawi, Adolpho Washington, Imamu Mayfield and narrow defeats to Kelvin Davis, O’Neill Bell and Chris Byrd, warrants respect. Williams was a live opponent, drafted in, in the hope of springing an upset.

Alas, from Williams’ point of view, there were to be no surprises in this one. Arguably the only shock conjured up by this contest was the choice of ring attire elected by Haye. Banishing the traditional black shorts, he entered the ring with a pure, white pair. Read into that, as you will. In effect, his form was white hot too. Williams, coming off a ten rounds points loss to Russian prospect Vadim Tokarev, and a guy who has witnessed everything possible that this crazy fight game can muster up, was expected to stretch Haye and force him into the latter rounds. After the opening round blitzkrieg Haye put on, all hope of that was effectively over.

‘King’ Arthur, flabby round the waist, but having fought two weeks previous, clearly in some form of shape, came out expecting a tentative opener from the young protégé in front of him, but got more than he bargained for. Haye, who rarely throws a soft shot, came out all guns blazing from the off, and was impressively snapping the ageing head of Williams back and forth with regularity. Williams was feeling the power of some meaty right hooks from Haye, and had abandoned all hope of pursuing any of his own attacks, to merely survive the opener. Haye, sensing Williams would falter more from body shots to his loose midriff than head shots to his solid chin, was varying his punch selection brilliantly at times. Left hook to the body, hook to the head, followed by a long, rasping right hand that had Williams blinking excessively and resembling a deer caught in the headlights. He promised a lot beforehand, but bit-by-bit the fight was being decisively beaten out of him.

Haye promised a fast start, but even he couldn’t expect to get Williams out of there so early. He nearly did mind. Referee Ken Curtis was looking on with intent as Haye pounded away at Williams as he backed him to a neutral corner. Williams wasn’t firing back, and was seemingly befuddled by the fire breathing antics of the young up n’ comer in front of him. It was the classic case of youth against experience, and in this case youth had all the aces.

In the second round, following a first round teaser from Haye, he reverted back to his calm, calculated boxing and picked off Williams from range with some impressive looking counter jabs and left hooks. Williams was trying, but had no answer to the foot and hand speed of Haye. He’d lumber forward, throwing looping left hooks or right hands, but with one swift change of angle, Haye would expose Williams’ defensive frailties and nail him with comeback shots. The talented young amateur star was having it all his way in the second, and even remarked at the rounds end, that he was finding it pretty easy going in there. It appeared that all the labour had been done in the first round, where Haye effectively broke the heart and will of Williams, and now the flashy puncher was just reaping the rewards.

After a round of skilful dominance, out came the big bombs in the third, as Haye looked to continue the breakdown process on the ageing ex champion in front of him. Bouncing left jabs and solid, stinging right hands oof the temple of Williams, Haye was marching forward, poker faced, looking to back ‘King’ Arthur up and keep him there. He achieved this without too much argument from Williams. Shuffling Williams back towards a neutral corner with the jab, Haye then unloaded a volley of heavy shots, ranging from a right cross, left hooks, to a booming uppercut, to a final right hook round Williams’ guard. There was no response from Williams, and following one final wild left hook that nearly disconnected Williams’ head from his shoulders, referee Ken Curtis had no option but to wave the contest off. The significance of this stoppage win was clear by Haye’s reaction to the referee’s decision to intervene. Jumping into the arms of trainer Adam Booth, it was obvious how delighted both were with the performance. Their significant gamble paid off big time.

After the contest Haye, always upbeat and brimming with confidence, stated that he felt no nerves whatsoever leading up to the bout, but realised that if he put a foot wrong Williams’ was the type to expose him. More wary that worried.

‘It actually all went better than we had planned because we expected to go eight rounds.’ The charismatic victor proclaimed. ‘I’d trained for ten rounds, but the fight for some reason got changed to eight rounds. I’m over the moon with the third round victory; I did exactly as I had to do and smoothly executed the gameplan that we sussed out beforehand. I went out there in the first round to blitz him early, let him feel the power and the speed, and stop him from rushing me, which is what he has liked to do in the past.’

‘I’m really confident in my power, and always have been ever since I was a kid. I’ve always been able to punch freakishly hard and as soon as I hit someone on the chin and they feel the power, there’s only one way for them to go, and that’s down.’

‘Now I’m going to look towards a fight with Carl Thompson. His ban should be over in a few months, so I’m hoping the fight can easily be made and we can just get it on. I’ve got to be ranked in the top 30 to fight for his title, so I’ll just progress, keeping beating higher ranked opponents and then hopefully I’ll get given my chance.’

‘This was without a doubt my hardest fight to date because I had to be on my toes at all times. If I had put a foot wrong Williams would have made me pay. I wasn’t going to allow him any opportunity to counter me or expose any mistakes I made. I actually learnt quite a few things from a fight like this. I learnt that once you punch you have to constantly move your head to avoid any possible counters. I learnt not to stand too close with him, and get caught with needless inside shots when I could have just used my speed to pick him off.’

With ten fights now securely under his belt Haye will now have a much-deserved break to Miami, before embarking on his next demanding test, possibly in June. Last night in Reading, the powerful cruiserweight demonstrated to all just why many consider him to be the torchbearer for the future of British boxing. In Arthur Williams, he had a busy, accomplished veteran, who although had obviously seen better days, gave no indication beforehand, in previous fights, that he was an eroded fighter on the slippery slope to journeyman status. Williams wasn’t shot, it was merely Haye’s powerful artillery that made him appear that way.

Article posted on 13.05.2004

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