Can David Haye Make An Impact At Heavyweight?

21.11.07 - By Jake Roberts: On November 10th, David ‘The Hayemaker Haye’ produced the finest performance of his professional career by knocking out the teak tough Frenchman Jean-Mark Mormeck in Paris, France. It was an upset of sorts because Mormeck was considered the man at cruiserweight, and had suffered only one loss in the last 10 years. That was to the Jamaican O’Neil Bell, which he avenged six months later with a convincing unanimous decision to reassert his dominance in the 200-pound division..

david haye The Bermondsey Bomber said before the fight that it would be explosive, and he was proven right during the course of seven pulsating rounds. Haye was dropped in the fourth and the partisan crowd sensed an early finish but it was not to be. He weathered the storm in the forth and fifth rounds, and his unmistakable swagger remerged in the sixth. From then on Haye took control, using his fast hands and mobility to land hard punches and make Mormeck miss. The knockout in the seventh was a crushing one: a right hook, right uppercut combination sent Mormeck reeling and as he backed up, the Englishman landed what could only be described as a roundhouse right hand that threw Mormeck to the floor. Although he got to his feet at the count of eight he was in no condition to continue fighting, and the Italian referee waved off the contest.

It was a victory that positioned Haye at the top of the cruiserweight tree, and one that British fans had been expecting for a while. A victory made even more special by the fact that Haye was willing to travel to France to face the champion, something that is rare among British fighters.

Having won the World Boxing Council and World Boxing Association straps, Haye is “95% sure” that he will give them up immediately to pursue stardom in the heavyweight ranks. This is mostly due to the fact that he struggles tremendously to make the 200 pound limit. A move up would therefore rule out a showdown with fellow British titleholder, WBO champion Enzo Maccarinelli. A fight between the two was almost set twelve months ago but broke down in mysterious circumstances. The Haye camp said Frank Warren (Maccarinelli’s Promoter) wanted options on a rematch, and Warren replied by saying that Haye wanted more money at the last minute. It would have been an all British unification match, something that would have captured the nation’s imagination and probably the world’s, but it was not meant to be. Maccarinelli walks around at about 200 pounds and makes the limit easily so a contest at heavyweight is unlikely.

So what are The Hayemaker’s chances at Heavyweight? The London Native’s only previous outing came against Tomasz Bonin who was ranked number eleven by the WBC at the time. It was an easy nights work for Haye as he blew away the Pole, dropping him three times in the first round before the official waved it off. In fact his power seemed to increase as he stepped up, he looked stronger, faster and much more comfortable at the weight. He possesses speed, reflexes and footwork that is almost unseen in today’s current crop of big men, but the big question is how will his chin stand up?

That is the one criticism that has been made of him after his only loss, when he was tko’d by the veteran Carl ‘The Cat’ Thompson. Haye punched himself out looking for a quick stoppage and his corner pulled him out in the fifth round after he took some punishment. It was a naive performance, thinking he could just blast out the wily, old campaigner and one which he admits he has learnt from. You can’t put muscles on chins but maybe you can in Haye’s case because we have seen Miguel Cotto’s chin improve as he has moved to his natural weight. He had to shed two stones to make weight and that must have an effect come fight night.

Comparisons with Lennox Lewis are premature but he has the undoubted talent to become a superstar in the sport. In my opinion Haye would beat most of the competition, but could he hang with the only world-class heavyweight, Vladimir Klitschko? only time will tell. The future looks for rosy David Haye, so if you haven’t heard his name before you will have soon.

Article posted on 22.11.2007

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