David Haye-Monte Barrett - So Who Wins?

david hayeby James Slater - Heavyweights David "The Hayemaker" Haye and Monte "Two Gunz" Barrett came face-to-face today at a press conference to promote their fight in London. Both men were pretty much respectful of one another, and there were no theatrics or bad blood. A lot is on the line for both men, and whoever loses on November 15th at The O2 Arena will be looking at retirement.

Haye shocked many people today when he admitted as much on camera. "If I can't beat Monte Barrett, I will retire from boxing," Haye said. Saying there would be no point in carrying on with his heavyweight goal of challenging world champion Wladmir Klitschko if he failed at the first big hurdle, Haye made it clear he knows how much is at stake in his fight with the 37-year-old Barrett..

Later on, on Steve Bunces' Boxing hour TV show on Setanta Sports, Barrett said he has so many different personalities and fighting styles when he enters the ring, no-one is ever sure which version will turn up. And, as footage of his quick KO of Tye Fields ran, Barrett explained how he wasn't even fighting aggressively before he landed his bombs and took "Big Sky" out. "I was fighting smart," Monte said.

So, which version of "Two Gunz" will Haye face in November, and will "The Hayemaker" have his chin tested, as he said today he expects will be the case?

With these two fast-handed big punchers anything could happen. Haye wants an explosively quick win, and he said he thinks he will get one. In reality, Haye NEEDS a spectacular win. After all the talk he's been giving us over the past few months, anything else simply will not do. Haye must win quickly and he must win impressively. As he said himself today, the talking has stopped and now it's time for the fighting.

But we all know how an overeager fighter can run right into trouble. It's not too hard to imagine an overconfident Haye coming out in round-one thinking only about landing his bombs while forgetting, only for a second, about the bombs - or Gunz - of the man in front of him. Barrett, with his still swift hands, may only need one chance. Haye spoke about how Barrett is a good opponent for him because he'll come at him. This may not be the case, however. As he pointed out with regards to the Fields fight, Barrett was backing up before lowering the boom. Monte is a very good counter-puncher and Haye had better be careful he doesn't walk into something as "Two Gunz" fires off the ropes.

Another scenario I see as a possible is Haye jumping right on Barrett, but simply getting his man out of there before he has even a chance to settle. No doubt about it, a 1st round KO win for Haye is a very strong possibility. But that's the beauty of this fight; a 1st round KO win for Barrett is almost as strong a possibility.

Haye must be made favourite. He is younger, should be faster and he hits with, as his manager/trainer Adam Booth puts it, " A different kind of power." The big question mark next to the 28-year-old is, of course, his chin. How will it cope at heavyweight, and how will it cope if Barrett lands a bomb on it the kind he hit Fields with? We don't know, and we will only find out on November 15th - at least we'll find out IF Barrett is able to connect.

This one will likely come down to who lands first. Will it be an advancing Haye who scores first, or will a counter-punch land as a clever old veteran sets a trap for the former cruiserweight? I think we will get our answer inside the first three minutes come the 15th. Whoever wins, and I really think a good case can be made for either man, it will be quick.

Don't blink could well be the best advice to take on the night!

Article posted on 02.10.2008

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