The Tao of David Haye

By Shaun Murphy - I’ll start by stating that I’m sorry that I haven’t written for ESB for a while. I’ve been working on a novel (30 rejections), and, well, it’s something I’ve been putting off for far too long ….

David Haye, well, he’s someone that’s been creating a lot of attention lately, so I’ll start with him. How far I think he’ll go; how good I think he is; and how much of a chance I think he’s got (in my opinion) against the Klitschko Brothers..

David Haye’s Old school

I remember, in my late teens, watching a t.v. program about an up and coming young heavyweight from London called David Haye. He was still an amateur. Some guy in my boxing club, when I asked him what he thought about Haye, said: “He used to box in the same club as me {Fitzroy Lodge, London} he’s cream…’’ From that date I became interested in his career. I wanted to see how far he would go.

The fist pro fight that I watched Haye fight in was against a Frenchman called Saber Zairi. Haye was too quick so he finished him off in the third round. I wasn’t impressed, though: I believed that Haye fought too wildly and he wasn’t capable of stepping up to heavyweight because of his cruiserweight frame.

Then he fought Carl “The Cat” Thompson in his eleventh fight, I was impressed by Haye’s bravery. After all … Carl Thompson could hit hard, he was well schooled, he was experienced and he was dangerous. It would take a great fighter to beat him.

The fight was staged in Manchester – it was shown on British day-time t.v. the next day - so it gave the British Public a chance to see, up close, what David Haye was made of. Haye beat him like a proverbial red-headed step child for the first five rounds. Jabs, hooks – lead uppercuts even, Haye was the better fighter. A ko seemed certain. Haye gassed. Then Haye’s express was derailed by the practiced hands of “The Cat” and a fusillade of abuse flooded towards Haye ranging from “glass jawed” to “ He’s too pretty to be a real fighter” to “He’ll never make it!! I looked deeper …

It’s Not How Many Times You Get Knocked Down….

After Haye lost to Carl Thompson, I was impressed by his post-fight attitude. He described the loss as a learning curve, and made references to the old school fighters’ attitude to defeat. Like a true old timer, Haye ironed out his flaws, dedicated himself to work harder in the gym, and realized that the loss was an essential part of his development. When Haye beat Jean-Marc Mormeck, in Paris, a hostile, obtuse city, 9 fights later, in the seventh round, I smiled. Why? It was mind-over-matter; Haye had proven to me that a man can overcome defeat if he’s brave enough to re-enter the race.

Haye in the Heavyweights

As everyone knows on this site – OR SHOULD KNOW – Haye’s last fight at cruiserweight was against Enzo Maccarinelli. I wanted the Welshman to win, and thought he would. When I found out that Haye stopped Maccarinelli in the second round, I still didn’t believe that he could beat a Klitschko.

Then Haye beat Monte Barrett in the heavyweights, but I wasn’t impressed. First: he got dropped by a guy who is not even a genuine world-class fighter, and second: he was fighting a guy the same size as him. I’m a big-guy chauvinist; I didn’t believe Haye could cope with a REAL HEAVYWEIGHT!

Haye’s always expounded that he intends to unify the world heavyweight title’s belts; and retire as a two-weight champion like Evander Holyfield. Fat chance Haye, I thought, when he was lined up to challenge Nicola Valuev for the WBA world heavyweight title.

In the words of my mate, calling drunk from the pub: “That Russian’s gonna bash him up …” That was my belief. That was the opinion of most fight fans. I was wrong. Haye defeated the 7, 2” giant, on points, in Germany, and gave me a glimpse of what I believe could be the key to Haye’s future: speed kills…

Haye’s last fight, against John Ruiz, in Manchester, England, impressed me a great deal. I didn’t want to see it. I’m a Klitschko Brothers’ fan – I have been from the start, so I don’t want a fighter to emerge who could threaten their status. But with every jab that landed like a hammer against Ruiz’s face; with every combination that destroyed Ruiz’s will to fight, and with every execution of defensive genius that dulled Ruiz’s attempts to win his old title, well – bam! I’m became convinced that Haye can take apart Vladimir – if he’s careful – with the same efficiency as he took apart “The Quiet Man” in Manchester, but he better stay away from Vitali: Haye’s brave and tough, but life isn’t a fairy tale. The real giants shouldn’t be tacked by mortal men!

Article posted on 15.04.2010

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