If The “Unthinkable” Happens And He Loses Tonight, Will David Haye Retire?!

By James Slater: A short time ago, during the hype that was in full-flow for tonight’s WBA heavyweight title clash between David Haye and Audley Harrison, Haye was asked what it would mean if, shock of shocks, he actually lost to bitter rival Harrison. Haye smiled and said he hadn’t even thought about such a prospect, so far is the very idea from his mind.

And, let’s face it, if (and it’s a huge if in my opinion - although some experts are giving Harrison a legitimate puncher’s chance; even the respected Dan Rafael) Haye were to lose tonight, the whole world would come crashing down around the popular 30-year-old. No wonder Haye has not even allowed his brain to process the thought of him losing tonight!

But if the upset does happen, what will it mean - aside from a ton of embarrassment and even shame - for Haye? Would it be fair to say there would be no place for “The Hayemaker” to go but into retirement?

Haye has talked non-stop about how Harrison is a “joke,” and that he will personally close the “Fraudley Harrison show.” The 39-year-old challenger has talked a great fight himself, but he has far less pressure on his shoulders than does the man who currently wears the WBA heavyweight strap. Most people do seem to think the 2000 Olympian will lose, and Harrison is therefore in a cant-lose situation. If he gets sparked out, people were been expecting it anyway (and Audley will still collect a bundle of cash), but if he wins, he will become an overnight sensation (again).

There is no doubt, the pressure is on Haye’s shoulders in this one - he is expected to win, and win in style. And of course, Haye hasn’t just talked about what he will do against “A-Force,” he has also talked and talked about how he will “restore glory” to the heavyweight division by beating up both Klitschko brothers. Having achieved a fair amount of success already as a heavyweight (the win over Nikolai Valuev has to be respected), Haye’s plans for doing more would - along with all his big talk - count for nothing more than a big fat ZERO if he lost tonight.

Imagine the way Haye would feel a day or two after losing to Harrison. Would the confident, even boastful Londoner be able to step out of his house after losing his belt and unbeaten heavyweight record to the man he “used to look up to?”

It’s fair to say, Haye would go though some serious misery if he lost to Harrison.

But enough of what it might or might not mean for Haye - what would a Harrison win do for the heavyweight division? Would Harrison agree to get it on with one of the Klitschkos, in a big unification deal, in his next fight after upsetting the man who has had so much trouble agreeing to step in with either Wladimir or Vitali?

Harrison, love him or loathe him, does have self confidence, and he has spoken in the past of wanting to fight the Klitschkos. Of course, such talk from Audley might go the way Haye’s talk has so far gone in that regard, and if he actually got the opportunity of fighting either sibling “A-Force“ would maybe have a change of heart. But maybe a Harrison win tonight will be a good thing for heavyweight boxing. Haye is still saying he will box both brothers, but does he really mean it?

For what it’s worth, I think Harrison does mean it when he says he’d fight either brother. I’m in no way saying he’ll win if he does amaze us all and get as far as fighting either “Doctor,” but look at the respect Derek Chisora has got for agreeing to rumble with Wladimir. And, fresh off the praise he will get if he beats Haye tonight, the promoters would perhaps be able to sell Harrison as a legitimate threat to Wlad or Vitali.

But of course, Harrison has to win tonight first! The closer the fight has come, the more people have swayed Audley’s way. And again, how bad will it be for Haye if the upset does happen!

It won’t. I’m sticking with my original prediction: Haye by KO win inside three exciting rounds.

Article posted on 13.11.2010

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