David Haye – time for more respect!

By Joe Brown: The abuse hurled by many fans at the WBA Heavyweight Champion is totally over the top. This is a fighter who started boxing aged 10 at the old school Fitzroy Lodge, London. He represented England and fought in World Amateur events, winning a silver medal. Over a nine year professional career he has a record of 25 wins in 26 fights.

Just to repeat the point, he is a World Heavyweight Champion.

That’s an honor he shares with a very small number of fellow Brits including Lennox Lewis, Frank Bruno and going back a couple of centuries, Bob Fitzsimmons. British fighters at this level aren’t exactly thick on the ground. He’s also a former cruiser weight champion, only the second cruiser to win a heavyweight title, the other one being the great Evander Holyfield. Not too bad, is it?

He’s also defended his title successfully against John Ruiz. Let’s just forget the Harrison fiasco, it wasn’t Haye’s fault the other guy decided not to bother.

To win the title Haye beat the giant Valuev who was nearly a foot taller and 98 lbs heavier. Whichever way you look at it, and in Haye’s case that is up, it was some achievement. He fought a clever fight over 12 rounds, exhausting the Russian and almost knocked him out.

So why is a man with that record called a coward, a nothing fighter and much worse?

Haye’s problem is the Klitschko brothers and it’s time to set the record straight. The Haye camp was in negotiations to fight Wladmir Klitschko for some time. Over a period they agreed to all his demands. Let’s start with the money; Haye agreed to a 50/50 split – even though he was bringing three times as much cash to the table as Klitschko.
He agreed to fight on Klitschko’s turf in Germany, not a popular venue for Brits.

The Hayemaker agreed Klitschko could choose his own gloves and come into the ring second. Klitschko could fight in the red corner, and have his name first on all promotional material. Haye agreed a German doctor would officiate. Nobody would have been surprised if they’d said the other brother had to ref the fight!

The negotiations were finally agreed together with the date, 2nd of July. Klitschko then turned round and said, “It’s all off, I’m fighting Derek Chisora on April 30th. After that we might start talking again.” They then mentioned other, unrealistic dates.

Haye probably will fight one of the Klits eventually, maybe towards the end of the year. He has nothing to fear and a big purse to collect. The hold up is at the Klitschko end.

So until they get their act together let’s give David Haye the respect he deserves.

Article posted on 29.01.2011

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