Can Haye defeat the Klitschko brothers?

By Robert Jackson: England, the country where modern boxing originated from, has had its share of stars including Eubank, Benn, Lewis and most recently Ricky Hatton. Joining the ranks of these British stars is the 6’3” former undisputed Cruiserweight champion – 30 year old David Haye; now making his rounds as a heavyweight has signed to meet either Klitschko Brother in a bout yet undetermined.

Haye possesses a unique combination of power and speed not seen since the days of Mike Tyson. This cannot be refuted , what can be refuted is, does Haye have the skills of Tyson, which he will need to even any match against either Klitschko? Also at question is Haye’s size which classifies him as a medium sized heavyweight (still larger than Tyson) at best going up against two giants of the heavyweight division. An early KO in Haye’s career to a journeyman cruiserweight fighter has placed questions on the Englander's chin as well.

Haye compares more favorably to younger brother Wladimir than Vitaly. The 6’6” Wladimir has suffered 2 devastating losses in his career which has many experts speculating that Dr. Steel Hammer may also be deficit in the chin department, and, possibly suffer stamina problems if pushed hard enough. Wladimir even in winning has looked to be on the verge of folding mentally in fights not going his way if not for his trainer Emanuel Stewards corner work. That bodes well for Haye’s chances against the ‘younger’, what works against Haye is that his own trainer does not have the big fight history or credentials of Steward. If prepared correctly and given the correct game plan which would include ‘taking away Wladimir’s jab’, and if Haye can stick to his game plan he could become the newly crowned Heavyweight Champion whenever they meet.

Vitali Klitschko nicknamed Dr. Iron Fist stands almost 6’8” and boasts a 42-2 record with 39 KO’s. The unique characteristics of this man that separates him from his brother is his mental fortitude. In only one fight has Vitali failed to acquit himself and that was against Chris Byrd who at that time was at the top of his game as a heavyweight. After the fight it was determined that Vitali suffered a torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder – a career ending injury in most sports, that forced him to retire in a fight that he was winning on the judges’ scorecards. Even a severely cut left eye couldn’t stop Vitali during his bout against Lennox Lewis as he was coming on in the middle rounds, the doctor had to stop it.

A fight between Haye and Vitali would no doubt play out with Vitali jabbing to set up the right hand and left hook while Haye tries to avoid that jab to get inside. Haye’s foot speed and head movement will be a plus. Vitali is not as athletic as the younger Wladimir, but uses calculated foot movement and angles to avoid punishment, he fights tall, so he will force Haye to reach, while preventing Haye from getting inside. If Haye can ramp up the activity and make Vitali fight at a faster pace than he’s used to he may be able to get inside at some point in the fight. Once Haye gets inside Vitali will clinch effectively and rest while waiting for the referee to break them. Then return to his usual pattern which has been effective in most of his fights. Kevin ‘Kingpin’ Johnson was able to frustrate and ultimately finish the fight on his feet by taking Vitali’s jab away while doing little else. If Haye can duplicate Johnson’s defense and add some counters to it Vitali could be pushed to the limit, which would be no small feat.

The most likely and winnable scenario for Haye has him meeting Wladimir. Fighting at a high pace, making Wladimir miss and countering would be the perfect game plan. Continuing this strategy could possibly tire Dr. Steel Hammer both mentally and physically by the middle rounds of that fight giving Haye the best chance to win. If Haye is able to get inside on Wladimir it will pay dividends because Wladimir unlike his brother doesn’t clinch well. Haye would have to proceed cautiously because his durability especially his chin has yet to be tested.

In either case Haye may have a better chance climbing to the summit of Mt. Everest than Climbing Mt. Klitschko, only time will tell.

Article posted on 01.04.2011

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