Lennox Lewis Says Haye Must Fight Klitschko The Same Way He Fought Valuev

By James Slater: Although WBA heavyweight champ David Haye has been fond of telling anyone who will listen that he is planning to take the heat right to Wladimir Klitschko in their rapidly-approaching unification battle, a number of good judges feel that once the bell rings Haye will instead adopt hit-and-move tactics. I spoke with Tom Tsatas of The 5th Street Gym recently, and in his opinion Haye must not come out gung-ho early on.

Tsatas, along with other experts, feels Haye’s lighter weight, his speed and his boxing ability will be the keys to victory for him, not so much his power in the early rounds. Heavyweight great Lennox Lewis is the latest expert to give his opinion on what “The Hayemaker’s” tactics should be, and he too says Haye should hit-and-run and pick up points.

In light of the way that other British title challenger, Matthew Macklin, was unfairly denied a points decision he looked to have earned last night in Germany, fans will be wondering if Haye can possibly win on points in Hamburg. But Lewis says Haye will have to box pretty much the same way he did when winning the WBA belt against Nicolai Valuev in 2009 - which Haye won by close decision in Germany.

“What makes me give Haye a chance is what he did against Valuev,” Lewis told BBC Radio. “He fought a perfect fight, he kept moving, he stayed elusive and in the final round he almost knocked Valuev out. Klitschko has the bigger advantages but if David is able to stay with his game-plan and move and throw combinations he should do very well.”

Fans who leave comments on this site seem to be anticipating a short and violent fight, with Klitschko taking Haye out in brutal fashion. But could we be in store for a much longer fight, with both guys coming out in a cautious manner as they look to pick up points and then exploit openings? Of course, Valuev is no Klitschko. Much slower than Wladimir and possessing nowhere near the punching power “Dr. Steel Hammer” has, Valuev was unable to inflict any hurt on Haye. This will not be the case in Saturday’s fight.

To win on points, as Lewis suggest he may, Haye will have to fight an absolute perfect fight. But even Lewis is aware of how much stronger and heavier Klitschko will be in the fight.

“If they get into a clinch and Klitschko puts his weight on David it may sap some of David’s energy,” he said.

To have any shot at winning on points, Haye will have to catch the judges eye by doing more work. That will mean him coming forwards at some point in the fight; letting his hands go in flurries and then getting back out or being tied up. Klitschko is sure to wrap his big arms around Haye whenever danger strikes, and this will certainly sap Haye’s energy as Lewis says. And if Haye does get tired he will be in trouble.

I see Haye having a bright start, picking up points with effective raids. But after around six or seven-rounds, the natural strength of Klitschko will begin to get to Haye, as will his own sheer mental effort begin to make him fatigued. Dictating late on, Klitschko will, in my opinion, get a late KO.

No way this fight goes 12-rounds!

Article posted on 26.06.2011

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