Haye All Talk – Heavyweight Division Belongs to Klitschko Brothers

By John Gabriel Thompson: IBF, WBO, IBO, and now WBA World Heavyweight Champion Dr. Wladimir
"Steelhammer" Klitschko (56-3, 49 KO's) again proved his dominance in
the division against the former WBC, WBO, EBU, and WBA Super World
Cruiserweight Champion and then WBA World Heavyweight Champion David
“Hayemaker” Haye (25-2, 23 KO's) at the Imtech-Arena in Hamburg,
Germany. The bout was broadcast in the mid-afternoon in the United
States on HBO Boxing. Given Klitschko's recent disappointingly slow
matches, public expectations for this matchup were surprisingly high
and Haye was perceived as a legitimate challenger. Haye had talked a
good game in the two years building up to the match (including wearing
a T-shirt to a press conference depicting David Haye holding the
severed heads of Wladimir and his brother Vitali, the WBC Heavyweight
Champ) and the two seemed to genuinely dislike one another as a

After one of the most unnecessarily long ring entrances in
recollection, the two men finally squared off. Despite all the hype,
it was Klitschko serving as the aggressor, backing Haye up with the
jab and looking for the big right. The first round was tentative with
a low punch output and few connections. At one point when Haye got
inside, Klitschko leaned on him and Haye fell down. This was to become
a recurring theme of the evening. Klitschko finally found a home for
the right in the second round, but Haye came back strong in the third
landing a big right of his own. Klitschko held for a second but looked
okay. Haye and Klitschko exchanged a combination each, and then
Klitschko pushed Haye down for a second time earning a warning from
Referee Genaro Rodriguez.

Klitschko landed a hard right to start the fourth, and then resumed
stalking Haye until the final seconds of the round when Haye attempted
to load up with a few overhand rights. Haye landed a good right in the
fifth, but Klitschko backed him into the ropes and connected with a
hard combination of shots to the head. In fact, Klitschko largely
ignored the body throughout the fight and threw almost exclusively to
the head. Haye was pushed down again in the fifth and sixth rounds. In
the seventh, Haye missed a punch coming in and wound up inside. Haye
went down again, and even though it was not a hard push Klitschko gave
him, referee Rodriguez deducted a point from Klitschko.

Haye landed a good right in the ninth, but failed to follow it up with
anything, electing to retreat from the larger man. Haye went down in
the ninth, this time trying to draw a point from Klitschko. The latter
half of the round was entertaining as both men threw, Haye missing a
right and Klitschko countering. Haye fell again after a momentary
clench in the tenth and this time the referee warned Haye to stop
falling down. Nevertheless Haye fell again in the eleventh after
missing a punch. Klitschko had pushed his head slightly, but the fall
resulted in Referee Rodriguez issuing Haye a count, which seemed
appropriate to the ringside commentators.

Trailing heavily on the scorecards, Haye landed his best punch of the
fight in the twelfth round, and Klitschko needed to hold on for a
moment. Many observers may have given Haye the round for that punch,
even though Klitschko proceeded to dominate him afterwards until the
final bell. Both men raised an arm in victory and HBO commentator
Larry Merchant appropriately said, “[Why] is Haye raising his hand? Is
he just happy this mess is over with?” The judges scored the match
117-109 (my score), 118-108, and 116-110 all for Wladimir Klitschko.

Article posted on 03.07.2011

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