Haye Triumphant Over Fragomeni In London Tonight

18.11.06 - By James Slater: Tonight, at London’s famous venue - The York Hall, Bethnal Green - local cruiserweight contender and European champion David “The Hayemaker” Haye returned to doing what he does best - KO’ing his opponents in style. Not only did he both retain his title and avenge a previous amateur loss when dispatching his Italian challenger, Giacobbe Fragomeni, in nine massively exciting rounds tonight, he also made himself the voluntary contender for world ruler O’Niel Bell’s two versions of the cruiserweight championship. In his previous outing, against the durable Ismail Abdoul, Haye was booed almost relentlessly by a crowd that wanted to see the action they had grown accustomed to from David.

This evening, the fans got what they wanted and as such there was not even a whisper of any unrest from those who had paid to attend. In short, Haye’s reputation, as one of Britain’s most exciting fighters, was very much restored with the emphatic destruction of the game Italian. Now a Haye Vs. Bell match-up is set and fight fans the world over look likely to be treated to yet another value for money affair. Indeed, the prospect has “Fight of the year” written all over it. Time will tell, of course.

Back to tonight’s action, though. The first round was lively, as Haye, who was pacing back and forth in his corner as he awaited the first bell, came out fast. He was met by an equally fired up challenger, though, who bulled his way forward throughout the round. It was clear already that the Italian had come to take Haye’s title. He landed a couple of dangerous looking shots but I scored the round for Haye.

Round two, and there was more pressure from Fragomeni. David threw a venomous looking right uppercut to the head, however, and despite being backed up for nearly all three minutes of action I gave the European champ his second round 10-9.

In the third Giacobbe started out fast and seemed to trouble Haye slightly with some good, fast punches upstairs. There was another jolting right uppercut from Haye that connected with the Italian’s jaw though, in a round I scored even. David was certainly being made to work very hard from the come forward challenger, who was clearly following a game-plan that was deigned to test the twenty-six year old’s stamina.

In round four the hard work continued for the champion and Fragomeni’s right hand landed more frequently. His power may be somewhat limited but his work-rate was not. The fight already looked like being a tough one by this stage and the action was pleasing to the fans also. I gave the round to the Italian.

In the fifth there was a particularly hard body shot that landed for Haye, along with another wicked uppercut to the chin. Despite being under almost constant pressure, David was picking his shots well and he was maintaining his composure. He won the round for me, yet the fight was shaping up as his hardest since the loss to Carl Thompson. It was also fascinating viewing.

In the sixth session Haye had his best round yet, as did the fans. With Fragomeni pressing forward once again, “The Hayemaker” suddenly sprang into life with an array of hurtful blows that comprised of rights and lefts to the head along with some uppercuts. Giacobbe was displaying a very good chin though, and managed to soak it all up. A good fight was starting to turn into a great fight.

The seventh was the exact opposite of the sixth, in that it was David’s worst round yet. Two right hands landed on his head while he was on the ropes and the second of these punches opened up a very bad cut over his left eye. The blood was soon pouring down the side of his face and the alarm bells started ringing. A relative war now being fought, Haye looked more than a touch busted up at the round’s end. The Italian’s session.

In the eighth, despite cut-man Mick Williamson having done as best as he could on the damage, the eye was soon leaking blood badly again. Haye tried his best to ignore the cut, however, and did so well - he is clearly a much more mature fighter now than he was when he lost to Thompson. He was under more pressure though, before responding in kind with some viscous punches to the head - all of which the tough Italian took without budging. The fight was now entering its most exciting stage, perhaps even rivalling the smashing brawl that had been Moore Vs. Macklin for British fight of the year. I scored the eighth for Haye.

Then came the ninth. And finally Haye’s power told on the hard man from Italy. David landed a stunning body blow that really took some wind out of Fragomeni and then unloaded with his full arsenal. A super-fast and extremely hurtful collection of rights and lefts exploded on the thirty-seven year old and he crumbled to the canvas amid wild screams from the ecstatic crowd. Though he beat the count, Giacobbe’s corner signalled their surrender and the win was Haye’s - the best and toughest yet of his career.

The win earned David a shot at the world cruiserweight championship. But oh, how he was made to earn it! “The Hayemaker” is back as Britain’s most exciting fighter.

Article posted on 19.11.2006

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