Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Wladimir Klitschko calls out Haye: Will David choose to run?

By William Mackay: In a video sent today from International Boxing Federation/World Boxing Organization heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko (54-3, 48 KO’s) to multiple websites, Klitschko called out WBA heavyweight champion David Haye (24-1, 22 JO’s), saying “You can’t run away from me forever and you need to follow through with this fight to get respect. I’m ready. What are you waiting for?” Klitschko, 34, has revered the tables on Haye. Previously, it was Haye, who with almost zero experience at heavyweight, called Wladimir and his brother WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko, out in the media on a daily basis to land fights with them.

However, after succeeding at getting fights with both Klitschko brothers last year, Haye instead was unable to make it to the ring with them, bowing out of the fight with Wladimir because of a back problem and then backing out completely with a fight against Vitali to fight WBA heavyweight champion Nikolay Valuev. Now that Haye has the WBA title, he and his trainer/manager Adam Booth don’t know who they plan on fighting next.

Haye has already successfully defended his title once against his mandatory challenger, 38-year-old John Ruiz last week, stopping in the 9th round. This has caused Haye’s British fans to become really excited about him, many of them now thinking that Haye can beat both Klitschko brothers based on how good he looked against the 38-year-old Ruiz. Once Haye got his mandatory defense against Ruiz out of the way, most people thought he would dive right in for a bout against Wladimir or Vitali Klitschko. But it doesn’t look like that’s happening, because now they’re saying he has to decide on what fight to take next.

Haye has to give former WBA heavyweight champion Nikolay Valuev a rematch, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be immediately. Haye is free to fight Wladimir or his brother next, if he so chooses. But then again, the Klitschko brothers are much tougher than Valuev, who Haye looked horrible against, averaging only 10 punches per round.

If Haye chooses Valuev, he can milk his title for a little longer and will have a better chance at holding onto it for a little while longer. A rematch with Valuev isn’t a sure win for Haye, though, because we saw how badly Haye struggled against Valuev last time out, and there’s no telling what would happen in a rematch. I personally thought that Valuev won the fight based on his superior aggression in the fight.

At worst, I thought it could have been scored a draw. But it won’t be an easy win for Haye, but at least Haye would have a better chance of milking his title while longer before facing one of the Klitschko brothers, if he ever does, that is. Wladimir obviously is worried that Haye will choose to run from him, to fight other opponents to milk the title and will end up losing to one of those fighters before he has a chance at whipping him in a mega fight.

The problem Haye is that he’s not a big heavyweight, only 6’3”, 220, and has a weak chin. Haye would likely be in great danger if he was to be pitted against tough contenders like Odlanier Solis (who already stopped Haye in the amateur ranks), Alexander Povetkin, Samuel Peter, Chris Arreola or Tomasz Adamek. This is why Wladimir wants to fight Haye before the British heavyweight gets taken out.

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