Is this what the heavyweight division has come to?
On Saturday, WBA heavyweight champion, David Haye, gave up his belt to IBF, IBO, WBO champ, Wladimir Klitschko in an umimpressive performance by both fighters. Haye had essentially earned the fight by talking his way into it, insulting Klitschko and his brother Vitali by making t-shirts with Haye holding up the brothers’ severed heads and telling interviewers and promoters that he would sent the bigger Ukrainian fighter to the hospital. All his talk proved to be nothing more than a bunch of hot air.
Haye never threw many punches and only attempted his patented “Hayemakers” several times throughout the 12 round bout. Klitschko also failed to throw many punches, but he didn’t really have to. Haye’s lack of activity exceeded Klitschko’s lack of activity and it lost Haye the fight. Both fighters’ inability to ignite any sparks in the ring prompted HBO analyst to comment, “wake me up when a fight breaks out.”
Klitschko kept Haye at bay with a peppering jab and landed a few good 1-2 combinations, one of which resulted in a nasty bruise on Haye’s forehead. Haye did manage to cut Klitschko below his eye, but it was never serious and Haye was never seriously in the fight.
Haye did manage to get a point deducted from Klitschko for repeatedly pushing Haye down when they clinched. It turned out, though, that Haye was “soccer flopping,” as HBO announcer, Jim Lampley put it. Haye was falling to the canvass on purpose to try to get a point deducted and was successful, though as he continued the tactics, referee Geno Rodriguez caught on and ruled one of his flops a knockdown, seemingly to make up for his error in deducting a point from Klitschko. It wasn’t pretty, but it certainly seemed a fair way to handle an ugly situation.
Klitschko, unable to score a legitimate knockdown in the fight, seemed distraught with his performance and he probably should have been. Haye’s footwork and balance were laughable, and though he had some speed with his hands and head movement, he never hurt Klitschko badly and spent nearly the entirety of the fight running away. The fact that the reigning heavyweight champ couldn’t put the smaller, less skilled Haye away was certainly a disappointment to team Klitschko.
Haye, in a lame attempt to pass his poor performance off on an injury, had taken his shoe off by the time his post-fight interview came around and said he wasn’t able to plant his right foot because he had broken his toe a few weeks earlier.
It was a pathetic excuse and a pathetic performance, backed up (on both sides) by a lot of barking and no biting.