Monday’s BASN Boxing Notebook

By Francis Walker
Updated: November 16, 2008

Former Undisputed Cruiserweight Champion and now Heavyweight Contender David Haye (right) lands a right en route to a fifth round knockout of Monte Barrett (left) at the O2 Arena in London, England on November 15, 2008. Photo Credit: William Sheratt - Hoganphotos/Golden Boy Promotions

Former Undisputed Cruiserweight Champion and now Heavyweight Contender David Haye (right) lands a right en route to a fifth round knockout of Monte Barrett (left) at the O2 Arena in London, England on November 15, 2008. Photo Credit: William Sheratt - Hoganphotos/Golden Boy Promotions

NEW YORK — Former unified WBC/WBA and WBO cruiserweight champion David Haye (22-1, 21 KOs) took a major step forward toward securing a world heavyweight title shot against either Wladimir or Vitali Klitschko.

Haye, having bulked up to 215 pounds, answered a lot of questions as to whether he could carry his speed and punching power into the heavyweight division. He looked impressive, knocking Monte Barrett (34-7, 20 KOs) down five times en route to a TKO stoppage at 1:28 seconds of the fifth round at the O2 Arena in London, England on Saturday.

“Everybody knows that the heavyweight division is about speed, power, and knockouts,” Haye said. “That’s what I bring to the table.”

Fighting in his hometown, the 28 year-old Haye took a measured approach in the first two rounds behind his left jab and solid right hand. As the bout progressed, it was clear that Haye’s youth and athleticism would be too much for Barrett, 37, Queens, NY.

Haye’s left hooks and uppercuts found the mark, as Barrett was floored twice in round three, twice in round four, and once more in the fifth. Prior to the stoppage after the final knockdown, Barrett risked disqualification when he drilled a right hand at Haye’s head after slipping onto the mat.

Barrett was docked one point, but it didn’t matter. When Haye returned to his feet, Barrett became the recipient of some very hard and crisp punches that came fast and became too much to overcome.

“I said I’m entertaining,” said Haye, who guaranteed an exciting finish.

Former Undisputed Cruiserweight Champion and now Heavyweight Contender David Haye (left) lands a left en route to a fifth round knockout of Monte Barrett (right) at the O2 Arena in London, England. Photo Credit: William Sheratt - Hoganphotos/Golden Boy Promotions

Former Undisputed Cruiserweight Champion and now Heavyweight Contender David Haye (left) lands a left en route to a fifth round knockout of Monte Barrett (right) at the O2 Arena in London, England. Photo Credit: William Sheratt - Hoganphotos/Golden Boy Promotions

Haye’s exciting and action-packed win has put into position to challenge either of the Klitschko Brothers.

“I’m the hardest pound-for-pound puncher in the world,” Haye said afterwards. “I’m going after [Vitali] and his brother. They are the best [heavyweights] in the world. That’s why I want to fight them.”

Vitali was present at ringside and liked what he saw from Haye. Vitali also expressed interest in fight Haye next year.

“I was very impressed with this fight,” Vitali said. “Next year, it’s going to be a great fight for Great Britain and Germany. David Haye vs. Klitschko.”

Haye vs. Klitschko will be the biggest heavyweight title fight that can be made in the division. Haye sells out the O2 Arena. The Klitschkos are immensely popular throughout Europe and are favorites at Madison Square Garden. Haye also draws excellent ratings on Sentanta Sports and the Klitschkos are constantly on television as well.

Haye vs. Klitschko would be huge, but the question is which Klitschko? Vitali or Wladimir?

Wladimir, the current IBF/WBO and unrecognized IBO heavyweight champion, has a December 13, mandatory title defense against IBF No. 5 contender Hasim Rahman in Germany. Rahman is filling in for No. 1-ranked Alexander Povetkin, who injured his foot while training a couple of weeks ago.

Vitali, who defeated Sam Peter to claim the WBC heavyweight title in October following a four year absence from boxing, has a WBC mandated bout with No. 1 contender Juan Carlos Gomez.

Former Undisputed Cruiserweight Champion and now Heavyweight Contender David Haye (left) walks to a neutral corner after scoring a knockdown of Monte Barrett (right) route to a fifth round knockout. Photo Credit: William Sheratt - Hoganphotos/Golden Boy Promotions

Former Undisputed Cruiserweight Champion and now Heavyweight Contender David Haye (left) walks to a neutral corner after scoring a knockdown of Monte Barrett (right) route to a fifth round knockout. Photo Credit: William Sheratt - Hoganphotos/Golden Boy Promotions

The reality of Haye fighting one of the Klitschkos could be as early as the summer of 2009.

“Hopefully, [I can] beat one of the Klitschkos and get the other one,” Haye added.

Dimitrenko moves closer toward heavyweight title opportunity

Alexander Dimitrenko (29-0, 19 KOs) remained unbeaten following a third round knockout of former heavyweight title challenger Luan Krasniqi (30-4-1, 14 KOs) on Saturday in Germany.

Dimitrenko is the WBO No. 1-ranked heavyweight contender and is in a growing line to fight Wladimir, the IBF/WBO and unrecognized IBO heavyweight champion.

At 6-foot-7, Dimitrenko, 26, Hamburg, Germany, is just as tall and as big as both Klitschko brothers. The young fighter could pose a problem because of his size, but he may lack the punching power and the experience to topple Wladimir.

Dimitrenko will have a bit a wait. Wladimir has an upcoming mandatory defense against Rahman and a potential bout with Haye. Wladimir still has to fulfill an obligation to defend his heavyweight title belts against Povetkin.

U.S. Olympic medalist successful in pro-debut

2008 Olympic Bronze Medalist Deontay Wilder (left) gets ready to throw a right hand en route to a second round TKO victory over Ethen Cox (right) on November 15, 2008 at the Vanderbilt Memorial Gymnasium in Nashville, Tennessee. Photo Credit: Tom Hogan/Golden Boy Promotions

2008 Olympic Bronze Medalist Deontay Wilder (left) gets ready to throw a right hand en route to a second round TKO victory over Ethen Cox (right) on November 15, 2008 at the Vanderbilt Memorial Gymnasium in Nashville, Tennessee. Photo Credit: Tom Hogan/Golden Boy Promotions

Heavyweight prospect and U.S. Olympic bronze medalist Deontay Wilder (1-0, 1 KO) made is professional debut on the undercard of Jermain Taylor’s 12-round unanimous decision win against Jeff Lacy at the Vanderbilt University Memorial Gymnasium in Nashville, TN on Saturday.

Wilder was the only U.S. Olympian to have won a medal the 2008 Beijing Games. He’s very tall at 6-feet-7, 205 pounds. The 23 year-old from Alabama has only been boxing for approximately three years and has progressed very quickly.

Wilder made his successful in-ring debut with a second roud TKO of Ethan Cox (2-3-1, 1 KO)

Contender reunion a happy ending for Bika

On a night of boxing matches featuring professional boxers from “The Contender” reality series, Sakio Bika (27-3-2, 17 KOs) and Peter Manfredo (31-6-2, 16 KOs) battled in Manfredo’s hometown of Providence, Rhode Island. Bika shocked everyone by knocking out their hometown hero in the third round on Thursday at the Providence Civic Center.

Bika, recognized as a strong super middleweight contender, was simply too much for Manfredo. Bika attacked Manfredo from the opening round and didn’t stop pounding Manfredo with overhand rights and stiff left jabs.

2008 Olympic Bronze Medalist Deontay Wilder (middle) celebrates his second round TKO victory over Ethen Cox with Jay Deas (left) and trainer Mark Breland (right) on November 15, 2008 at the Vanderbilt Memorial Gymnasium in Nashville, Tennessee. Photo Credit: Tom Hogan/Golden Boy Promotions

2008 Olympic Bronze Medalist Deontay Wilder (middle) celebrates his second round TKO victory over Ethen Cox with Jay Deas (left) and trainer Mark Breland (right) on November 15, 2008 at the Vanderbilt Memorial Gymnasium in Nashville, Tennessee. Photo Credit: Tom Hogan/Golden Boy Promotions

In the second round, Bika tripped over Manfredo’s feet while he was hit with a punch. Bika wasn’t hurt, but enraged when his slip was ruled a knockdown. Bika couldn’t wait to further punish Manfredo, who was forced to cover up in a corner the way he did when Calzaghe stopped him inside three rounds Cardiff, Wales last year.

Bika, who nearly defeated Joe Calzaghe in tough fight in October 2006, also knocked out Jaidon Codrington in “The Contender” season finale in last year.

After five consecutive victories since losing on points to IBF super middleweight champion Lucian Bute last year, Bika has positioned himself for another big fight at 168 pounds.

WBA super middleweight champion Mikkel Kessler is available. Also, Jermain Taylor, Jeff Lacy, Carl Froch, Jean Pascal, and Edison Miranda round out the division. A rematch with Bute would also be cool to watch, but a first ever encounter with Bernard Hopkins at 175 could be better.

Bundrage drops split decision nod to Brewer

Also on the card, junior middleweight Cornelius “K9″ Bundrage (26-4, 16 KOs) lost a 10-round split decision to Grady Brewer (24-11, 13 KOs). The scores read 93-92, 94-91 for Brewer and 90-95 for Bundrage. Both fighters were docked a point in the contest, but the most crucial point deduction came in the final seconds of the tenth round when Bundrage was docked for hitting after the break.

The final point deduction and a knockdown in the third round cost Bundrage a potential victory.

Both Bundrage and Brewer were competitors on “The Contender” reality series.