By Anthony McClean, Editor In Chief Emeritus NEW HAVEN (BASN) —...
David Slays His Goliath
IOWA CITY (BASN) — David Haye looked across the ring and saw Goliath ( i.e. Nicolay Valuev) , all 7-feet-2 of him. He must have felt like his name sake as he viewed Valuev across the ring.
While Haye talked about slaying the Giant with a knockout punch, he rarely used his gloves like sling shot and instead, he used strategy to beat Valuev.
He followed the game plan that Evander Holyfield used against Valuev — move and box while waiting for the right time to throw punches.
The problem with this strategy was that Holyfield had the better of the much bigger Valuev, but still lost the decision.
Haye took a risk that could have cost him a championship.
Valuev is a fighter whose often been view more as a novelty than a real fighter but he had only one previous lost to Ruslan Chagaev. While he survived close calls, there was no taking away the fact he had beaten enough fighters to be considered the real thing.
For Haye, to allow the fight to go the distance was taking a big risk as the Champion would get the benefit of the doubt and in the past, Valuev got the benefit of the doubt.
Plus, Valuev’s size makes him an awkward fighter to defeat and Haye was not only nearly a foot smaller but he outweighed him by 100 pounds.
Attacking Valuev is not as easy as one would suppose.
Throughout the bout, Valuev move forward at a snail’s pace, throwing combinations in slow motion that often hit air but he forced Haye to move away.
He retreated and at the appropriate time, nailed Valuev with combinations in perfectly planned counter attacks.
Haye’s best punch was his left and his left nailed Valuev but he threw those punches sparsely.
The only drama occurred in the final round when a Haye left uppercut sent Valuev reeling and his legs rubbery.
The defending champion looked wobbled but Haye could not follow up on his success but leaving one with the question what would have happened if he had been more aggressive?
Haye took a majority decision with two judges scoring the fight 116-112 whereas another judge had it 114-114 but the final round certainly clinch the victory for the British pugilist.
And Haye became the first British fighter to claim a portion of the Heavyweight title since Lennox Lewis. But the reality is that Haye can’t claim to be the Heavyweight champion for that right belongs to Wladimir Klitschko.
Haye’s next mandatory challenger is John Ruiz, the brawling American. But his ultimate goal is to challenge the Klitschko brothers for to be truly recognize as the best in the division, you have to beat the two Ukrainian fighters.
Beating John Ruiz does not make you the best, only the WBA champion.
David Haye showed speed and occasional power as a Heavyweight and in defeating Valuev; he defeated a strong and quite big heavyweight.
He will not have to fight a bigger fighter in the Heavyweight division and now he has a claim to one of the titles.
He can negotiate with the Klitschkos as a champion which strengthens his own claim. He now has a title, but the real goal is to beat the Klitshcko brothers