Rule, Britannia!!!

By Francis Walker, BASN Staff Reporter
Updated: November 9, 2009

NEW YORK (BASN) — The portion of the world heavyweight championship changed hands this past Saturday. Of course the Klitschko Brothers remain the two-headed monsters atop the heavyweight division.

The dominant duo’s possession of the WBC and unified IBF/WBO/IBO titles remain in tact.

However, the WBA championship which has eluded them their entire career changed hands when David Haye (23-1, 21 KOs), a former unified world cruiserweight champion, became the first British fighter since Lennox Lewis to become heavyweight champion.

Haye outpointed 7-foot-3, 315-pound Nikolai Valuev (50-2, 34 KOs) through 12 rounds in Nuremberg, Germany. Two of the official ringside scorers had it 116-112 (Haye), while the other judge scored it (114-114 (even).

Haye’s longtime dream of becoming a world heavyweight champion has become a reality and he didn’t have to go through either Wladimir or Vitali Klitschko the way everyone thought.

Throughout 2009, Haye insulted the Klitschko’s posting graphic t-shirts standing over the bodies of the decapitated brothers while holding their severed heads. Haye was supposed to have fought Wladimir in June, but pulled out because of an injury.

After a second date couldn’t be scheduled, Haye then signed to fight Vitali but backed out when a deal to fight Valuev had been reached.

Valuev may be the biggest to have won a heavyweight championship, but he certainly isn’t the most talented and was viewed as an easier opponent than either Klitschko.

At 6-feet-3, 216 pounds, Haye was one-foot shorter and 100 pounds lighter than the two-time WBA heavyweight champion. Haye, similar to former WBA champion Ruslan Chagaev (the first person to beat Valuev) proved once again that size isn’t everything.

Haye proved that his skills and athleticism was better than Valuev’s.

David Haye (right) lands a right hand en route to winning the title via a majority decision victory over former Two-Time Heavyweight World Champion Nikolai Valuev (left)

David Haye (right) lands a right hand en route to winning the title via a majority decision victory over former Two-Time Heavyweight World Champion Nikolai Valuev (left)

The smaller Haye didn’t waste energy in trying to move the much bigger target by throwing unnecessary punches. Instead, Haye, the more talented of the two, moved around the ring, jabbed, picked his shots, and used his speed to beat Valuev to the punch. Haye used the ring as a track meet, while Valuev proved to be a mobile heavy bag.

Valuev proved too slow for Haye. Valuev missed early, often, and didn’t land anything significant through twelve rounds that would suggest he deserved to retain his title.

Valuev would throw his left jab, but missed terribly.

It was though Haye used Valuev as a heavy bag for target practice. Haye picked his shots well; landing solid right hands to the head and burying left jabs to any part of Valuev’s body. But

In round one, Haye established the fight-tempo by moving around then ring. Haye displayed a lot of head movement and initiated the action. In round two, Haye, landed a right hook that caught Valuev square on the chin but the giant didn’t budge.

Haye spent a lot of time moving and was focused on not getting hit. As Valuev continued to miss, Haye appeared content on slipping jabs and staying out of range. In the seventh round, Haye did catch Valuev with a couple of left hooks clean on the head.

In the final round, Haye wobbled the 7-foot giant with a left hook that staggered him against the ropes.

Haye tried to finish, but Valuev recovered quickly.

David Haye vs. John Ruiz

Of course, the ideal heavyweight title fight would be a unification bout against either Wladimir or Vitali Klitschko. However, Haye must first defend against WBA mandatory and former two-time heavyweight champion John Ruiz.

Ruiz is well-known for his jab-grab style. Ruiz, 37, and American of Puerto Rican decent, has fought a number of top-quality heavyweights. Ruiz fought a trilogy against Evander Holyfield and has beaten the likes of Jameel McCline, Hasim Rahman, Fres Oquendo, Andrew Golota, and Kirk Johnson.

Ruiz’ losses include a pair of decisions against Nikolai Valuev, Ruslan Chagaev, Roy Jones, Jr., and a 15-second demolition at the hands of David Tua in 1996.

Ruiz (44-8-1, 30 KOs) appeared on the Haye-Valuev undercard; defeating overmatched German Adnan Serin (19-11-1, 7 KOs) after his corner threw in the towel in the seventh round.

Chad Dawson bests Glen Johnson again

It appears as though whenever Chad Dawson beats someone convincingly nowadays once isn’t enough.

In fact Chad has to do it twice.

Dawson (29-0, 17 KOs) won is second consecutive rematch of 2009 from last year. This time it was Glen Johnson (49-13-2, 33 KOs) who found himself on the losing end of another 12-round unanimous decision at the XL Center in Hartford, CT on Saturday.

There were no knockdowns, as the judges scored it 117-111 and 115-113 (twice).

Dawson’s performance against Johnson, 40, Jamaica, the second time around was a repeat of their first fight in April 2008. The 27 year-old boxed, moved, used his speed, youth, and landed the more convincing blows. The difference was Johnson was unable to hurt Dawson with any big shots.

In the first bout, Johnson had Dawson reeling several times during the later rounds and some people believed that Johnson actually won the first bout. In the rematch, Dawson showed better defensive skills and was the more accurate puncher. Once again, Johnson came up short.

Earlier this year, Dawson won another repeat unanimous decision against another 40-year-old – Antonio Tarver. Dawson bested Tarver in a virtual wipe wash in October 2008.

The scores were 118-109 and 117-111 (twice). In the rematch, Tarver was more competitive, but Dawson simply dominated the scorecards again: 117-111 (twice) and 116-112.

Dawson’s future

When Chad Dawson fought Glen Johnson, they fought for something called the WBC interim light-heavyweight title. The WBC light-heavyweight champion, John Pascal is set to defend against Adrian Diaconu in a rematch from June on December 11, at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Canada.

Should Pascal win (as expected), Dawson will be next.

Dawson may challenge the winner of an agreed upon rematch between Roy Jones, Jr. vs. Bernard Hopkins next year. The two have signed contracts to meet one another for the first time since Jones bested Hopkins for the vacant IBF middleweight title in 1993.

First, Jones will travel to Australia on December 2, to face local favorite Danny Green. Hopkins returns to his native Philadelphia, PA to face Enrique Ornelas on the same day.