Klitschko Shutsdown Haye

By Francis Walker
Updated: July 3, 2011

NEW YORK, NY—-Wladimir Klitschko has cemented his legacy, alongside older brother Vitali, as the most dominant champion of his era.

Klitschko (56-3, 49 KOs) solidified himself as one of the greatest heavyweight champions of all-time following a 12-round unanimous decision against David Haye (25-2, 23 KOs) to unify the IBF, WBA, WBO, IBO and Ring Magazine heavyweight championships in front of more than 55,000 people at Imtech Arena in Hamburg, Germany on Saturday.

All three judges scored the bout 117-119, 118-109, and 116-110 for Klitschko, making his tenth consecutive successful defense of the heavyweight championship he won in April 2006 by knocking out Chris Byrd in a rematch. Klitschko dominated Haye behind a razor sharp left-lab, a fast straight-right, and surprising speed.

“It would have been awesome to knock David Haye out,” Klitschko said. “He was difficult to hit the same way as Ibragimov. He was fighting like the same way as ALL of my opponents. I wasn’t hurt in any of the twelve rounds.”

Wladimir and Vitali Klitschko, the WBC champion are the only brothers to simultaneously hold world heavyweight championships. Wladimir’s victory over Haye was significant because, it enabled the Klitschkos to possess ALL of the title belts.

“I’m very proud and very happy,” Vitali Klischko said. “It was a good fight. David Haye was very difficult to hit. Wladimir won every round.”

During the three-year build up to this fight, Haye, the former unified cruiserweight and now former WBA heavyweight titlist, accused the Klitschkos of killing boxing with their robotic style. Haye, 30, Britain, taunted Wladimir, 35, Ukraine, with outrageous insults and graphic t-shirts of the Brit standing over the beheaded corpses of both brothers inside of a boxing ring. Perhaps the most alarming image was displayed during fight week when Haye introduced a graphic poster of him literally knocking Wladimir’s head clean off his shoulders.

Calm under pressure, Klitschko responded by making remarks of his own:

“David Haye will be my 50th knockout victim.”

“I will give David Haye pizza face and knock him out in the twelfth round.”

“I will teach David Haye manners.”

In the end, Klitschko didn’t get his coveted and deserving 50th career knockout. David Haye wasn’t a pizza-facial transplant, but it was Klitschko’s actions that spoke volumes inside the ring.

At 6′ 7,” 243 pounds, Klitschko, a 1996 Atlanta Olympic gold medalist, two-time heavyweight champion with 19 world heavyweight title fights, was much more than anything Haye has ever dealt with. Klitschko was a fast, mobile heavyweight with great tools and powerful weapons who picked his spots to the chagrin of longtime Hall of Fame trainer Emmanuel Steward.

“You’ve got to let the punches go,” Steward. “You’re not throwing enough punches Wladimir.”

Klitschko wasn’t in a rush to decapitate Haye because, the 6′ 2,” 213-pound British champion was simply too small and didn’t have the skills or the experience to make the larger big-man commit toward making any mistakes.

Haye simply couldn’t get past Klitschko’s left jab. Klitschko kept moving forward with the left-jab and drove Haye backward. The problem was Haye was too far for Klitschko to follow through with his straight-right consistently. Klitschko’s left hook was absent for most of the fight because, Haye fought such a defensive-minded fight.

There were times late in the fight when Haye did land his right hand that at one point caused Klitschko to clinch. Haye was off-balanced and lunged with too many of his punches. Haye, known as the ‘Hayemaker’ didn’t throw enough punches and he didn’t jab.

Perhaps the only round Haye won was the third round when he caught the newly crowned unified heavyweight champion with a right hand that drove him back. Aside from that Haye didn’t do anything to threaten or even challenge Klitschko.

Interesting fact: Wladimir Klitschko has competed in more world title fights than Lennox Lewis (18) and Mike Tyson (16), Joe Frazier (12), and George Foreman (7). Klitschko ties Evander Holyfield (19). Muhammad Ali and Larry Holmes each competed in 25 world heavyweight title fights. Joe Louis has 28.