TOMMYROT! Wladimir Klitschko W12 David Haye


What a shame the downpour in Hamburg failed to wash David Haye out into the Elbe tonight as the obnoxious heavyweight pretender dropped a dreary decision to Wladimir Klitschko over 12 spirit-crushing rounds at the Imtech Arena. Final scores were 118-108, 117-109, and 116-110.

It was an easy–if unimpressive–win for Klitschko, 242 1/2, no harder, in fact, than his monotonous workouts against Eddie Chambers, Ruslan Chagaev, and Sultan Ibragimov. Klitschko appeared tight early, and got his jab untracked after two or three rounds. He also pressed what little action there was in Hamburg, but there was little he could do against an opponent who spent more time on his knees than on offense for 36 minutes of farce.

Haye, 212 1/2, was so pathetic that even referee Gino Rodriguez got sick of his act. Adam Booth has been credited in the past for some sharp strategery—as George W. Bush might put it—but his tactic of having Haye drop deliberately to the canvas every time Klitschko tried to lean on him backfired when Rodriguez caught on. Rodriguez docked a point from Klitschko in the 7th for pulling Haye down by the neck, but in the 11th Haye flopped for the umpteenth time, and Rodriguez decided to rule it a knockdown as a punitive measure.

Losing by 10, 8, and 6 points, Haye managed to make denigrated fighters like Tony Thompson look good by comparison. Haye, 30, landed a few isolated right hands, the occasional jab, and some rabbit punches—the sum total of a non-effort nobody but his cornerman, apparently, could be proud of at the final bell.

Except for a little more posing than usual, Klitschko, now 56-3 (49), fought with the same measured style as always. And, like always, Emanuel Steward unsuccessfully exhorted his fighter from round to round to go for the kill.

Haye, 25-2 (23), entered the ring to years of accumulating mass hysteria based on a spotty heavyweight record. In 2008, Monte Barrett, ready for a rocking chair even then, shook the “Hayemaker” and dropped him before succumbing to superior firepower in the 5th round. Audley Harrison looked like he entered the ring C.O.D. from a taxidermy shop. As for 38-year-old John Ruiz, the last few years of his FUBAR career were the byproduct of contemporary backroom shenanigans that might have made Reggie & Ronald Kray proud. A dull, nip-and-tuck affair with the boxing equivalent of the Cardiff Giant, Nicolay Valuev, earned Haye his WBX whangdoodle, but was an inconclusive eyesore. This curious run procured Haye the kind of reputation boxing specializes in: an unearned one.

Somehow, Haye raised the parochial hopes of the United Kingdom merely by being loud, loutish, and lowbrow. Class and sportsmanship seem to be light years from his reach, and the notion that this insufferable boor would breathe life into boxing was, in itself, offensive.

Joe Louis never had to act up before a fight. Neither did Jack Dempsey, arguably the greatest draw in the history of boxing. Sugar Ray Robinson confronted George Costner for his incessant barking, telling Costner that he, Robinson, sold tickets by praising opponents. Robinson knocked Costner out twice in his career—both times in the first round. Of course, there was Muhammad Ali, but he, as one of the biggest sporting figures of the last 50 years, was sui generis. Costner, by the way, was blind in one eye when he won some of his biggest bouts.

Why British fans go for this kind of vulgar behavior is inexplicable. It is one thing for Naseem Hamed—Patron Saint of U.K. braggarts—to flatten good featherweights with either hand, but it is something else altogether for the likes of James DeGale and Haye to bark beyond the ropes and mewl in between them.

Hellion outside of the ring and hapless inside of it, Haye simply fought to hear the final bell, a trait shared by many of the Klitschko opponents Haye had insulted prior to the fight. Haye might not be fat and out of shape, but he, too, appeared interested in just a payday.

Later, Haye claimed that he broke his toe in training and made sure to remove his shoe in the ring for inspection. Larry Holmes entered his bout with Ken Norton with a torn biceps in 1978, and Buddy McGirt answered the opening bell against Pernell Whitaker in 1993 with a torn rotator cuff. Both men tried their hardest to win against Hall of Fame opposition. More recently, Arthur Abraham fought for several rounds with a broken jaw against murderous puncher Edison Miranda. Hell, amputee Craig Bodzianowski challenged for a cruiserweight title without a foot at all. Bodzianowski wore a prosthesis against Robert Daniels in 1990, and tried his best from start to finish.

Too bad the same cannot be said for Haye.



Flashpoint: On Wladimir Klitschko Versus David Haye


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  • phils

    Hello Carlos: I think you captured the disappointment effectively. For the life of me, I cannot understand why a guy fighting for four world titles wouldn’t go for broke. Trying to get points deducted was pathetic, but he had to know his only chance was to get to Vladamir’s chin and he didn’t even try. I’m just at a loss as to why and so disappointed in Haye’s effort.

    I thought this was finally a guy not coming to lose and cash a check, but a guy coming to win a fight against Vlad or so he would have had you believe. In the end, it was just more of the same.

    I guess it could have been worse–I could have flown to Germany, and witnessed this fight in person, in the rain while paying 300 Euro for that seat.

    • Carlos Acevedo

      Hi phils,

      your point about tickets prices, etc. is interesting because, ethically, was Haye right to enter a fight with an alleged injury, thereby defrauding consumers, television networks, and bettors of their cash? I say “alleged” injury because boxers always have a broken this or broken that until proven otherwise. I think the last guy who supposedly broke something was Bam Bam Rios and a few days later it was proven that he didn’t. Either way, Haye made the professional decision to go ahead with the bout, and must live with the consequences. What is bothersome is, as you note, the weeping to the referee and the tumbler act in the ring. Not trying is one thing–or being unable to, according to Haye–is one thing, his comportment in the ring, however, was disgraceful.

      • funkybadger

        The toe did actually look broken – and he hasn’t been noted in the past for shoddy balance and slipping a lot. It is an interesting question if he should have fought or not – pretty much a lose-lose though.

        Agree about how he carried himself in the ring. Seemed to be getting more wound up by the ref than his opponent, which probably isn’t where his focus should have been.

        • phils

          Two observations: He “lost” his balance when Vlad put his arms on the back of his neck however, when Vlad hit him flush with that one-two, he bobbed to one side and kept his balance in amazing fashion. I forget the round, but could not believe he kept his balance.

          Secondly–I am surprised with a broken toe, that it would not be taped to the next one. Isn’t that about the only thing you can do?

          I’m not big on excuses–the great ones overcome them and that’s what makes them great.

          • Carlos Acevedo

            Hi phils,

            I’m not sure what you would do with an injured pinky toe. A shot, some tape?

            I think if Haye could bounce around as often as he did against Klitschko, he might have been able to mix it up a little, too. One thing that few have mentioned is that Haye was still trash talking and acting out until the 4th or 5th round–so, he felt good enough at that point to show his usual contemptuous confidence.

  • Dennis Wise

    Boxing is a very unfortunate state where its all too easy for big name fighters to go for a quick money grab with no shame whatsoever when they give a non effort in the process. This coming from Haye isn’t surprising. Mosely a few months ago was surprising.

    36 minutes of light sparring for 15 mil. why put out an effort and take a risk? Particularly when the opportunity is unearned, fighter’s don’t have a whole lot of respect for the sport.

    • Carlos Acevedo

      Hi Dennis,

      Amen to that. Mosely, at least, was classy before the fight with Pacquiao. Haye is a poor excuse for a sportsman, even worse than Hopkins, who at least never bagged it in the ring. What did Haye do to send the public into a tizzy? Blather idiotically for years. Welcome to boxing in the cyber age.

  • johnpaulfutbol


    spot on, as Phils said “you captured the disappointment.” Fortunately I wasn’t one of the ones gullible enough to think we were going to witness a real live stage production of “War of the Gargantuas.” However, I was looking forward to this fight and understood that it might not turn out to be all that great. But fuck man, that sucked!

    Screw this David Haye dude. How do you do all that chest thumping and posturing and come out and lay an egg like that? What the hell was up with him doing that spastic bobbing and weaving and occasionally throwing those loopy rights then Hall n ‘ Oates out of the danger zone? The absolute worst is that dropping to the knees every time he got inside and the constant looking to the ref for help. I did somewhat expect him to try make more of a fight out of it. Which was stupid of me as belligerent jackoffs like that rarely back up any of that chatter.

    The Klitschko’s aren’t the most exciting. But they don’t really bother me as much as they seem to bother others. They’re efficient, if nothing else. The only problem is that I really can’t take those Teutonic entrances and those ridiculous white “McFit” rings.

    “C.O.D. from a taxidermy shop” is fucking hilarious. Sorry, this comment was supposed to be a lot more insightful, but the thing is that I broke my toe a few weeks ago. This isn’t me who’s logged in tonight.

    • Carlos Acevedo

      Hi JPF,

      That was a complete waste of time and if i never see Haye again, I’ll be more than happy. He was a good cruiserweight (nothing to swoon over either, in my opinion, since Enzo Maccarinelli, who I’ve abused here before, is one of the worst beltholders I’ve ever seen) and a better woofer. Although Haye has gone around parading his toe to whomever is willing to look at it, the truth is, he did not appear much different than when he fought Valuev.

      Even a loudmouth like Paulie Malinaggi never dogged it in the ring and always fought to the best of his ability even when overmatched.

      Klitschko did not look any better or worse than he usually does, which is to say he fought with his usual deliberate care. I don’t see the point in criticizing him, since he did win, did work harder than Haye, and had an unwilling opponent in front of him. It wasn’t Klitschko who said he was going to set the world on fire, after all. That was Haye, whose gibberish was truly low-class and did not have even a hint of wink or wit to it. He and Odlanier Solis–another imbecile–should be forced to fight on the Space Station Mir, or whatever’s left of it.

  • funkybadger

    Hey Carlos,

    I think Haye’s getting an overly rough-ride here based on the hope that he’d finish off the Ks. We had too excellent defensive fighters, cautiously trying to find openings for their offense. One of them appeared hampered by a foot injury and the other rufeused to lose concentration or make any mistakes.

    Lets not forget Haye dominated and unified at Cruiser and moved up to try and “save” HW – he couldn’t beat an good champ while injured.

    • Carlos Acevedo

      Hi funkybadger,

      I usually try as hard as possible to give fighters a fair shake, boxing is an unmerciful business, after all, but Haye brought much of the criticism heaped on him from many quarters on himself. Fighters enter the ring injured all the time, and, in addition to the examples in my post, I can also think of Jeff Fenech breaking both hands in his fight with tough Victor Callejas, Tyrell Biggs breaking his collarbone against Jeff Sims, and Ad Wolgast fighting with a broken arm. The issue with Haye was the constant pleading to the referee, the constant collapsing on the mat, and his obnoxious behavior before (and now after) the fight. His toe may have prevented him from throwing hard right hands, as he claims, but it didn’t prevent him from bouncing away from Klitschko as often as possible.

      I do think, as you note, that it was very difficult for people to get an objective handle on this fight beforehand based on a) their antipathy to the Klitschkos and b) their getting lost in the stream of nonsense poured forth by Haye at every opportunity. To hear that he was a betting favorite in Englsnd, for example, was absurd. William Hill must have lost their mind!

      • funkybadger

        Hi Carlos,

        I’ve agreed up above regarding Haye’s comportment, he’d made his point by the time Wlad got a point deducted. It was embarressing by the end (although what the ref was playing at with that count).

        Without wanting to go out on a limb (even more) in his defense, there’s a difference between going into a fight with an injury and battling through one sustained in the ring.

        Its still (was) really hard to gauge Wlad. Every time he’s been hit flush and hard in his career he’s ended up on his arse. Haye’s an explosive puncher. Wlad’s opposition has been dreadful… 1 + 1 + 1 = ?

        I think he gave his best performance against his best opponent. And it just strikes me as ironic now that all the talk is *still* about Haye rather than K Jnr.

        • Carlos Acevedo

          Hi FB,

          I am not any kind of medical expert, but I do know that evolution will eventually do away with all pinky toes!

          As for injuries, some of the examples I gave–Holmes & McGirt–entered the ring with serious injuries. They knew beforehand that they would not be at their best, but still fought all-out. McGirt nearly eked out a decision over Pernell Whitaker with only one arm.

  • Michael Nelson

    Hey Carlos,

    Good stuff. Unfortunately, a repeat of the Valuev effort was both a real possibility and everyone’s worst nightmare. Despite three years of promises otherwise, that’s what we got; Krueger floating down with the rain drops and planting his ass in the ring.

    I was hoping, at the very least, Haye would sell out once it was clear that the Valuev plan wasn’t working. No dice. We’re left with the sobering realization that the Klitschkos may end up retiring largely untested.

    • Carlos Acevedo

      Hi Michael,

      Thanks. it’s interesting that you note the Valuev fight, since Haye looked no different against Klitschko than he did against Valuev. Adam Booth, by the way, claimed that Haye had a far worse injury going into the ring with Valuev than he did against Klitschko. Who knows what to make of that?

      Everyone’s worst nightmare is right; Lord, what a dull fandango. We’re both not Compubox guys and I think they overcount punches landed, so what does it mean that Haye landed 72 punches throughout the bout?

      The Klitschkos are not the Wild Bunch, that’s for sure, but neither do they vomit forth stupidities at every turn. I’ll be much happier watching them fight than listening to Haye any day of the week.

  • Andrew Fruman

    Hi Carlos,

    I knew there was a very real danger of a borefest on Saturday, but I still allowed myself to get sucked in by the hype. As with Michael, I really thought Haye would go for it when it was clear his strategy wasn’t paying off. Instead, he simply let the rounds tick by in safety mood. What a dreadful non-performance.

    As for Wlad – it’s hard to be too critical since he won comfortably, but he does nothing to entertain. He was having trouble landing upstairs, but never even hinted at going to the body, which I think would have taken some of the zip from Haye’s legs. A few more right hands would have been nice too, especially when he had Haye backed up. Instead, he seemed simply content to jab, jab, and jab some more. Good for him, he got out with a comfortable win – but as usual, nothing he did made me eager to watch his next outing.

    All in all, a total bore of a fight. Oh well, that’s boxing, hope for the best, but expect to be disappointed.

    • Carlos Acevedo

      Hi Andrew,

      Bad toe or not, Haye simply appeared uninterested in trying to win. And if you let Klitschko cruise, by God, he’s going to cruise. Klitschko is a safety-first performer and Haye gave him every opportunity to practice his favorite tactics. In the end, Klitschko is basically a textbook European fighter–jabs, straight right, occasional left hook, nothing much more. Against one of these newfangled athletes-but-not-well-rounded-fighter types, that will usually be enough. But a very boring fight, as you say, with a ridiculous build-up/entrance that only highlighted how trashy the fight itself was.