He may have lasted twelve rounds against Dr.Steelhammer, but David Haye last night succumbed to his first defeat as a Heavyweight. Furthermore, if Haye is good to his word then this could well be his final ever fight. If this is the case, then it was an uncharacteristically timid curtain call for the usually brash Londoner.
The years and months of anticipation, mind games and trash talking all came down to one night. A night which Klitschko dominated from start to finish.
The general pre-fight consensus was that if David Haye lost the fight then he would look rather foolish given all of his personal hype for the bout. Add to this the benefit of hindsight, and Haye’s antics on the night also look a little foolish. To waste a lot of people’s time, effort and money by delaying his scheduled arena entrance by over ten minutes was never likely to make him many friends, win or lose. Maybe this was just one of many unwise decisions from Haye and his entourage over the course of the last two years.
Another disappointing move from Haye on the night were his post-match complaints of ill-health. He appeared to be claiming that a broken little toe was at the heart of his defeat and not his inferior size, strength, nouse and Heavyweight experience. Pitiful excuses won’t make you many friends either David.
Of course a broken toe hurts, of course it will affect you, but there is no way Haye would have got in that ring if he honestly felt that it would have seriously troubled him. There was certainly no obvious expression of pain from Haye during the fight, so we may be excused for being a little sceptical about just how much the injury was playing a part in his lacklustre showing.
One mention of the toe was quite enough if not too much for most. However, Haye then decided to take his boot off to show the cameras. Not content with this, he went on to use the post-fight press conference as a homage to the toe that ruined it all for him, including further photo opportunities for the media.
Haye’s pre-fight exhibitionism can be excused as it achieved it’s end goal of a Heavyweight title fight against a Klitschko. But this reaction in the face of defeat is verging on pathetic. No matter how bigger problem his injury was during the fight, he could at least have had the good grace to accept that he was simply outboxed. The truth is that Haye and his trainer Adam Booth underestimated Wladmir Klitschko. They were correct that he is not the most entertaining Heavyweight of all time, but they simply weren’t prepared for the scale and awkwardness of the challenged posed by him.
So, hats off to Klitschko for backing up his own far more pleasant brand of confidence. He really did outclass Haye on the night and exposed the frailties which Haye possesses as a Heavyweight.
There are no doubts about David’s ability to box. He has proven beyond any doubt that he is an outstanding Cruiserweight. It is the weight division which he is naturally suited to and many would argue that he should have stayed at the weight. To the contrary I credit Haye for his move. He is an ambitious man and has always wanted to reach what he viewed the pinnacle of the boxing world and he achieved it in a sense. He was Heavyweight champion of the world for over a year, his only downfall was aiming higher than this.
If ambition is his major failing, then his must be considered a very good career. Sadly for Haye, if he is to retire after this defeat and over-ambition then he may be remembered as a slightly lacklustre Heavyweight rather than one of the finest ever Cruiserweights that Britain has ever had.