David Vs. Goliath II: Can Haye secure his famous legacy?

This Saturday will finally see the end to one of boxing’s longest sagas. David Haye versus Wladmir Klitschko has been a long time in the making and both fighters will be eager to prove that it can be worth the wait. A wait which at times has been rather irksome.

The pair of World Champions are both undoubtedly class acts in the ring but out of it they are different beasts. Haye is a cocky, smug, arrogant and above all a bit of a playground bully. Klitschko on the other hand is a smarmy teachers pet. Both have their magic moments with the media, but the anticipation surrounding this bout has allowed the two of them to become rather self-indulgent.

A prime example of Haye the 'bully'

Blissfully we will finally see the two of them in the same ring for the first time ever this weekend. The stage-show will reach it’s conclusion and the fight itself has the potential to be an absolute classic. Each fighter has sheer and utter self-belief in themselves. Such confidence is often just bravado, but in this case each of them have plenty of reason to believe that they are capable of a career defining victory.

Since moving up to the Heavyweight division, Haye has been unstoppable. His first fight which won him his world title against Russia’s nature defying Nikolay Valuev was a demonstration of magnificent hit-and-run boxing. His defence was such that the then World Champion Valuev barely landed any of his earth-shattering punches. In the mean time Haye managed to sneak in with his impressive speed and land heavy blows of his own which rocked the giant.

Haye's greatest achievement to date

Since then however, Haye has fought two fading forces. One was the resilient John Ruiz, who Haye destroyed bit by bit, bone by bone. The other was Audley ‘A-Force’ Harrison, who again Haye tore to pieces. But in truth these two fights were foregone conclusions. Haye’s attributes were more than enough to dispose of them with little fuss, and this begs the question as to why Haye even decided to take on such fights.

For a man seemingly so keen to fight as many high profile heavyweights before an early retirement later this year these fights seemed like odd selections. He has publicly demonstrated his desire to leave a legacy when he retires and such a feat will only be achieved by taking on the likes of Wladmir. We can see then why this fight is so crucial to Haye and his ambitions.

On the face of it this fight appears to be there for the taking. Haye is supremely talented and has strength way beyond the usual limitations of people with his stature but is it enough to defeat a highly reputable World Champion like Klitschko? He has already beaten a Heavyweight World Champion in the form of Valuev but Klitschko is a huge step up. Not only is he a huge man with immense ring presence and strength, but he has good footwork and knows when to throw his punches. Haye’s defence and evasion were super slick against Valuev but it will have to improve two-fold again if he hopes to prevent Wladmir from landing. At Heavyweight level David Haye’s chin has not yet been put to the test and it seems unlikely that Klitschko will fail to land significant blows. Haye must be prepared to endure such moments of shock and trauma if he is to come out of the ring with three belt to his name on Saturday evening.

Finally Haye has the chance to come face-to-face with Wladmir in the ring

Couple Klitschko’s far greater boxing talent and pedigree in comparison with Haye’s previous Heavyweight conquests, with the Partisan venue and it becomes hard to foresee a full-distance win for David. It seems that if he is to secure his greatest ever victory that it will take an aggressive approach and a win by way of knock-out. This is certainly not beyond the realms of possibility given that Klitschko has indeed been defeated in such a manner before, but it is certain that Haye will have to produce his very finest in order to chalk up another major scalp.

British Bulldog Vs. Tired Old Dog…

With just one week to go until the battle of the British Heavyweights takes place I will tell you exactly why David Haye will triumph. Below are some admittedly rather untempered arguments in favour of Haye  effectively ending the career of Audley Harrison…

Speed: David Haye is a glimmer of the genius that was Ali. Floating like a butterfly around the ring, Haye will have too much sting for his elder.

Motivation: Though Audley Harrison is undoubtedly determined to win the fight what else has he to achieve beyond it. Haye has spoken publicly of wanting to leave in his wake a boxing legacy. He wants to destroy Harrison and then go on and defeat the Klitschko brothers and unify the Heavyweight division. Harrison just wants this fight, he wants his one punch moment of glory, too much is being focused on this fight their is no real light at the end of the tunnel.

Look at their records: Enough said? Surely? Harrison has been beyond lacklustre since turning proffesional, Haye at times has been sublime.

Age: Though the likes of Bernard Hopkins, Evander Holyfield and Matt Skelton may disagree age is an undeniable weakness of Harrison’s. Audley simply needed this fight and this chance 10 years ago when he was consistently successful

Flexibility: Haye is so fast, so skilled, so talented and has such sweet hands that he is so adaptable within the ring. He can go in all guns blazing from round one and destroy his opponents with a fast, loose and direct displays. Just ask John Ruiz and Enzo Macarinelii… Alternatively he can stave off the immense power and presence of fighters such as Nikolay Valuev by fighting with immense concentration and wisdom. In his fight with Valuev, Haye defended himself so wonderfully by utilising his superior speed and skill to keep out of the firing line and catch his opponent on the run.

Harrison is the very epitomy of a one-dimensional fighter; takes a beating, hangs around and then conjures up one huge weighty punch and if it lands he steals victory. Harrison proved once and for all against Michael Sprott that he is a stealer of fights. He was behind by a huge distance on the scorecards and then in the 12th round he found a K.O punch from nowhere. Haye seeks victory Harrison waits for it to come to him. Trouble is Harrison simply cannot cope with 11 rounds of punishment from Haye, question is, could anybody?

Harrison should be pleased to be having his shot. Frankly, he is lucky to even be coming up against Haye. Many described Haye’s decision to take on his former sparring partner as a risk. I believe Haye knows exactly what he is doing. He will go out there next week intent upon punishing Harrison and demonstrating once more his more devastating and torturous side. Can you hear the Ukranian giants quaking in their boots?