By Ronald Cameron
Last weekend’s Heavyweight Title unification match-up between the IBF and WBO Champion Wladimir “Dr. Steelhammer” Klitschko vs. WBA title holder David “The Hayemaker” Haye was one of the most anticipated fights in quite some time.
This fight was supposed to bring more attention to the Heavyweight division that was in desperate need of it. It certainly got plenty of attention after the fact, but for the wrong reasons.
Now I could talk about how Haye flopped to the canvas more than a fish out of water or I could talk about how I fell asleep after the 5th round and ended up watching the rest of the fight later. I could also say that after watching that fight, I immediately went on you-tube searching for a big time Heavyweight title fight that could compare to what I just saw and the closest thing I could come up with was… well…. I couldn’t find one that compared to this one.
To be honest, last weekend’s fight would make John Ruiz vs. Evander Holyfield look like George Foreman vs. Ron Lyle. I could do all of that, but we all saw the fight and we all know how deplorable that fight was.
I’m not going to question Haye’s toe injury, but he should never be allowed to use Larry Holmes’ theme music before a fight.
Boxing fans are ripping David Haye for showing the world his broken toe and using that as an excuse. I’m not going to question Haye’s toughness or his injury. I know a little something about pain: I deal with SEVERE back and neck pain every day that keeps me up all night on a regular basis. No one really knows how severe my pain is except for me and I believe it’s not fair to judge another man’s pain tolerance or whether or not he’s injured. But to be totally honest, I can understand why people are killing Haye for offering that as an excuse.
I’ve watched fighters gut it out with a broken hand, (Arturo Gatti) almost lose their nose(Marciano) and Muhammad Ali fought 10 rounds with a broken jaw against Ken Norton.
Some people have higher pain thresholds than others. The Hayemaker did say that it affected how he could plant his foot and land right hands. I know it sounds like a lame excuse, especially after talking so much trash about the Klitschko brothers for 3 years… I get it. But again, no one knows how severe Haye’s toe injury is and how that could have hindered him in this fight.
I’ve got to rip Haye for this: In his pre-fight walk to the ring, he chose Hall of Famer Larry Holmes theme song, “Ain’t No Stopping Us Now!” Whatever the reason was for his lackluster performance, David Haye he should never be allowed to use Larry Holmes theme music in his pre-fight walk to the ring… NEVER!
Wladimir “Slapped” Haye around for 12 rounds, but was not impressive in doing so.
Ok, I’m done talking about Haye so now I will shift my attention to the World Heavyweight Champion, Wladimir Klitschko. Leading up to this fight, Wladimir showed the boxing world a side of him that we haven’t seen before. He was visibly irritated and angry when the two had their “Face Off” with HBO’s boxing expert Max Kellerman. He was quoted saying that he was going to “bitch slap” Haye for 12 rounds and then knock him out in the last seconds.
If Wladimir’s definition of “bitch slapping” means throwing one-two punches all night (left jab and right hands) and not much else, then he accomplish half of what he promised to do. I didn’t see a consistent left hook from him, no uppercuts and no body punches. This is how he’s been fighting for over 10 years and he can get away with doing just that because the Heavyweight division is as bad as when Joe Louis was annihilating his “Bum of the Month” list of challengers back in the 1940’s.
That’s all well and good, but please don’t try to convince me that he’s a GREAT fighter. He is the best of his era, but what does that really entail? This may sound harsh, but to me, Wladimir is just a basic, one-two fighter. If he were fighting in the 70’s with Ali, Foreman, Frazier and many other good fighters, he would be a mid-carder, at best. I will even take it further and say that he would not survive in the 90’s with Tyson, Bowe, Lewis or Holyfield.
In the mist of searching through that dumpster full of garbage of a fight last weekend, I did notice one thing: Wladimir still looks uncomfortable when being pressured and forced to move backward.
Haye did manage to stun him momentarily and I still believe if he fights a guy who can get under some of his jabs and attack him with power, “Dr. Steelhammer” will fold, just as he did against Corrie Sanders and Lamon Brewster. And to all of the Wladimir Klitschko fans out there: You may believe that I’m being too harsh but I assure you, this is not a personal attack. In fact, I think he acts like a World Champion should act. But in terms of his boxing ability, I’ve got to tell it like it t-i-s tis.
Wladimir is the best Heavyweight of his era, but he would be a mid-carder if he fought in the 1970’s.
GREAT Heavyweights like Joe Louis, Ali (Although he rarely threw body punches) and Larry Holmes threw every punch in the book. When they were in their primes, they never disappointed their fans with their performances. Even guys like Mike Tyson, Lennox Lewis, Riddick Bowe and Evander Holyfield were complete offensive fighters. I’m just saying that when I study a fighter and I’ve been watching boxing for 34 years, I know a great fighter when I see one. I don’t consider Wladimir a great fighter because I don’t see any difference in how he fights now than how he fought 10 years ago. For example, Lennox Lewis used to fight very similar to how Wladimir fights now early in his career, but Lewis evolved into a GREAT fighter once he hooked up with legendary trainer Manny Steward. Wladimir has won many fights since he’s been with Steward, but he hasn’t improved much as a fighter.
As I stated in the title of this article, there is no doubt that Wladimir Klitschko reigns supreme as the best Heavyweight in the world, but did he satisfy his critics? I can only speak for myself and to me, the Heavyweight division is road kill right now with both Wladimir and Vitali (Some boxing experts believe Vitali is better than his younger brother) holding all of the belts.
There is not a legit contender in sight and sadly guys who could have possibly challenged both Klitschko brothers are now playing in the NFL or NBA right now. Wladimir’s “dominating” performance over David Haye may have satisfied many boxing critics, but not this boxing writer.
If you’re satisfied with Wladimir’s big win over Haye, please give us your opinion in the “comments” section that’s located at the bottom of this article. Whether you agree with me or if you think I’m out of line, I want to hear from you.