Blogs & Opinion

Should Haye bail?

Classy Klitschko could force Londoner into rethink

Glenn McCrory Posted 25th June 2009 view comments

Let's be clear - what Wladimir Klitschko achieved in destroying Ruslan Chagaev was mightily impressive. Such a comprehensive victory under such circumstances shouldn't really happen.

Look at the facts: Klitschko took a fight at a couple of weeks' notice against possibly the best heavyeweight in the world other than himself and his brother; Chagaev is a former world amateur champion, world title holder and was undefeated; he is also a southpaw and presents a totally different challenge to David Haye.

Dishing it out: Klitschko showed against Chagaev he can do more than just defend

Dishing it out: Klitschko showed against Chagaev he can do more than just defend

It was one of the rare occasions you'll find in boxing when the opponent stepping in - fit and hungry after the collapse of his fight with Nikolay Valuev - is superior to the original one. And yet Klitschko bashed him up.


I've been very critical of him at times in the past, but this is a heavyweight who just keeps on improving, and there's no sign of him levelling off as he gets older.

Credit to David for talking his way into it in the first place - we all know what a breath of fresh air he is and how much he has to offer. But I wonder if he shouldn't rethink his whole strategy with the Klitschkos, because if he is going to have a chance of beating either he needs heavyweight fights under his belt.

Glenn McCrory
Quotes of the week

British super-bantamweight title

York Hall, London
9.30pm, Tuesday, Sky Sports 2

He still splits opinion simply because the public always wants to see an all-guns-blazing, up-and-down contest fought with a warrior spirit. Klitschko learned pretty early on that if you get hit, you can get hurt, and the defensive skills he's honed may not be crowd-pleasing but they make him a damned difficult man to get at.

There was more than a polished defence on show against Chagaev, though. He took the centre ground, controlled the ring and dished plenty out - taking the fight out of Chagaev with that shattering jab. People will argue that Chagaev did nothing, but Klitschko never gave him a chance.


So what of David Haye's chances now - firstly of getting the fight at all and secondly of winning it? I think the first question David needs to ask himself is: 'do I want to fight Klitschko on this form?'

Credit to David for talking his way into it in the first place - we all know what a breath of fresh air he is and how much he has to offer. But I wonder if he shouldn't rethink his whole strategy with the Klitschkos, because if he is going to have a chance of beating either he needs heavyweight fights under his belt.

Maybe he should be looking a level below the brothers - to the Chagaevs and Oleg Maskaevs of the division - to discover whether he's worthy of a shot at the best. It's all very well talking yourself into something, but if you don't have the tools to back it up...

Boxing being boxing, though, I think Haye-Klitschko will happen. The original fight was on its way to selling 60,000 tickets in Germany - where the sport is going great guns just now - and the fans there will want it to happen, if only to see their man put Haye in his place.

What Haye can do that Chagaev was unable to, I'm not sure. He will obviously want to cut the distance down and get at Klitschko's suspect chin from close quarters, but when you're facing an opponent who is 6ft 7in and can jab like that it is much easier said than done.


Tuesday sees us return to the domestic scene on Sky Sports for Jason Booth's British super-bantamweight defence against Rocky Dean. If it's a crowd-pleasing fight you're after this might be your man.

All of us on the Sky team have so much time for Booth - he's such a colourful character and he's entertained us for years - but one thing we know about Dean is he will come to fight.

I expect the challenger to push him all the way, but Booth has the skills to win and has to be looking ahead at a possible contest with Rendall Munroe. I'm not sure he could beat Munroe, who is looking up towards world level, but what a domestic fight that would be.

Darren Sutherland has also been added to the York Hall bill, and it's encouraging to see him so willing to take a fight 10 days before he next gets in the ring in Sunderland.

I know Sutherland and had one of my Cubans spar with him. He's my pick of the Olympians and he'll have been used to fighting five times a week as an amateur. At this stage of his career, and with the attitude he has to his conditioning, a quick turnaround is no problem.

Comments (14)

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Luke Brown says...

Haye isn't stupid and Glenn is right that he talkekd himself into the fight - but you've got to admire the guy for doing it. For years now we've been talking about the worst heavy weight division since Lewis retired; everyone was calling for a young entertainer to come and shake things up and that's exactly what he has done. But he must realise that he has got to back the talking up in the ring, but isn't this what boxing is about? It's entertainment, it makes for exciting match up's and for those of us who are truely interested in the "sweet science" I'd rather watch a B-Hop or Winky Wright at a lighter weight against half decent opposition stick and move and cruise to points or late stoppage victories - not Vlad sticking his jab in the face of a so called contender, who is only a contender because there's nothing else out there. Whether Haye beats either of them remains to be seen, but he thinks he can, and as far as a boxer is concerned, so long as he is confident in his ability, then that is all that really matters. If he can't get either in the ring soon though, I agree with an earlier post - go to states, get it on with Arreola, who whilst entertaining, I don't give much chance against Haye, which would then have the American's realsie that Arreola isn't the next big thing and hopefully they would start backing Haye for a shot at the Brothers Grim rather than keep writing him off as nothing more than a brash big mouth (which is rich of them).

Posted 16:43 30th June 2009

Steven Dunne says...

compltely disagree with yas lads, i think glen is spot on...not only do i think wlad will win, he will kill him...i respect haye's courage and understand hes eager, but this fite is far too soon for haye...he needs to get a few more heavy weight bouts in before he takes on either klitscho, i think he completely underestimates how technically gifted these guys are fo such big blokes...i also think he is underestimating the power of their jabs let alone their sorry to say this could be the stupidest decision hes ever made and ultimately could ruin his heavyweight career far too early

Posted 18:08 29th June 2009

Shaun Parkin says...

Matt Dexter: what planet are you on? Please explain how the Klitchkos have avoided Haye? They gave him a shot, without him even proving himself in the division. His loud mouth and disrespectfull attitude got him the fight. I agree with Glenn, the Wladimir fight just showed, how good and controlled he has become. I know he is not the entertainer a Divid Haye can be, but he is 110% efficient, and i think David would have major problems landing a punch on the guy. My opinion: Haye should take a couple of fights against top ten Heavyweight opponents, prove himself first then he has earned the chance to lose against a Klitchko.

Posted 17:21 29th June 2009

Paul Carter says...

i agree with glenn haye has talked himself into the position he is in i was at the klitchco chagaev fight and spoke to many fans there and most people would like to see him back up his talk and fight a top 10 ranked heavyweight and establish his position in the division then maybe he will get his shot but would not kid myself and think either klitchco would be an easy fight!

Posted 15:02 29th June 2009

Ben Crowe says...

I dont agree David Haye has got so much more style than Chagaev he is alot quicker than Chagaev as well.David Hayes explosiveness will bring him the title. You want some one as heavy weight champion that isnt a bore in doing so. Klitchko's fight are such a bore fest. How he gets crowds in i do not no who wants to pay moeny to watch a fight were its gonna bore you to depth that you end up sleeping through it

Posted 14:07 29th June 2009

Andy Bailey says...

I have to be honest the Haye/Kiltschko fight is a tough one to call for me. I love David Haye, followed all his fights and genuinely believe that he is one of the best british prospects for a title. It's a big step up from Cruiser though to the top of Heavyweight. If we're talking Wladimir, then I think Haye can take him out inside 5 rounds because although Wladimir is more powerful, I don't think he'll be able to catch Haye with anything big because of Haye's movement and head speed. Plus Haye is very accurate and the glass jaw won't last too long. Haye has previously said he'd also be happy taking on Vitali Klitschko which I think may be a step too far - for now. Vitali is a much better boxer than Wladimir, quicker, stronger, more resilient and more intelligient. I think Haye needs to build up to that one. Having said that, Haye has surprised me before, who could have seen his total destruction of Macaranelli coming??? I thought that one would have been much closer! Good luck to David Haye whoever he fights. He's an incredible talent and a pleasure to watch. And if Haye can dictate the fight in the way he does normally, I genuinely don't think he has anything to fear from Wladimir Klitschko!

Posted 09:36 28th June 2009

Coop Dogg says...

Valuev Vitali being set, wlad fighting two guys first, Haye should fight arreola as he's quite regarded in states and mexico, and has also been linked with a title shot. Would be the biggest non title fight out there, would be a big big fight. He should fight in states on a huge showtime bill, then he would def get a title shot

Posted 08:59 28th June 2009

Gary J says...

Glenn McCrory has gone a bit sideways on this issue with Haye and Wladamir, yes he beat a good fighter but not a great one. And he did it in the same fashion as in many of his other fights, Jab Jab followed by a Jab and occasionally cross only to Jab Jab and Jab somemore, not really hard to work out Wladamirs style. McCrory now says Haye might need to think twice about fighting Wladamir; he does not need to think twice about anything he wouldn't last five rounds with David Haye. Wladamir has size and strength and is well experienced in the ring; I just don't think he has fought anyone of any calibre to justify him as world champion. David Haye is in his prime he has speed, power, stamina and technical ability, he would be well prepared to deal with the jab of Wladamir and with his range of punches would overwhelm any one of the Klitschko brothers. It's sad to not have seen such a promising fight take place I hope it takes place sometime soon maybe August or September. . I reckon that Haye being Champion would breathe new life into the heavyweight it would force others who are serious enough to step up their game if they want to be champion, Its ruled by two brothers Vitali who is way past his best and Wladamir who looks lean, mean and unbeatable at the moment only because theirs no decent heavyweight out their except Haye who can beat them. Trust McCrory Haye is going to destroy Wladamir very soon.

Posted 02:09 28th June 2009

Jay Sniggs says...

I think it says a lot that Haye has had to use his mouth rather than his fists to get the fight. Haye may indeed win the fight, but its a big may. No boxer like to take punches, but Haye is the type of fighter who REALLY doesnt like to take punches. I dont see Haye as a heavyweight, as I dont think he could take the power that the top heavyweights have. Just look what happened to him when he was stopped by Carl Thompson. Thompson a tough guy, but has no way near the power of either Klitschko brother, or a lot of other heavyweights. I think he just start off with small and work his way up to actually see if he can cope in this division.

Posted 21:13 27th June 2009

Billy Killen says...

i disagree with you Glenn i think David Haye will smoke his boots! ...Im a bit suprised because not very often a British pundit disses a British fighter, look what theyve did with Amir Khan the world beater!, ...i personally think that David Haye will be an absolute nightmare for either of the Klitschko's especially Wladimir and for the simply reason that Wladimir Klitschko hates pressure and panicks, if you watch his fights he looks absolutely terrified when a fighter gets close to hit, hes a habit of pushing them away by the top of the height and following with the jab (Which is illegal by the way), hes that afraid of getting knocked down for the 12th time in his illustrious 53 fight career dat he is incredibly boring to watch, credit were credits due hes a world champion with 3 belts, but its simply because its the worst division in boxing nowadays with no real athletes and just fat men looking for a payday, its in dire straights to say the least, Klitschko normally is very stand offish and controls the pace of a fight, where as haye is a front foot fighter who fights in bursts and wil take Wladimir totally out of his comfort zone, ...everyone is saying can haye take a punch, well he took a few off Monte Barret whos's a big hitter and he looked fine, i honestly think after watching Klitschko v chagaev im adamant that the hayemaker will knock the ukranian giant for six, the heavy weight division needs a character like david haye so i just hope this fight happens for boxing and maybe we could have another british heavyweight champ

Posted 15:35 27th June 2009

Leigh Scott says...

lets get real guys,Haye hasn't been hit yet. He makes me feel like I am watching a younger,quicker and fitter Bruno,and we know what his chin was like...

Posted 17:05 26th June 2009

Matt Dexter says...

Write David Haye off at your peril! Have you seen him fight? Never before have I been so confident about a Britsh fighter going for a world titlte even if it was kiltchsko. How sky bet had him a massive underdog I dont know, they would of been paying out a lot of money. Haye has got under his skin, and isnt stupid enough to walk into his drowsy jab. He would take the fight to Klitschko, and would force him to fight and that is were Haye would destroy him. Just like he did Maccarenelli! When every1 was backing him, I was backing Haye and said he would demolish him, and look what he did? This guy is a special fighter and i won't be long till we see him sitting at the top of the heavywieght division. How many times has he called both brothers out and theyve been trying to avoid him. Tell me if i'm wrong but why would you avoid a fighter? Is it because they know they can't beat him! It looks like Vitali has avoided him, AGAIN! So it looks like a year to wait before we see Haye-Kltitchko. But mark my words Haye will win!

Posted 12:54 26th June 2009

Chris Dowson says...

I hear what you say about him taking a few more fights before Klitchko and you maybe right but Haye is hungry and doesn't want to wait... if it did happen I think it would be Haye all the way, speed kills and Haye has it along with power!

Posted 12:50 26th June 2009

John Joseph says...

klitschko is fighting valuev ,about time be nice to have one champ at each weight ,wich i know will never happen,at least it will mean one less.The haye fight shouldnt happen he hasnt done enough and never will ,all that bad form is bad for boxing.Over hype ,to many titles has ruined boxing ,as for khan he needs hand picked none punchers wich he will get beceause there are so many titles out there.

Posted 20:48 25th June 2009

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