Top British heavyweight, David Haye, talked up a storm and practically stalked Wladimir Klitschko for close to three years before finally getting his chance at heavyweight glory. However, when he finally got his shot at the consensus top heavyweight in the world, he put in a disappointingly tepid performance en route to a one-sided unanimous decision loss. To make matters worse, Haye would go on to blame an injured pinky toe for his meek ring work.
The poor performance and subsequent excuse made Haye a boxing punchline and many speculated that the embarrassing defeat would be the end of Haye's nine year professional career.
Then the former cruiserweight champ and WBA heavyweight titlist brawled with thuggish Dereck Chisora at Chisora's post-Vitali Klitschko fight press conference and suddenly he was back in the mix.
Haye-Chisora drew the ire of the British Boxing Board of Control (BBBofC), who refused to officially sanction the London bout. The fight went ahead under the shaky auspices of The Luxembourg Boxing Federation, but all went well and the contest actually turned out to be a fairly solid heavyweight spectacle.
To his credit, Haye fought like a main stage fighter and eventually stopped Chisora in the fifth round. Suddenly, the fighter who had been disgraced just one year earlier, was back on most everyone's list of top heavyweights and, more significantly, in line for another fight with a Klitschko brother.
This time, Haye is rumored to be looking to face Wladimir's older brother and reigning WBC titlist, Vitali Klitschko.
There are already rumblings about this fight happening and already nasty, public disagreements about the status of any ongoing negotiations.
But, assuming Haye-Klitschko does take place at some point in 2013, will it be worth the wait or are we looking at another one-sided fiasco?
It would be mind-blowing to think that, given the nastiness of the attacks on his character after the Wladimir fight, he would once again go through the motions in a timid showing. But maybe it's just part of Haye's character to shy away from danger when faced with long odds and a powerful puncher.
Stylistically, Vitali would be a more intriguing opponent for Haye than the more defense-minded, cautious Wladimir. In Haye's bout with the younger Klitschko, he couldn't find his way inside and Wladimir was not opening up to give him the opportunity to come in. Against Vitali, Haye will have more chances to engage.
In that sense, fans will get a greater a idea of what's in the heart and soul of Haye.
Of course, there's always the risk that fans will be treated to another safety-first stinker. but given the current state of the heavyweight division, its certainly worth a shot to gamble on giving Haye one last chance at the big time.
Paul Magno was a licensed official in the state of Michoacan, Mexico and a close follower of the sport for more than thirty years. His work can also be found on Fox Sports and The Boxing Tribune. In the past, Paul has done work for Inside Fights, The Queensberry Rules and Eastside Boxing.
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- Sports & Recreation
- David Haye
- Wladimir Klitschko