Over the course of the past three years, David Haye has been throwing verbal jabs and bombs at Wladimir Klitschko, calling him boring, a robot, a dirty fighter, pretty much everything you can think of. He's stated his open disgust of the Ukrainian, and vowed that when they fought he would do a variety of things to him, including (but not limited to), leaving him on the canvas twitching, decapitation, and vowed to leave him an invalid, permanently disabled.
Klitschko, to no surprise, took some offense to that and encouraged him to sign the deal to fight, so he could dish out some punishment. Three years went by with Haye and Klitschko negotiating for a fight, and they were even signed at one point, before Haye backed out with an alleged back injury. Later he agreed verbally to fight Wladimir's brother Vitali, and yet backed out of that deal to fight the weaker Nicolay Valuev. He defeated Valuev and got his title, the one title that the Klitschko brothers did not have.
*MORE AFTER THE BREAK*
Finally David Haye signed on the dotted line, and they finally met in the ring earlier today, and it was time to see if David Haye could back up the huge talk he had been putting out there. If he could live up to the impossibly high expectations he had set with his often violent trash talking.
Turns out he was not able to. Throughout the twelve rounds, neither fighter was spectacular, but Haye did next to nothing. Rather than box, he seemed like he wanted to just load up and wait for a big shot that could hopefully topple the giant. That shot never came.
So perhaps that is why he forsook the actual art of of boxing, putting together punches to the head and body. Or perhaps it is the broken toe that he claims he suffered three weeks ago, yet soldiered on unwilling to cancel the fight. After all, with all the trash he has talked, and with him having backed out of two fights prior, perhaps he realized that he would never get another shot if he backed out.
I don't know the reason, all I know is the outcome, and the outcome was not pretty for Haye. While he did not get knocked out, as Wladimir had vowed, he did not do anything. Wlad wasn't much better, having thrown virtually nothing to the body, and only going for head shots. However Wlad was fortunate that he was facing another in a long line of opponents who were just unable (or unwilling) to engage and take on the Klitschkos. Who just seem to be willing to ride out the fight, hope not to get KO'd and collect a check.
Where Haye is in even worse condition though than those who came before him, is all the trash talking he did. Trash talking is a part of boxing. That's to be expected. Anyone watching boxing who doesn't get that, must not watch much boxing. So I realize that there is a place in the sport for that.
However there comes a time when the trash talking crosses a line. When Ricardo Mayorga starts making homosexual accusations, and talking about his opponent's wife or girlfriend, that's crossing the line for a lot of people. When you say you're going to destroy your opponent or annihilate him, that's fair game. When you start in on how you're going to cripple him, leave him an invalid or brutally execute him, as Haye did, that can make some people wince, particularly when you think about those boxers in the past who actually WERE disabled or killed in the ring, or afterwards.
There are many who find nothing wrong with that talk, and Haye is one of them. Lennox Lewis actually supported Haye and said there was nothing wrong with that. And that's fine. However when you elevate the trash talking to the personal level that Haye did, you leave yourself open for criticism when you fail to follow through. Which is what Haye has done.
His entire legacy now is gone. No one will talk about how he virtually cleaned out the cruiserweight division. No one will talk about how he came up to the Heavyweight division and won a title from Valuev.
If he does not come through with medical papers stating that his toe was in fact broken, then it's even worse. Even with papers though, no one respects a fighter who gets his ass kicked and then makes excuses.
And it's compounded by the way he acted in the ring, continuing to, for lack of a better word, flop trying to draw the ref into taking points away from Wladimir for allegedly pushing him to the mat. And Wladimir DID push him a few times early on. But then after the point, Haye kept doing that until the ref got wise to him and kept warning him until finally ruling one of them a knockdown and gave Haye a standing eight count.
It didn't matter though, as Wlad completely dominated a barely there Haye on his way to a unanimous decision.
So whether or not Haye stays true to his word and retires in October is anyone's guess. There are those who never believed him in the 1st place. He said leading up to the fight that you are only remembered for your last fight. If that's true, then he definitely won't want to retire having given that horrific performance.
Going into the fight I told someone else that Haye had put himself in a situation where he HAD to win and win impressively. He had to get a knockout, otherwise he would be mocked and laughed at for all the talking he had done. He did this to himself, and now he has to live with the consequences.
In the end, David Haye could definitely talk the talk, however he was unable to walk the walk. And sadly for Haye, that is what he will forever be remembered for.