Franchise Thoughts: What Exactly is Wrong With David Haye?

When former cruiserweight champion David Haye announced in mid-2008 that he was moving up to heavyweight with his eye on winning titles in that division as well, it struck me as a welcome turn of events. As anyone who's been a boxing fan for at least this decade can tell you, the heavyweight scene was long overdue to be shaken up, and Haye seemed tailor-made to do some shaking.

He had legitimate power as a cruiser, making him capable of ending fights at any time. Yet he had obvious defensive deficiencies, so he could just as easily be the one looking up at the lights at the end of the fight. Put simply, he was fun to watch.

On top of that, he was well-spoken and talked a good game. Man, did he talk. Haye had no problem telling the world that he wanted to go after Wladimir and Vitali Klitschko - only the guys who rule the division - and sounded quite sure he'd be able to beat them if he ever got them in the ring.

Now here we sit over a year later and pretty much all Haye has left us with is that talk. He got the date he wanted with Wladimir Klitschko but had to pull out (allegedly due to injury, though others insist it was fear of Setanta's bankruptcy), and Wlad moved on without him.

It looked like Haye would land brother Vitali as a consolation prize, but that bout died Wednesday with the surprising announcement that Haye will fight Nikolai Valuev instead on November 7. It's a big challenge, pun intended, but not exactly the one we've been promised all this time.

The ESPN report by Dan Rafael is interesting to read because of the very different stories told by each side. Klitschko's people say they thought they had a done deal for a fight but got hoodwinked at the last second. Haye is on the record stating no agreement was ever reached and that the money he would have had to fight for would have made him a "slave fighter."

He also says he still wants to face the Klitschkos, but only on "equal and fair" terms. I don't know much, but one thing I do know is that knocking out Monte Barrett doesn't give one the right to hope for a 50/50 split of the purse with one of the Brothers Klitschko.

Here's another thing: if you attend a press conference wearing a t-shirt with a picture of the two guys you've been calling out decapitated, you'd better fight one of them when you have the chance. Whatever his reasons, Haye is choosing not to do that, meaning all of that tough talk of his has added up to nothing.

Unlike some boxing fans, it doesn't bother me that much when fighters choose the big money fight over the "better" one. It's a tough sport, and guys deserve to get paid when they get the chance. Maybe it's too much of me to ask, but I'd at least like the boxer to be honest about it when he's doing it.

And so it is with Haye. Either he wants to gun for the top guys in the division right away or there's some other goal he has in mind. He can't have it both ways.

I've been Haye's big defender on this blog since he originally started yapping. He's made it almost impossible to keep sticking up for him now, and time will tell if he has any intention about backing up his words with some action.

Posted by The Franchise

1 comment:

jonathan said...

It is just the situation that doesn't match. The business will be fine anyway. Thank you.