Tonight in Hamburg, David Haye squares up against Wladimir Klitschko in perhaps the most eagerly anticipated East meets West Heavyweight title fight since Apollo Creed fought Ivan Drago, indeed, with the swagger, speed and skill of the South Londoner being pitted against strength and size of the steely Soviet slugger the fights make up somewhat similar to the Sylvester Stalone classic.
Klitschko is the clear favourite with the bookies to unify the WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO belts, as doubt over Haye’s chin and his ability to deal with the Ukrainian’s superior reach and power persist. He was knocked out at Cruiserweight in his only previous professional defeat, will he be able to cope?
However, Haye is an equally explosive and powerful puncher. Klitschko has been stopped three times in the past. Furthermore, whilst he has won his last 10 fights as champion, his opponents have hardly been world beaters and he certainly hasn’t fought anyone with Haye’s speed or mobility.
Both fighters have predicted that the fight will not go the distance and for the Bermondsey Boxer to prevail he will surely have to knock Klitschko out and not rely the scorecards of judges notoriously in favour of home fighters. Equally, although he went the distance against Nikolai Valuev when winning his WBA belt, Haye’s stamina has been called into question in the past and as the fight goes on that may tell.
Whilst it’s hard fight to predict what is certain is that it’ll be a more enthralling encounter than Haye’s last fight against Audley Harrison, he has it in him to pull it off and hopefully for the good of the sport he does. Ain’t No Stopping Us Now.
By Callum West