There is a reason why boxing is an Olympic sport, it is because it is an art. It is the art of being able to tag your opponent with punches while remaining out of reach of your opponent. And on Saturday night, Wladimir Klitschko provided a fine example of how it is to be done when he took on British David Haye and beat him convincingly, with Haye barely able to land a punch on the Ukrainian. At the end of the fight, Haye declared that he had a toe injury which prevented him from getting off his ‘Hayemakers’ and that was why he put in such a below-par performance.
Before the fight though, things were different, with Haye attempting to infuriate Klitschko with varied incidents, including the headless t-shirt, public comments and even a Hitler associated post on twitter. Klitschko chose to be the gentleman and declared that he wouldn’t be falling for such distractions. He remained as true to his word as Haye remained to his actions, even showing up 10 minutes late for the fight, while the fans sat in the rain and Klitschko waited in the ring. But, once the fight began, the tables were turned completely as Klitschko made a mockery out of his opponent, easily keeping him at bay with his traditional left jab. Haye, as everybody had discussed before the game, knew that his only option was to get on the inside and work some combinations, but, it was a plan that never took off. While Haye leaned in and took swings at Klitschko, only 26% landed and whenever Haye tried to get on the inside, he was forced to the mat under the weight of his impressive opponent. There wasn’t much excitement in the initial rounds until things got rolling in the fourth round with both boxers landing punches. The fifth round gave the crowd more to cheer about with Klitschko landing a right hook which made Haye go weak in the knees. All this excitement was let down in the subsequent rounds though, with the fans even jeering and calling for some action during the fight. It was the same story though, with Klitschko holding his ground and keeping the Briton at a safe distance with his longer reach and left jab. Even if one ignored Klitschko being docked a point for deliberately wrestling Haye to the mat and Haye being knocked a point for play-acting, there was very little doubt in the judges’ mind about which way the points were to be distributed and Klitschko ended up winning unanimously 118-108, 117-109 and 116-110 on points.
Now, being unable to keep his vow of knocking out Klitschko, having lost his WBA world championship and pride to the Ukranian, it remains to be seen if Haye remains true to his word and retires in October. However, having been quoted as saying he doesn’t want to go out on a loss and his toe needing time to heal, looks like this is another vow that Haye will be backing out on.