There is a new WBA Heavyweight Champion and his name is David “The Hayemaker” Haye. The former cruiserweight champion went into Nuremberg, Germany and conquered the tallest and heaviest heavyweight champion of all time, Nikolai Valuev, to wrest a heavyweight championship away from the bloc of Russians who have dominated the heavyweight division in recent years.
Haye was much faster than the 7 foot, 300+ lb Valuev. Haye gave up almost a foot in height and over 100 lbs to Valuev, but he used his speed to his advantage, making Valuev miss for most of the fight. Haye also showed plenty of power, as he almost knocked Valuev down (which would have been the first knockdown of Valuev’s career) in the 12th and final round.
Two judges scored the fight 116-112 for Haye and the 3rd judge had it as a 114-114 draw.
Haye had been known primarily for his propensity to talk a major amount of smack about all of his opponents. He had recently gone on a “promotional tour” to talk smack about both Kiltschko brothers and he had a fight scheduled against Wladimir but it was called off. But Haye has backed up his talk, mostly, and now he’ll also be known as WBA Heavyweight Champion.
Haye moves to 23-1 for his career. Valuev dropped to 50-2 and after the fight, he admitted that he didn’t expect Haye to be as fast or as strong as he was.
You’d think that Haye would now move on to face either of the Klitschko brothers, given his antics in the past. However, there was apparently a deal already in place before this fight that if Haye won then his first defense would be against former champion John Ruiz. And Haye wasted little time talking smack about Ruiz as he said “He’s not the most spectacular, and I don’t feel like I’ll struggle with him. He’s about the same size as me and I think I’ll knock him out.”
But, should Haye win against Ruiz (and I think he will) then there will certainly be a heavyweight championship unification fight between Haye and one of the Klitschko brothers right around the corner.
Congrats to the new champ, David Haye!