I have waited for this for 2+ years.
I have watched and listened as David Haye has tried with every last ounce of his being to get into Wladimir Klitschko’s head.
He’s worn a graphic t-shirt with the decapitated heads of the Klitschko brothers. He’s refused to shake Wladimir’s hand. He’s said he was going to beat Wladimir and then destroy his brother, Vitali. He’s done everything he can think of to rattle a man that seems to be unrattleable (I’m fairly sure that isn’t a word).
Today was the last presser before the fight this Saturday, July 2. There was a stare down that went like this…
I watched this stare down with anticipation. I watched thinking Haye was going to pull out some inflammatory shirt or words.
He didn’t, with the exception of some light small talk done by both men, it was a relatively calm moment considering the words David Haye has slung Wladimir’s way over the last several years. It seemed odd to me.
With all the taunting that Haye has engaged in, with I believe the intent to rattle Klitschko in a way that would affect his performance, I assumed he would be incredibly animated and thuggish as he has been through this whole process. Even when he backed out of fights with both Klitschko’s (one signed, one not) he ran his mouth.
This stare down has told me two things;
1) David Haye seemed tame which leads me to believe the nerves are actually getting to him, not Wladimir, which is not surprising considering Wladimir has been in more than a few fight with which the spotlight is fixed.
2) Wladimir Klitschko smiled or smirked throughout the entire stare down. To me this means Wlad is in a good place mentally. It means to me that he is right where he needs to be for a fight of this magnitude.
This is going to be the most significant heavyweight fight in recent memory. The heavyweight division is admittedly weak, but this fight could very well give a much needed shot in the arm to the division, but for it to last there needs to be others to step up. The Klitschko’s cannot do it by themselves, they are only two men.
I see the fight taking off quick from the opening bell. Wladimir will use his incredible reach and rock Haye with shotgun blasts disguised as jabs with second as straights they are so powerful. Haye will use his advantage in the speed department to move around the ring and get Wladimir to chase him, leaving himself open to counters.
Wladimir will be reticent to exchange openly because of Haye’s impressive power, but somewhere between rounds 6 & 7 Wlad should catch Haye open and crush him. Both fighters have been knocked down multiple times (both have also been KO’d, though neither has been since 2004).
I’ll narrow it down and say, Wladimir Klitschko by KO in Round 6, in an exciting action fight.