Opinion: haye’s revenge by @craigglovesred

It was Saturday 3rd April 2010 and I was travelling down to Manchester to attend my first major boxing event at the M.E.N arena with my brother. David Haye, the fifth British born World Heavyweight Champion was defending his WBA Belt for the first time against the gritty American John Ruiz.

The atmosphere was electric, it was a star-studded event with footballers such as Rio Ferdinand, Ashley Cole, Michael Essien and Jamie Redknapp in attendance. Manchester United and Chelsea had locked heads in a lunch time kick off but now it was Haye’s turn to entertain the 20,000 fans in attendance.

Haye’s career certainly didn’t hit the heights I hoped it would after that evening in Manchester. He fell short in his attempt to unify the heavyweight division as he was beaten on points by Wladimir Klitschko who outboxed and outmuscled him for 12 rounds. There is no doubt that Haye’s career has been plagued with injuries. However, his excuse for losing that fight was a broken toe and it certainly didn’t wash with the boxing public.

The former Heavyweight Champion of the world now finds himself fighting for his career on Saturday night after getting knocked out in his first fight with the popular and charismatic Tony “Bomber” Bellew. The loss wasn’t helped by a ruptured Achilles tendon injury sustained by Haye which made him look more like Bambi than a professional boxer.

Can Haye win on Saturday? I think he will! Why?

If we look at David Haye’s build up to the first fight then it was very different to this one. He spent that camp in Miami, mainly on a private yacht sipping freshly prepared cocktails whilst sitting in a hot tub. His preparation appeared laxed and it certainly showed in his performance in the first fight.

This time around, Haye has Ismael Salas in his corner who is recognised as one of the best trainers in the world currently. The legendary Cuban has trained no less than 20 world champions such as Jorge Linares and Guillermo Rigondeaux. Salas was quick in taking Haye back to his roots for this camp and as ever, Haye looks in great shape for Saturday. But doesn’t he always you say?

When watching the last fight back it’s clear to see that Haye was injured entering the ring and it still took Bellew 11 rounds to finish the fight. He was swinging wildly in the early rounds and was clearly trying to finish Bellew off quickly. Haye was an angry man in the build up to the last fight and said things that he expressed regret over. I don’t see that from Haye this time around and feel that we will see a more patient performance from him in the rematch. If that is the case then I see Haye winning by K.O in rounds 5-7.

Bellew is a fighter that I have great admiration for and has become one of the most popular British fighters in recent years and rightly so. However, I feel that the combination of an injury free Haye with Salas in the corner will be too much for him.