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Haye does what he has to do

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Ben Dirs | 05:21 UK time, Sunday, 8 November 2009

BBC Sport in Nuremberg

In boxing, you do what you have to do. Pleasing the crowd, fulfilling pre-fight boasts, they're nothing but peripheral concerns. Boxing's not a game, so you do what you have to do.

Against Nikolay Valuev, David Haye did what he had to do. No frills, no showboating, no flights of unnecessary machismo. He hit, he moved, he hit, he moved - all the way to the world heavyweight crown.

As the great Evander Holyfield said beforehand, the perfect tactics against the 7ft Russian lead to a "boring fight". Call it boring, call it boxing at its purest.

"He had his game-plan and he executed it to perfection," said Valuev's co-promoter Don King after watching the fight. "He did what he had to do, and he did it brilliantly."

"I had to find a strategy to beat him, and I did," said Haye, who revealed he had damaged his right hand early on in the fight. "I hit him more times than he hit me."

Haye was giving away both height and weight to his Russian rivalHaye overcame a damaged right hand to beat Valuev

Why would Haye have fought any other way? Seven stones lighter, nine inches shorter, only a madman chooses to stand in front of a giant like Valuev and trade - a madman, and most likely a loser.

Who decided a boxer shouldn't be allowed to win a fight on the back foot? Who said simply walking forwards wins you rounds? As Haye's trainer Adam Booth pointed out, "if you land two punches in the round and don't get hit once, it's you who wins the round", whether you're backpedalling or not.

With a partisan crowd behind him at the Nuremberg Arena, Haye must have been sorely tempted to let rip. While at times it felt like I was watching a spot of Flyball at Crufts - German boxing crowds are a rather refined bunch - when the Brits in the crowd got going, Haye must have felt he was going at it at The Den.

But he remembered what he had to do and stuck to his game-plan. Mercifully, he had more than enough juice to keep chugging down the stretch, which surprised a great many.

If it's excitement you want, you should stick around. Former two-time world champion John Ruiz is next, and he's tailor-made for Haye. Haye reckons he'll "knock Ruiz spark out", and this time I don't think he's bluffing.

But, in the meantime, we should savour the Londoner's victory for what it is, up there with the best by a Briton abroad: only Britain's third heavyweight world champion since Bob Fitzsimmons in 1899; only the second former cruiserweight world champion to claim a world heavyweight crown after Holyfield. It's quite some feat.

Don Curry, Ismael Laguna and Sugar Ray Robinson were far more illustrious scalps for Lloyd Honeyghan, Ken Buchanan and Randy Turpin respectively, but then none of that great British trio was giving away seven stone in weight and nine inches in height.

I'd advise you to disregard the trash-talk, that was just part of the plan. The real Haye is the man who arrived at the Nuremberg Arena with just his trainer and sparring partner in tow. He just wants to do his family, friends and countrymen proud, and he deserves all the plaudits he'll get.

Haye celebrates his victoryHaye says he want to clean up the heavyweight division

"We've been waiting for someone like David Haye to enter the heavyweight division," said Richard Schaefer, head of Golden Boy promotions in America, one of the biggest players in boxing. "Today is the beginning of a new time for the sport."

If Haye can see off Ruiz, which he should have little problem doing, it will be time to go hunting for Klitschkos, and they shouldn't be too hard to find.

Wladimir, who was supposed to have fought Haye in June before Haye suffered a back injury, holds the IBF and WBO belts, older brother Vitali the WBC. In Haye, they'll see Vegas and glory and dollar signs. And Haye will see the same in them.

"This was just the first stop, taking the WBA title from this giant," said Haye. "I've got the British public behind me and it's on to bigger and better things."

It's been one of those rare old weeks, a week when Britain loved boxing again: Grandmas on buses, kids in playgrounds, mums trying to spark conversations with taciturn sons, posh people, poor people, texters, bloggers and tweeters.

And I bet you heard the question asked at least once: "How's that little British fella going to beat that Russian giant?" Well, on Saturday, David Haye provided the answer: he did what he had to do. And in boxing, that's all that counts.

As well as my blogs, you can follow me when I'm out and about in Nuremberg at


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  • Comment number 1.

    "I'd advise you to disregard the trash-talk, that was just part of the plan. The real Haye is the man who arrived at the Nuremberg Arena with just his trainer and sparring partner in tow. He just wants to do his family, friends and countrymen proud, and he deserves all the plaudits he'll get."

    Notwithstanding the occasionally distasteful nature of said trash-talk (and as has been discussed before this fight, Ali and others were guilty of far worse) I entirely agree. Haye knows that he had to sell this fight, perhaps especially knowing that his gameplan was going to make it a bit dull, and he succeeded.

    A likely KO of Ruiz will then remind us all of the excitement he can provide, and set up a fight with one of the Klitschkos - wouldn't care to guess which, nor the outcome, but it will certainly be the toughest defence either has faced in some time.

    As for winning rounds on the back foot - crikey, if two of the judges in Germany gave it to him by four rounds he must have been dominant!

  • Comment number 2.

    I had Haye winning by four rounds too. I thought Valuev was very ineffective. He plodded forward without any urgency and barely landed a punch on Haye. Haye showed more boxing skill and although he didn't throw too many shots, the bombs he did throw generally landed. Didn't Herol Graham win a round without throwing a punch?
    It would have been interesting to see the punch stats, but Haye was the better fighter and landed the more telling blows.

  • Comment number 3.

    Lucky so and so, wish I was there!

    Cant help but feel a bit for Valuev, he looked very hurt afterwards but a good win for Haye. He didnt get to throw too many big punches but he definitely shook Valuev and at one stage I thought he may even be able to finish him off but Valuev made his head hard to hit.

    Looking forward to the Ruiz fight!

  • Comment number 4.

    I had it 116-113 in favour of Haye.

    I've seen Valuev stunned before, despite the 'indestructible' portrayal of him in the build-up, but I've never seen him so discombobulated like that, off a single punch no less.

    Thank you for a fair overview, Ben. It was a pretty dull fight but then everyone has a pretty dull fight against Valuev, a guy that big just limits yours options.

    I know journalists don't like to badmouth other pros but I would just like to make my feelings known on this...Jim Watt.

    Terrible job from him on Sky, just terrible. Many people will come away from that fight, even worse people that haven't seen that fight as well, thinking Valuev was robbed blind just because Watt had it stuck in his head that only a bombfest would do for Haye. Watt's dreadful performance will be a detriment to Haye's image.

    I hope most people will ignore that and see that the result was right, and the history books have been written - David Haye, WBA Heavyweight Champion on November 7th 2009.

  • Comment number 5.

    Haye was outstanding and thouroughly deserved the win. He made Valuev look very ordinary and one dimensional and very nearly slayed the giant in the 12th when his legs went. Don't know how one judge scored it a draw as Adam Booth put it perfectly if you hit and don't get hit then you win the round whether you are on the back foot or not.

    Haye will destroy Ruiz next up and finally the heavyweight division is coming to life again after some very dull fights

  • Comment number 6.

    I haven't been that enthralled in a fight for years. Heavyweight fights often deterioriate into lumbering and hugging, but Valuev-Haye was something special.

    Haye talked the talk and walked the walk. He's a worthy champion, especially considering his injury. He boxed beautifully and his movement was impressive. He must have covered at least four times the distance Valuev did.

    It's during fights like that it becomes clear why judges all score differently. Most of those rounds were so hard to call that by the end I really had no idea who was going to be given the win. It's not until you get to see some of the replays that you see all the punches that connected. That's great for the suspense and atmosphere, but with all the cameras, they could probably come up with a reliable scoring system. That way audience and boxers would know the score. And then a losing boxer would come out twice as hard to get a KO. But having said that, I'm a traditionalist and would hate to lose the three selectively blind judges.

  • Comment number 7.

    Hi Ben,

    Great blog as usual. You mention that you expect Haye to have "little problem" in brushing Ruiz aside. I was just curious as to what your predictions would be if, assuming he wins against Ruiz, David fights either of the Klitschkos and which of the brothers would you like to see him fighting first?

  • Comment number 8.

    I have to admit that i was one of the doubters, i thought that Valuev would take Haye to the cleaners. After watching the fight i have a new found respect for Haye's boxing abilities, i thought that Haye was by far and away the better boxer and he showed an amazing amount of patience. He is the deserved World heavyweight champion.

  • Comment number 9.

    Agree about Jim Watt, which fight was he watching ? I don't think what he said detracts from Hayes incredible show, it just makes JW look silly ! Well done to David Hayes, a brilliant game plan.

  • Comment number 10.

    Danno you are spot on!
    Having PPV I expect expert commentary. It is time for Jim Watts to hang up his gloves! He (and Glen McClory) called the fight wrong. I watched it and it was clear that Haye was ahead, and having listened to the BBC radio commentary they called Haye as the clear winner. Raise your game Sky or people won't PPV again. This is not just my view but a number of people that also watched the fight. Sky cast doubt on a glorious British performance.

  • Comment number 11.


    Having looked at your text commentary as the fight was taking place last night I fully expected Valuev to win and now this morning I discover that Haye has won and you have written a glorious article on him when last night you were highly critical!

  • Comment number 12.

    I had David Hayes to be in big trouble in this fight. But he did him, and with a broken right hand from the 3rd round onwards. Respect to Hayes, he deserved it.

  • Comment number 13.

    I dont think Jim Watt was as bad as some people were suggesting,If i am honest i think Haye should haave gone for Valuev more than he did as he could have easily got a KO,I am delighted he got the result and Britain have a heavyweight champion again and he stuck to the gameplan perfectly,Valuev was not a worthy champion and i really feel sorry for Holyfield who done more in his fight than Haye did in his,I understand it would be stupid to stand toe to toe with Valuev but i feel if he done raiding tactics yes he may have run out of gas but i think he would have got a KO,Anyway all credit to Davids ability to stick to a gameplan which i did not think he had in him and a win over John Ruiz should be comfortable enough and then perhaps a fight with the Klitsckhos which he would most likely get battered in

  • Comment number 14.

    Well done David Haye......
    Even if I thought he had a chance against Valuev, my hopes nearly vanished when the fight started. Why: "how can you beat a man that is soooo big?"
    He looked so tiny compare to him but he did provide me an answer for my question: "by boxing clever", that is.
    He fought a very smart fight from start to finish and while it wasn't that exciting, it was boxing of the tallest order.
    I am very happy for him but I still think is short on experience to take on the Klitchkos.
    A good 4 or 5 fights should prepare him enough.
    Now, let's see the Cotto-Pacquiao fight that should be like dynamite.

  • Comment number 15.

    comments no. 4,9, and 10. Absolutely spot on. Jim Watt is an absolute disgrace. If Haye doesn't get hit, how does Valuev score a point.? Didn't Sugar Ray beat Hagler on the bacvk foot? Didn't Azumah Nelson beat Juan La Porte, and Fenech (part 2) under attack? It's how many telling punches you land that counts. Valuev was made to look ridiculous, missing, and even throwing a punch when Haye had already moved away. I think in the Round 9 or so, Valuev didn't even land a punch.

    Now back to Jim Watt and Nicky Piper, they should see the body languages of the two corners and see who was more anxious. Valuev's corner were slapping him up on his legs getting him to get out there more. Even after the final bell, did anyone see Valuev's body lingo? Head down, shoulders slumped and none of his seconds jumping up and down. All the photographers were on Haye and when the camera was on Valuev, there wasn't a single photgrapher near him. Haye corner was full and Valuev's empty.
    Finally, and most tellingly, my mate watched it on a German Channel with his German bird and the German commentators had Haye winning the fight. That says it all I suppose.

  • Comment number 16.

    First of all congratulations to Haye for winning the title, I couldnt be happier for him. However, being impartial, the way Haye fought was almost like watching a Klitschko fight. Admittedly, there was more speed and fluidity in his evasive tactics than the Ukrainian giants, but his strategy of being evasive for the majority of the fight and occasionally throwing a two-to-three punch combination was somewhat reminiscent of a Klitschko performance.

    The reason that I bring this up is that throughout late '08 and up until the fight with Valuev was signed, Haye had been lambasting the Klitschko's because of the defensive and nullifying way in which they go about their business. It was this style that he blamed for the decrepit nature of the heavyweight division. Even though the fight was good for Haye in terms of a technical standpoint, fights with long periods of inactivity dont grab the imagination of the general public. I think it's ironic that Haye had to employ the same tactics as the Klitschko's for his first major victory in the heavyweight division. There are some exceptional circumstances to this case, this comes with fighting the most exceptional heavyweight of all time in terms of size, and also the injury to David's right hand. Both of these perfectly validate Haye's tactics, but still don't detract from the fact that he had to fight ultra-defensive in order to pull out the win.

    Again, I'm extremely happy that Haye has won the title and expect his defences to be far more explosive than his excellent display of ring awareness and discipline.

  • Comment number 17.

    "Having looked at your text commentary as the fight was taking place last night I fully expected Valuev to win and now this morning I discover that Haye has won and you have written a glorious article on him when last night you were highly critical!"

    I don't think it was Ben doing the text commentary and to be fair to the guy who was, his doubts about whether Haye would get the decision were based on the history of judging in Germany and their preference for an attacking style.

    It's disappointing that people are picking faults. When we have boxers who want to stand and trade they get called naive and unskilled, when someone genuinely outboxes their opponent, it's "negative" or "boring". Haye has skills and KO power which means he could genuinely rule this division. You can see from the post-match comments that America is starting to take note. We should be proud.

  • Comment number 18.

    What an absolute joke would Jones Jr, Lewis, Holyfield, Hide, Tyson, Ali, Spinks, Bowe or Foreman have looked so pleased at beating an out of shape, overweight over the hill journeyman. You cant even mention last nights fighters in the same breathe as those above. Is this what heavy weight boxing has been reduced too comedy match ups. Rediculous fights dreamed up by D King and the sky sports ppv media circus for a undemanding public.

  • Comment number 19.

    Sorry Ben, but for me he did not do enough to win the fight. I think he was not aggressive enough. I thought he edged the fight but was surprised that with such a narrow victory, in my eyes, he got the decision on foreign soil. I don't like the bloke but that's irrelevant, he had to sell the fight and went too far in my opinion, he had a gameplan for the fight and he convinced the judges.

  • Comment number 20.

    Wow, he beat a paper champion. What a way to live your dream. I would have been cool with Haye if he didn't first run his mouth and then duck and dodge the klitzschos. At least take the easy fight BEFORE making a t-shirt with the decapitated heads of fighters out of your league. I think we all know that this win over Valuev is meaningless. We knew that he'd win going into it, but come on! The only Heavyweight champs that matter are the ones that he ran away from. Hating this boxer has nothing to do with what country you come from, it's a question of how closed minded do you have to be to let this boxer take easier fights and still cheer him on.

  • Comment number 21.

    David who???... Maybe boxing champions would be more recognizable if there was only one belt per division... Not like the travesty of having a total of 4 champions for every weight class. If all the fighters compete for the same belt maybe there would be more competition, or bigger paydays, or who knows. What we do know is that the sport of boxing is in serious trouble.
    that broken hand excuse is a bunch of rubbish.. Haye was running from the outset of this horrible fight... Haye should have been penalized for refusing to engage... having said that, he did land the only meaningful punches and Valuev wasn't able to land anything..
    Haye ran from wladimir and Vitali so you need to get your facts right. Viyali Faught that tomato can Arreola because Haye backed out of the Dec. fight after pulling out of a fight with Wlad. Haye knew anyone could just stick and move all day long against Valuev so he took the fight after he signed on to get KTFO by Vitali who would be undefeated if not for injuries in title fights he was winning on all three score cards. Haye has a glass jaw and a typical big mouth like a true Brit just like Lewis who retired instead of taking a rematch with Vitali. Don't blame him, who wants to get knocked out by the best HW of all time.

  • Comment number 22.

    Amongst all the emotions I felt watching David Hayes perfect tactical display the overriding one was anger at Jim Watts coments.

    I could not believe he actually thought Valuev should have kept his tiltle. For what? ,he did nothing but plod forward all night. It's people like this whose blatantly incorrect interpretation ruins many good fights and can ultimately lead to the title holders who are not worthy.

  • Comment number 23.

    I had the benefit of watching this on US TV with impartial commentators and then looking at the British media.

    I had the fight 116-115 Haye, though I could understand variants around that score, many close rounds.

    Haye needed to be busy in Rounds 4-7 and singularly wasnt-even the americans picked up on that. Strong finish by Haye in the 12th.

    Imagine my surprise when I watched the SKY recording and read the BBC
    Sport website.

    Ben Dir's assessment of the fight reminded me of Soviet journalism, such was the slant on the piece.

    Commenting how Haye fought the "perfect fight" was way over the line. Non boxing fans will be left thinking that Haye won every round by his summary.

    An opinion blog is fair enough, but when sports news is being coloured by the writers pre-formed opinion of the fight it becomes pathetic journalism. Why not just give it to the Haye PR machine to write? They would have given a more accurate account!!

    I completely agree with previous comments about Watt. Put Dirs and Watt in a locked room together for Haye-Ruiz and let the rest of us enjoy sensible commentary!

  • Comment number 24.

    McDennis, 16, the klits are lambastewd cos they can't finish off fighters who they the klits are much bigger and better than even of the guys are out of their depth. This is a 7 ft 2 guy and Haye was counter punching not being defensive. Please don't be that biased.

  • Comment number 25.

    20. Haye didn't duck the Klits. They wanted him to fight both of them, then rematches and at their own terms. Who would want that. This is all designed to keep the title amoung the Soviets. The Klits wouldn't fight each other. Ok, but why wouldn't they fight Valuev too?

  • Comment number 26.

    Now then, is the BBC going to step up to the plate like our boxers have? Instead of giving millions to a fraud who then ran off to the states with it, why dont we get these lads back on the national channel and REALLY give British people something to shout about? It's about time the BBC stopped messing around.

    We've got two brilliant champions in Haye and Froch (I dont count Khan because he is looking for the first excuse to dissapear off to the states, and he's a Warren boxer anyway, which means his career is a sham). Come on BBC, Carl Froch and David Haye are WORLD champions and are actively seeking out the best in their divisions and are looking to clean up....if you want to give millions to anybody, these are the guys to give it to.

  • Comment number 27.

    Regarding posts 11 and 17
    Quite right 'Innercity' - it was Nabil Hassan doing the live commentary last night and not Ben Dirs. I was also watching it on German tv with the text commentary but it didn't match in my book. Haye landed the most meaningful shots and more of them.

    There was a stat that went up around round 8/9 that Valuev had thrown about 150 punches and connected with 24 - around 15% success rate. Haye had thrown about 45 and hit with 33 of them - 75% They were also cleaner.

    The German commentary was telling. Not only did they have Haye ahead the whole way through - by the end they were waxing lyrical about how slow and cumbersome he was making Valuev look - they were also translating the words from the Russian corner which focused more and more on the Russian needing to come out and throw more scoring shots. Valuev's trainer was also insinuating his guy was getting caught too much and telling him to stop leaning in with his head so much.

    There was quite an uproar at the end when they saw that the Spanish judge had scored it 114 - 114. The talk was all about which fight this judge had been watching! Clearly a worthy winner and Valuev pretty much said as much afterwords in the ring.

  • Comment number 28.

    For all those attacking Jim Watts, I watched the fight in a pub and heard no commentary and was amazed that Haye took the title. He was exceptionally negative, and ran for most of the fight. Plodding or not, Valuev was clearly the aggressor and landed with some stiff jabs and thumping hooks, even if they didn't look as spectacular as the few bombs Haye managed to dispatch. Even assuming that Haye scored more than Valuev, should this really be enough to take someone's belt? Running around the edge of a boxing ring and not allowing an opponent to set their feet doesn't require any skill as some commenting would have you believe. It looked like an exercise in survival, not the work of the Heavyweight Champion of the World.

  • Comment number 29.

    First things first, I wanted Haye to win. I don't particularly like his attitude but having a Heavyweight Champion of the world like Valuev is detrimental to the sport.
    However, what happened to the old mentality of "you have to beat the champ". Consider Dirrell vs Froch only a couple of weeks ago, where Dirrell kept on the back foot and essentially outclassed Froch whenever he threw anything. Froch got the nod from the judges (I, as did everyone in the room with me thought Dirrell did enough to claim a points victory) and the mentality of many Brits was that "Dirrell just run away from Froch for the whole fight and didn't deserve the title."
    Haye spoiled what was always going to be a terrible fight and I have no idea how the judges had him winning by 4 rounds.
    At least we can look forward to Haye having to earn his title against whoever he fights next, although how he expects to clean up the division when he has to face Vitali Klitschko (who lets face it, is near invincible in a boxing sense) is beyond me.

  • Comment number 30.

    philpol - I didnt do the text commentary last night! Anyway, I've got to get out of this joint, speak later!

  • Comment number 31.

    Re post #21 "Haye has a glass jaw and a typical big mouth like a true Brit just like Lewis"

    You just showed your lack of knowledge when it comes to boxing. Lewis had one of the best chins in the sport and there are plenty of clips out on youtube that proves that.

    FWIW, I've said on other boards that I think the fight was tough to score; A draw was probably fair but I wouldn't of been surprised at a 115-113 score either way. I didn't have Haye winning by 4 rounds, that's for sure. That said, I'm pleased for Haye. To get a decision in Germany is notoriously difficult so he must of done something right.

  • Comment number 32.

    A brilliantly executed plan by Haye last night. Contrary to what some think he should have done, there was no way Haye was going to stand toe-to-toe with Valuev and I never expected him to. You make the bigger guy move, you get in hit and get out. Hayes work rate was excellent and whilst Valuev landed some good shots, just didn't do enough.

    Haye deserved his victory

  • Comment number 33.

    Ben Dirs.... what is a stanza?

  • Comment number 34.

    There is no way that this could have been a draw. Original comment of the very good German commentator "116-112 is about right, it would have been a sad reflection on boxing in Germany if there had been any other result".
    Personally I wouldn´t have given Valuev more than three rounds, Haye´s hit-and-run tactics were perfect.

  • Comment number 35.

    dmseiir - Come on kid, try a little bit harder, you can work it out.

    A quick point on Jim Watt. So he didn't see the fight as many of you saw it, there's really no need to stick the knife in. People see fights different ways, and the guy's a former world champion and we should at least respect his opinion, whether it tallies with yours or mine or not.

    As for all those accusing Haye of "running", I would never come on here and suggest you don't know about boxing, just that you have a differing opinion, but I would like to ask: how exactly would you have liked Haye to have fought? Standing toe to toe just to fulfill the wishes of the baying crowd? Beating up Valuev for eight rounds before walking onto one? And then perhaps you can tell me when exactly Valuev landed a punch of note. Just walking forward for 12 rounds does not win you points. From my position ringside, Haye landed significantly more punches, snappier punches, and more hurtful punches.

    exiledpolish - "An opinion blog is fair enough, but when sports news is being coloured by the writers pre-formed opinion of the fight it becomes pathetic journalism. Why not just give it to the Haye PR machine to write?" Desr oh dear, I'd hate to be there when someone disagrees with you about something that actually matters. Were you also on here accusing me of bias when I said Joe Calzaghe was beaten by Hopkins? And were you one of those calling me a "disgrace to my profession" for thinking the American beat "our boy"? It's boxing, it's a game of opinions, and I strongly believe that Haye won that fight by some distance. Oh yeh, and funnily enough, two of the judges agreed!

  • Comment number 36.

    Wow - amazed to see so many folk apparently believing Haye won the fight easily. Very close one, with Haye landing little more than Valuev throughout - which in itself is a sad indictment.

    I actually had to do a reality check after reading some of the comments here, so I went to a well-known U.S. boxing site, and was relieved to find a lot of people in agreement with what I saw (and Jim Watt, Nicky Piper, McCrory etc). Haye did not do enough in any round except the last to take the title from the champion - the result says a lot more about who the heavy-hitting promoters are now backing.

    I am not a Valuev fan - I backed Haye before the fight and wanted him to win. But he didn't do enough.
    And human beings' capacity for seeing only what they want to see continues to astound me.

  • Comment number 37.

    Oh, one other thing...

    What's with the headline - "Haye shocks Valuev"?

    Haye was the pre-fight favourite, at one point close to 1/2 on. Where is the shock?

    Or are we talking electrical current here - is big Nikolay powered by lightning strikes?

  • Comment number 38.

    So can we agree that boxing's final throw of the dice to try and compete in an MMA heavy market, has failed. Valuev is a freak show with all due respect, a large number of people were only interested in this fight cause it was haye fighting "that 7 foot russian guy". The fight was dissapointing, and i dought people will be coming back for more. A split decision title change surely means instant re-match, but who wants to see it?

  • Comment number 39.

    The perfect right...who are you kidding? Haye spent the whole fight running away! Had this fight been in the playground everybody would have been laughing at his tactics. Valuev was the only one interested in boxing. I agree he looked awful, is slow and ponderous but at least he wanted to land punches.

    Froch walked around the ring hitting thin air last month and won the fight because Dirrell hit and ran...and don't get me started about the Fury Mcdermott fight...the judging in boxing is laughable, and so is Ben's analysis of the fight.

  • Comment number 40.

    Sorry, Ben, but my mate and I need to settle an argument. Is your surname pronounced like Ders, rhyming with furze, or is it "Dears"?

  • Comment number 41.

    Well done David. Apt name.
    But, just a word about his opponent. It's no joke being a freak of nature and you've got to feel a bit sorry for him. I once knew a basketball player here in Madrid who was enormous and had all kinds of problems in his everyday life. Like not getting any clothes to fit him, not being able to sleep in a hotel bed, not being able to drive a normal car, not being able to go unseen in a crowd and so on and so on. Top that with having the face of a monster and the poor bloke doesn't seem to have a lot going for him. Money can only compensate you so much.

    So, while I think it's great that David won - especially after reading an interview with him in The Guadian, great bloke - I can't help wondering about Goliath. Time to go back to your cave and count your money is what most people are thinking. Not me.

    BTW a boring fight, right? Maybe it's time introduce a special limit for the Goliaths who weigh more than 150 k or measure more tha 6ft 7in.

  • Comment number 42.

    I don't see what a fight with Ruiz will do for Haye. I know it has nothing to with what the public wants to see.
    Please Don King go away and take John Ruiz with you.
    Haye should skip a fight with Ruiz and go on a fight one of the brothers.
    The sport needs to step it's game up MMA is killing it, along with these promoters not putting the best fighters in the ring until it's too late.

    A victory over Ruiz will mean nothing. My god the guy lost to a middleweight, granted one of the best middleweights.
    If styles makes fights then John Ruiz's style makes for a bad fight that no one wants to see accept DK.

  • Comment number 43.

    Congratulation to David Haye.
    Hope to see you at THE DEN on Monday evening with your WBA Belt.

    Up The Lions,

  • Comment number 44.

    There are alot of people saying that Hayes ran... you call it running I call it boxing, he fought the smart fight, there have been a few big card fights like that namely Lewis-Tyson, Ali-Forman (lewis clinched when tyson got to close and boxed him with angles when seperated)(Ali Rope-A-Doped and tired forman out) the only difference is that some one got knocked out in those fights. Valuev is a massive 9" taller than Hayes which means Hayes would have to punch up we all know that you loose power as you punch up, so knocking Valuev out was never an option. There is also no way that Valuev would of been pushed back, Hayes would of ran to much risk of being cought with a 12cm fist, remember the Idea of boxing is to hit the other guy as many times as possible whilst avoiding as many blows as you can from him. Hayes did a briliant job and won, the fight probibly wount go down in history as one of the greatest bouts of all time but that doesnt matter, he won thats what counts, non of the critics out there were in that ring at the time and non of the critics have ever fought Valuev, so instead of critisising Hayes tell me how you would of handled it.

  • Comment number 45.

    This is not about "sticking the knife" into Jim Watt, its the fact that he just didnt want to get behind Haye at all.
    If he cannot get behind a brit in the ring when doing the commentary, then its time to move on.
    I have all resect for his record as a fighter, I just dont rate him as a pundit and never have. Sky's pundit line up are not that good.

  • Comment number 46.

    @ 42 - You obviously dont read around. Haye CANT skip a fight with Ruiz. He is contractually obliged to fight him. Those were the conditions for the Valuev/Haye fight. Ruiz took money and signed a contract to step aside to let Haye in to fight Valuev. Haye now HAS to fight him, he has no choice. He is now the mandatory challenger. As for "Ruiz's style makes for a bad fight" I have to question your knowledge of boxing. He is custom made for being knocked out by Haye, as Haye points out.

    And comparing MMA to boxing is ridiculous. It's like comparing boxing to judo. Who would make such a comparison? And yet so many people try to tie the two together, it's starting to get a little old now.

  • Comment number 47.

    Some people on here seem to just look for arguments!

    I predicted Haye would be too quick for Valuev and it prooved so! However when they were both in the ring together I did think how the hell is he going to win? It looked like a lightweight vs a heavy!

    Great to have a British champion, good to see boxing coming back to the public's attention.

  • Comment number 48.

    Haye-Ruiz HAS to happen if David wants to keep that WBA belt.

    And while it would seem a no-brainer to jump if a Klitschko big money fight came along, the whole point of this Valuev fight was to get Haye a much bigger bargaining chip in the form of that title.

    So I don't think he'll be keen to drop it immediately if either Vitali or Wlad click their fingers.

    And there's considerable kudos to be gleaned if he takes on Ruiz and knocks him out. Ruiz is not a popular guy amongst boxing fans so disposing on him for good would be lauded.

  • Comment number 49.

    Shock horror Frank Warren's trying to belittle someone's achievements now because they managed to win a title without him helping them!

    Great win by Haye, wasn't the most exciting fight but then it was never going to be. I was still concerned at the end that he hadn't done enough to win it over there even though the only punches landing were coming from Haye. But credit to him he stuck to his plan the whole way through, executed it splendidly and now hopefully people can start getting interested in the Heavyweight division again. Finally there's a champion who likes to do more than just jab for 12 rounds!

  • Comment number 50.


    Apologies, but I could've sworn that when I clicked on the text commentary link last night half way through the fight it had your name at the top..



  • Comment number 51.

    Well Done Haye!
    just really don't like at all the trash talking before the fight, business or not... Is the "noble art" the nickname for boxing?

    Definetely the heavy weight division looks more exciting anyway.

    There is another exciting boxer coming up, Tomas Adamek.

    What you guys think?

  • Comment number 52.

    Haye executed the right tactics to win last night. If this was a non-championship fight, with no belt on the line, then Haye clearly wins and no one complains about the result. I thought that Haye boxed like Eubank last night doing enough to win 2/3rds of the rounds. Valuev was simply poor. But I also thought that Haye took too many chances show boating in the last two rounds I didn’t think that Valuev deserved that. He may not be a great champion but he has always done his best with his own physical limitations. I hope Haye fights Ruiz next and then moves on to the Klits. He’ll be ready to fight them then but we’ll have to wait and see if he’s ready to beat them.

  • Comment number 53.

    I caught up with the fight this morning and saw another amazing performance by one of the undisputed all-time legends of the sport - a phenomenal triumph against a much larger opponent. But enough about the incredible Fedor Emelianenko. David Haye got the job done as well. I hope he can unify the heavyweight division and restore some credibility to the big boys of boxing. Time to give the Klitschkos some real competition.

  • Comment number 54.

    Ben wrote:
    "As for all those accusing Haye of "running", I would never come on here and suggest you don't know about boxing, just that you have a differing opinion, but I would like to ask: how exactly would you have liked Haye to have fought?"

    Nothing wrong with hit and run tactics in the circumstances, but he barely hit, he just ran. He landed combinations at the very end of certain rounds, to attract the eyes of the judges no doubt. But he needed at least two or three times his punching output to take the belt from the champion. He just didn't throw nearly enough punches.

    Ben wrote:
    "And then perhaps you can tell me when exactly Valuev landed a punch of note. Just walking forward for 12 rounds does not win you points."

    There were certainly a few good stinging blows landing Haye's way - note the attention that was being given in the corner to his cheekbone from the early rounds. You're right to say that Haye landed the more meaningful punches, but Valuev was catching Haye with the jab, and with hooks in the corner. The fact that Haye was constantly retreating meant the full force wasn't absorbed, but they would still have been taking their toll. If your opponent isn't willing to engage, you're not going to land many punches. Simple as that.

    There's defensive boxing, and negative boxing and Haye's approach certainly fell into the latter category. You could see what he was capable of in the last round... a couple more rounds of work like this may have convinced me that he'd done enough to take the belt from the champion. As it stands, I don't believe he did.

  • Comment number 55.

    first things first,haye is the FIFTH british heayweight world champ since 1899 not the THIRD,herbie hide,frank bruno,lennox lewis,henry akinwande and now david haye,the sun also made the same mistake looks like ben mirs been reading the sun again!lazy!,anyway well done david,never easy to go away a take title off the champ no matter his ability,well done david,WBA HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMP

  • Comment number 56.

    @ 54 What about Haye's (suspected) broken hand? Does that not figure into the equation? Perhaps Haye thought that a world champion with a right hand mashed into pulp is not terribly useful? I know if I was in a fight with a mashed up hand, I'd want to throw it the least amount of times I could get away with too!

    I'm really dissapointed that there are so many people on here who cant just be happy for the guy. Enough with the negativity already, I'm going for a pint.

  • Comment number 57.


  • Comment number 58.

    #55 Tom.

    If you read Ben's list of the British Heavyweight champions he mentions Hide and Akinwande in the footnotes but as he points out they held the least regarded title out there so in some people's eyes aren't considered true heavyweight champions. More like token champions. As for calling Ben lazy how about using some proper punctuation, maybe a full stop or 2 and some capitals, or in your secnd post some lower case. Actually you have given me a laugh calling someone lazy and then posting something as bad as that! Anyway lecture over.

  • Comment number 59.

    akinwande and hide both hels the wbo title,one of the four main title and # 58 is a sad little man

  • Comment number 60.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 61.

    I was actually only worried because he wasnt champ/was away from home. I had him winning the fight easily to be honest. The commentary completely focused on what Haye was doing and not what Valuev did, which was absolutely nothing.

    Jim Watt was really reluctant to get carried away with Haye's work, but in doing-so I think he totally overlooked the fact all Valuev did was come forward and miss. But I like Watt because he generally doesnt get carried away with hype and is savvy enough to have seen results in the past where the challenger has literally had to wrestle the belt away from the champion, especially away from home and we all saw that recently with the decision Froch got. So I dont blame him, especially when Haye was a little less active in some of the middle rounds.

    But yea, I think Haye really pulled away in the championship rounds and it was awesome to see the giant on rubbery legs for a moment in the final round to put a stamp on it.

    Haye wasnt negative. He was elusive, barely getting hit, got all the meaningful shots. If you're fighting Valuev it's the only thing you can do, in trying to reach upto his head and avoid the shoulders. Fight him is just awkward.

    I wasnt even expecting Haye to be as disciplined as you could see at times he just wanted to go toe-to-toe. Nor was I expecting him to continue being as mobile through all 12 rounds, especially when there were questions raised about Haye doing too much promoting and not enough training.

    The heavyweight division just got interesting and i'm hoping this is the catalyst that brings an end to the sluggish giant era of heavyweight boxing where size has overcome skills.

  • Comment number 62.

    58,what belt did joe calzaghe proudly defend for 10 years?thats right the WBO belt,least regarded!!you and ben clearly have no idea what your talking about,goodbye for now come back when proper boxing fans are here...............................................................................................................................................

  • Comment number 63.

    re Post 45:

    This is not about "sticking the knife" into Jim Watt, its the fact that he just didnt want to get behind Haye at all. If he cannot get behind a brit in the ring when doing the commentary, then its time to move on. I have all resect for his record as a fighter, I just dont rate him as a pundit and never have. Sky's pundit line up are not that good.
    I don't agree in the slightest. Firstly he's always behind British fighters. Secondly, and this is the trouble for some fans, he's also knowledgeable about boxing. A low-punch fight in the champion's back yard generally goes to the champion and that's more or less the history of Valuev's career. Haye should have done a bit more, he planned to do more, many felt he didn't do enough to prevent a home-town decision. If you remember the Holyfield fight, he seemed to have done quite enough, but he lost. And that's what Jim Watt had in mind. If you don't really follow boxing this will be mysterious to you.

    Jim Watt distinguished between these two positions throughout the fight. He kept saying he didn't think Haye had done enough to convince the judges, but he hoped 'with all my heart' (Rd 12) that he had. That's pretty straightforward.

  • Comment number 64.

    I agreed with everything Jim Watt said and was surprised Haye got the decision. He was only launching one attack per round and the rest of the time keeping out of the way, it has always been convention that the challenger has to forceably remove the title from the champion not simply survive..."wars are not won by evacuations". I expected Valuev, who relentlessly plodded forward keeping Haye on the end on his jab to win by 4 rounds. Despite the fact he showed no initiave or agression.

    Having said that Haye was not keeping out of the way through cowadice but as the result of a game plan, which was indeed perfect (as it turned out) but I thought to win it there should have been at least 2 or three attacks per round not 1 (or none).

    Haye showed tremendous fitness and coolness under pressure, it was great to see him wearing a poppy on his way in as well. If he did break his hand early on then obviously all is forgiven, but maybe this excuse was part of the game plan too.

    I hope he drops the bad mouthing next time, I hate that in boxing. It just drags the sport down to the Jeremy Kyle level. Boxers should show mutual respect as both men need tremdous courage to do what they do.

  • Comment number 65.

    Haye could have done more but I still think he did enough in my viewk. First couple of rounds was finding out what Valuev had, what his strategy was etc I think Haye was a little scared of getting caught by Valuev but he took the shots well.

    Sometimes its just about doing what's needed.

  • Comment number 66.

    Scuse me since I'm not a boxing expert, but it seems fairly ridiculous to an outsider to allow someone as big as Valuev into the same classification as Hayes - what else can an opponent do but keep out of his way? How can you have a decent match?

  • Comment number 67.

    Ben - I do agree that Jim Watt needs to be respected for winning his title, but as a pundit I think he has picked up some bad habits. I think Jim was scoring the fight based on what he thought the judges would give rather than how he saw it, and because of that he came out with a decision that was at odds from what most people saw because he was trying to guess which way the judges would go.

    I can't believe that anyone could score that fight to Valuev in all honesty, if he landed 3 power shots all night thats as much as he did. When you consider Haye damaged his hand I think the performance was sensational. My prediction before the fight was Haye to win TKO8, and I think if he hadnt damaged his hand he could have done that convincingly.

    Interesting to note a lot of people were questioning Hayes stamina before the fight, and the second half of the fight was where he won it (on my card anyway), but for Nicky Piper to say that he didnt think Haye had proved his stamina because he hadnt been pushed was outrageous. DFancing around the ring for twelve rounds keeping your concentration is as draining as going toe to toe but in a different way.

    To anyone who says Haye fought on the backfoot and stole a decision, Floyd Mayweather Jr as made a career out of that and is regarded as the best around, I think some people have lost sight of what boxing is supposed to be about - a game of skill and pugilism.

  • Comment number 68.

    Ben - I think you need to add some perspective here to the victory. To the casual fan watching Haye get a decision over a guy as big as Valuev probably looks hugely impressive but the bottom line is Valuev is an awful fighter. He barely threw a punch in anger over the whole fight and his sole tactic involves plodding forward trying to jab and slap. He made things extraordinarily easy for Haye as he never sought to use his size to effect whatsoever. The pre fight "David v Goliath" hype was good but look at Valuevs "big wins" - a couple of majority decisions over an ancient Holyfield and average Ruiz and then was beaten by Ruslan Chagaev who himself was outclassed by Wlad Klitschko. The hype machines wanted to gloss over this for pr purposes and there was very little mention of Chagaev beating him whatsoever - as if Haye was actually taking on an unbeaten fighter that couldnt be stopped.Its pr obviously but when analysing the fight it needs to be mentioned in context.

    Haye in mind was quite lucky. In these kind of fights where you have a clear clash of strategy and style its going to be difficult to predict how the judges score - I was keeping an eye on the betting and going into the 11th Valuev was a handy favourite indicating most people thought he had been winning the rounds. When Haye caught him and wobbled him there was a huge rush which put both fighters more or less neck and neck but after the final bell Valuev was actually favourite to win.

    I dont think this was a masterclass from Haye - it was obvious after a couple of rounds that Haye clearly had all the tools needed to win as most suspected. Valuev was very poor. But Haye could have done much much more. He never tested Valuev at all and was content on trying to win rounds by virtue of landing a couple of punches. This is extremelly dangerous when fighting on the back foot and away from home. Its not a question of trying to brawl and trade with the big guy but you need to do more than what Haye was doing. I was quite disappointed by both fighters in the sense that neither really tried to convince the judges either way. Haye was happy to gamble that his single digit punches would nick him the rounds and Valuev that his dull plodding forward would do like wise. any sort of reasonable flurry or combination from either guy would have easily stole the round. Did Valuev throw anything other that a jab all night? even the sight of the big guy winding up one or two big punches would probably have been impressive enough to convince the judges that he was actually trying. Haye was so ultra negative himself that he really risked throwing away a fight that he could have won far more comfortably and impressively. This was no Leonard/Hagler performance for my money. At the final bell I thought the better fighter got the decision but my gut feeling was that it was a fight both fighters never really went for and could have done a lot more to win. Id fear for Haye against the Klitschkos based on that performance.

  • Comment number 69.


    Good Blog. I watched the fight last night and completley agree that Haye did what he had to in hitting Valuev and then getting out the way. OK so it wasnt a classic but Haye is now a World Champion and at the end of the day thats all that matters!

    For all those criticising Haye just remember that he broke his hand in the third round. It was always going to be difficult to beat the 7ft giant but to do it when struggling with an injury makes his victory all the more impressive! Like Haye himself said after the fight he wanted to be more aggressive but this prevented that. I believe he will sweep aside Ruiz in his next fight with a knockout before a showdown with either Klitschko after that. It is then that Haye can really be judged and we will find out just how good he is.

    And in a final point just because Ben has a different view to a few of you doesnt mean you have to post comments ridiculing him. If his opinion wasnt valued im sure he wouldnt be in the job he is!

    Keep up the good work Ben!

  • Comment number 70.

    Once again we have a big group of people that believe their opinion is fact ... grow up! Opinion is opinion and everyone sees thigns differently, who are you to decide who a "real boxing fan" is? someone who agrees with you or someone who enjoys watching boxing?! The fight was nothing special, but no fight with Valuev is! He is a monster and you just can't stand there and hit him or he would have had more than 1 defeat on his card prior to last night! Some people may not agree that Haye did enough, but the judges did andf thats all that matters, a lot of people thought Holyfield beat Valuev but he didn't get the judges call, all that matters is Haye now has the belt he wanted and can move on from there. If he has to face Ruiz then he can show a bit more explosivness then and if he gets past Ruiz he can really show what he is made of against one of the Klitshko boys and everyone can debate then if he really is good enough at heavyweight.
    Good blog Ben, always seems to provoke a lot of debate!

  • Comment number 71.

    If I was Haye - I would stay well away from Klitchko - the guy is a totally different league from Valuev - Haye could get seriously hurt!

  • Comment number 72.

    Tom - No, not lazy, just right. Hide and Akinwande were WBO 'world' champions at a time when none of the top fighters considered it worthwhile to fight for. It was pretty much the same as claiming to be a world champion now if you own the WBU belt. Right, got a plane to catch... bye!

  • Comment number 73.

    Hopefully a saviour has emerged for this division of boxing.
    May David Haye remain champion for some time to come.
    But was the odious figure of Don King circling overhead with pen and contract inhand.
    Beware of the small print David!

  • Comment number 74.

    I totally disagree coxxy.

    Firstly Haye has made a career out of throwing himself in at the deep end so staying away from danger is not in his mindset.

    The Klitschko's are different league to Valuev in boxing terms yes but far less awkward to box than Valuev who is simply a freak of nature with brick-like bone structure.

    Haye has the power and speed of punch to definitely dismantle frail-chinned Wlad if he can find a way past the great jab and tight defence to connect clean.

    And Haye's speed and movement can give the stronger, but totally robotic and open, Vitali many problems.

    Both fights bring together so many possibilities. Both very intriguing.

    Having watched Haye since amateur level I have faith in him beating both.

    I think Wlad has the biggest achilles heel for Haye to exploit but in some ways Vitali's style is more tailor made for a speeder fighter with good movement as he's so open and lead-footed.

    Haye could have him blowing early and cut him to shreds quicker than an out of shape Lewis did many years ago. But I just question whether his great heart and awesome power might still prevail.

  • Comment number 75.

    What a fight!

    Anyone see Bruce Lee in Game of Death duelling with Kareem Abdul Jabaar? It was like watching that but with boxing!

  • Comment number 76.

    Tom your posts just get better! Would be a bit more interesting though if you actually wanted to have a debate instead of trying to proclaim to anyone who'll listen that your opinion's right and should be treated as fact. How about taking your head out of the sand and try to actually take on board what other people are saying. Fair enough you may think your correct but just because you think it doesn't mean it is so. Oh and calling me a sad little man and nobby, hilarious, have fun back at school tomorrow, make sure you pay a bit more attention in English though.

  • Comment number 77.

    A sad day for boxing. By all accounts a turgid, unconvincing affair by both protagonists. Emelianenko, the WAMMA MMA World Heavy Weight Champ, and compatriot of Val,would have pinned Val down with in minutes with a kick to the right leg, followed by a rush to the knees in a shoot hold, followed up with five cracks to the nose with a forearm attack using the bone, swung round to the top of the head with five knee strikes to the top of the head and then spun under the right arm with an arm lock with the left leg on the throat and the right leg on the chest.

  • Comment number 78.

    No 27. You couldn't have been more spot on with yourpost about the German channel. I said same thing about a mate watching on German TV on post 15. If they even think Haye won, I don't get the negative reaction of some people here. If some don't like Haye, fair enough but they should take their rose tinted glasses off beforer they comment about this fight. Again spot on with your post.

  • Comment number 79.

    @55. I agree but you have to remember that the WBO wasn't even regarded then at HW level so the likes Hide and Akinwande not being mentioned in the same breathe. ASnyway, you also forgot about one more Brit in your correction. Michael Bentt was beaten by Hide for the WBO title. Ok he was yank based and later turned yank but he was born in south London and later moved to the States.

  • Comment number 80.

    Ryushinku makes a good point. I am usually pretty good at calling fights, and I had Haye ahead for the whole fight, albeit not by much, but I began to doubt the result based on the comments of Jim Watt. I couldn't understand how Haye could be losing when Valuev had barely laid a glove on him all night. I appreciate that Watt was perhaps judging harshly because that was what he expected from the judges at ringside, but I still feel it was misleading.

    Haye clearly out-boxed Valuev, and is rightly being applauded for having the only strategy that could compete with Valuev's physical attributes. It's just a shame that that could not be recognised by the commentary team on the night.

  • Comment number 81.

    For all those who are moaning about the match and the heavyweight division in general. If you don't like it, don't watch it! Simple as. If you all think it's easy to beat a 7 foot man and that this beast was just a paper champion, then put your money where your mouth is and jump in the ring for 12 rounds with him. Until you do, shut up.

  • Comment number 82.

    I thought the fight was interesting. Not exciting, more tense. Jim Watt seemed obsessed with the interpretation that judges might have put on Hayes tactics. Luckily the guy that hit the other guy more won. There's always got to be room in sport to use what you have at your disposal - just as there's nothing wrong with Haye's approach, there's nothing inherently wrong with Valuev using his size to his advantage, or a 10k runner their superior sprint finish (as I argue in my own blog).

  • Comment number 83.

    Great on you David, executed the plan perfectly.
    Anyone see what Frank Warren said about David Haye? That he wasn't worthy to be a champion because Valuev is a poor boxer, and that he must prove himself against the Klitchsko brothers?
    Hypocritical man, surely all his boxers have never proved himself against the best in the division and all secured the easiest path to a title? David beat a guy who may not be the best boxer but is certainly a tough obstacle, granted the divison is poor but FW should really reflect on his own fighters 'success' first.
    Go on boxrec and take a look at where Dmitry Salita, Khans next opponent, is ranked.
    To be honest, he's just jealous that a british boxer got to the top without his 'expertise'.

  • Comment number 84.

    Exactly alexjknight, the guy talks so much rubbish its untrue. Why is Khan fighting at light-welterweight now instead of lightweight? Oh because the lightweight division is too strong for him. Just because a guy has succeeded without him he has to try and rubbish the achievement. Sour grapes because somewhere down the line Haye probably rejected him.

  • Comment number 85.

    ben you keep saying he is only the third brit to be heavyweight champ but have you forgot about bruno already? well done to haye for a very controlled fight think he will walk through ruiz but cant see him toppling the brothers

  • Comment number 86.

    @55 hats off to your post never saw it before but thats what i was trying to say dont like it when people dont check there facts first

  • Comment number 87.

    David Haye was technically outstanding, Valuev was punching thin air for most of the fight. David Haye made him look like an amateur, coming forward like an amateur! The words of wisdom from Floyd Mayweather senior!

    I don't know which fight Jim Watt was watching because he got it totally wrong, incompetent fool should retire.

  • Comment number 88.

    I agree with many of the comments here but especially no.4 by Ryushinku. Jim Watt was soemwhere between embarasing and downright annoying. Ian Darke is a sycophant who never disagrees with his co-commentators but even he seemed irked by Jims tunnel vision.

    Ther were 2 points here. The first being the judges would score it in Germany. I genuinely thought that Hayes corner had got it wrong in there advice since I felt sure he would be robbed. But Watt actually thought Valuev was winning the fight which was laughable. The only thing Valuev it was air, again and again and again.

    From the first round I said to the guys I was with that the fight was a was over. You could see that Haye saw Valuevs punches coming. Only Hayes confidence could lose it for him, and luckily he stuck to his task perfectly. If Haye was fighting just a normal giant like of say 6ft 8", he could have opened up more but as has already been siad, you just cant do that against Valuev.

    Haye boxed to perfection. It should be use as a study for kids in gyms throughout the UK. Haye won on my card by 7 rounds 9-2-1, and that was being generous to Valuev because while they both threw a minimal amount of punches, Valuev just could not land properly.

    One final comment on Jim Watt. I admired him greatly as an over-acheiver in the ring but he has been spouting this kind of nonesense for the past 5-6 years. The problem with Jim is that once he gets an idea fixed in his head he WILL NOT EVER deviate from that position. Jim its time to hang up the Microphone mate!!

    Congrats David!!!!

  • Comment number 89.

    Fair play to David, he absolutely got the job done even if it wasn't the prettiest or most entertaining of fights. But I can't let his pre-fight comments go - I thought we were going to see Valuev laid out cold?

  • Comment number 90.


    I rather suspect that his pre-fight comments did not make allowances for an injured right hand :-)

  • Comment number 91.

    lightsout - I haven't forgotten Frank Bruno, if you read the blog again I said Haye is "only Britain's third heavyweight world champion since Bob Fitzsimmons in 1899".

    Pondo1664 - I can't imagine Haye lost any sleep last night worrying that he didn't knock Valuev out.

    Yeh, heard about Frank Warren on the wireless, bit strange. As 5 Live commentator Mike Costello pointed out on air, I don't remember Frank complaining much when Amir Khan played pretty much the same game against Andreas Kotelnik. And Kotelnik was the same size as Khan.

    I would love to sit down and watch this fight again with someone who thought Valuev won - with the sound down. Then I'd ask them as the fight progressed to point out exactly when Valuev landed with any meaningful shots, indeed did anything other than walk forward and stick out his jab. Again, while I must stress that I am not slating anyone's opinion, reading some of the comments above it's almost as if Muhammad Ali never existed. Watch the fight against Liston, he's backpedalling almost the entire fight, landing every now and again with flurries. Watch Floyd Mayweather, he's like a matador. And if you want to see boxing at its purest, get on Youtube and watch a highlight reel of Pernell Whitaker. It's called boxing, hitting your opponent without getting hit. Whether you're legging it while you do it is irrelevant.

  • Comment number 92.


    I scored the fight to Valuev. 115 - 113. The examples you give are a little misleading. Ali fought Liston on the backfoot but as you say Ali landed with flurries. By this you mean combinations. Ali was in and out, but not once a round with a single shot like Haye, but several times a round with two, three, four shots, while Listons Jab fell short. Haye didn't do this, he stayed out of range, didn't zip in and out at all. Haye threw no flurries other than the 12th.

    Mayweather dismantles opponents. He fights on the backfoot but counters continuously. His punch output is considerably higher than the five Haye threw every round. And the genius that was Whitaker stood in range and moved with upperbody sways while countering repeatedly. Sweet Pea threw punches after making others miss while in range, as does Mayweather as did ALi. Haye stayed out of range.

    Valuev landed jabs. These are scoring shots. The rounds when haye landed his bombs, he took the 10. He didn't do it often. Haye got hit. His accuracy rate is high because he threw so little. The statement that landing two shots while not getting hit gives you the round is not accurate. Haye was hit in every round (the jab, and a few glancing rights) so each round came down to each hitting the other very few times (in the range of 3 or four punches) while one looked to fight as the other kept out of range and looked to engage for a single shot on one occassion.

    Haye did not do anywhere near enough during the fight to win 116 - 112. THe draw, or a narrow win I can understand through interpretation. But winning 8 rounds to Valuev's 4 on a non-attacking, stay out of range, low punch output routine is strange.

  • Comment number 93.

    First and foremost, I would hope that all fans of British boxing would want to congratulate our newest world champion. For me, there was no doubt both that Haye won the fight clearly and that he fought the style of fight that gave him the best possible chance of victory against somebody of the dimensions of his opponent. That deserves credit, not criticism.

    To take some of the other issues, I agree with the criticisms directed at certain pundits, particularly Jim Watt. Now I usually find Watt to be a good and reasoned analyst to listen to, but I thought his reading of last night's fight was completely wrong, as shown by his scoring of the fight in Valuev's favour. The number of times Valuev swung and missed was frightening and Ian Darke had it right when he said you can't just give points to a fighter for coming forward.

    I guess that brings me to the comments of Frank Warren, which appear quite strange on one level and just silly at another. I don't think anybody has said Valuev is a great heavyweight, but his sheer size presents a unique challenge which Haye took on and the Klitschko brothers, who Warren apparently thinks so highly of, have not.

  • Comment number 94.

    ben - Nice name. Yes, but Ali and Mayweather never fought blokes who were seven stone heavier and ince inches taller! The point I'm making is, they often fought on the back foot. And I disagree, Valuev wasn't landing with jabs, he was throwing it out all night, but not landing. And if Haye was landing "once a round with a single shot", how come I had L-R-L, L-R-L, L-R-R, denoting combinations, written all over my notepad at the end of the fight? So, I totally agree with two of the judges - and the bloke next to me (I won't say who he writes for) gave Haye every round but one!

    pontoon - Ian Darke was spot on if he said that, you can't just give points to someone for coming forward.

  • Comment number 95.

    " Hide and Akinwande were WBO 'world' champions at a time when none of the top fighters considered it worthwhile to fight for"

    mmm --leaving aside whether Tommy Morrison was really ever a top fighter, by the time Akiwande was champion both Foreman and Bowe had fought for the belt. That's arguably 2 of the top 4 of the 90s.

    Add to that that Vitali fought for the title whilst Hide was still champion. The next two champions were Byrd and Wlad

  • Comment number 96.

    Ben, he might not have lost any sleep, but he hasn't done his crediblity any good. Sure, Ali might have fought Liston on the back foot, but he ended up putting Liston on his back, twice. Haye wobbled Valuev once - once - in twelve rounds. Again, Ali wasn't fighting someone one sixth taller than him, but he called the fight and backed it up. Haye called the fight and then spent it backing up - no disrepect in that, mobility did the job for him, but if you're going to talk the KO talk, you shouldn't walk the timid walk.

  • Comment number 97.

    Hats off ta haye, as ben said he did the buisness, not particularly the most entertaining fight i ever seen but was shouting encouragement to haye afta valuev s wobbler. i suppose the next mega hype fight will b klitchko's but bring on ruiz i think that fight if he knocks him out will really begin his catapult to stardom

  • Comment number 98.

    Pondo1664 - HE'S 7FT TALL AND WEIGHS 23ST!

    rigadon - Between 1996-98, when Akinwande and Hide held the WBO belt, the WBC champions were Mike Tyson and Lennox Lewis, the WBA champions were Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield, and the IBF champions were Michael Moorer and Evander Holyfield. None of the aforementioned challenged for the WBO belt. Meanwhile, Hide defended against Willi Fischer, Damon Reed and a 39-year-old Tony Tucker, Akinwande against Brighton's Scott Welch, Alexander Zolkin and Jeremy Williams. Things have changed admittedly, but it was the B league back then.

  • Comment number 99.


    I think you quoted the only three combinations Haye threw in the fight. I don't remember seeing three in one round. I'll go back and watch the fight again, but until I do, I'll stick to my first impression. I have watched round 11 again - through a post on facebook - and though I am not saying this is representative of the whole fight, Haye gets caught with Jabs, and a hook, while everything he throws bar a jab to the body misses. It's a valuev round.

    on another thread, someone published stats for punches thrown and landed after 6 rounds. The percentages were heavily in favour of Haye, but the actual number was only edged by Haye (26 to 33, or there abouts.) Haye got hit.

    I think the tactics were right, but his attacking forays needed to be increased. Throwing 15 more punches a round, broken into four combinations a time would have seen him score a shut-out. He didn't do this, and my scoring and impression - and I know this is an old-school thought - was that he didn't do anwhere near enough to take the title.

    The better fighter won, but he didn't throw enough leather to prove his superiority. The only round he increased his punch output by the small amount suggested was the 12th, which was the only round clearly won by either fighter.

  • Comment number 100.

    Ben - Same name, but we were watching different fights...


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