Friday, August 22, 2008

David Haye is Hungry, But He's Not Starving

David Haye hopes to one day find his place among the heavyweight greats.

David Haye knows the pain of hunger. For years he starved to squeeze his heavyweight body into a cruiserweight suit that was bursting at the seams. But those days are over for the "Hayemaker" and soon he's going to unveil his new look in a new division for a whole new audience.

"My weight is fine. I haven't specifically bulked up as such," says Haye of his adios to the land of the cruiserweights. "A lot of people think, O.K. David Haye is a cruiserweight, he's gone up to heavyweight. But what they don't realize is that I've always been coming down to cruiserweight. So, I am what I am, I haven't gotten on the scales. The last time I got on the scales I was 16 stone 8 (232 pounds) and that was perfect. I'll probably be less than that for my fight."

Ah, yes, the fight. Well, it hasn't been sorted out exactly who Haye will fight, but as it stands right now it looks as though he'll make his real heavyweight debut on November 15th with his new promoter (Golden Boy Promotions) at the O2 Arena also known as the Millenium Dome in London.

There have been lots of changes for England's Haye. With the move to heavyweight, the move to Golden Boy Promotions from Frank Warren and the move to be recognized as a serious threat to Wladimir Klitschko as well as one more big change - he now gets to eat a lot more.

"I'm just doing the same thing, but I'm doubling or tripling the calorie intake," says Haye who seems to beam at the thought of his dietary possibilities and his full belly. "It's just working fine, I'm not hungry all of the time. I used to be consistently hungry all of the time. I'd go to sleep hungry, wake up hungry and now I feel great."

Haye claims the move to heavyweight should have come a long time ago, but now that it has finally happened the 27 year-old couldn't be happier or more optimistic.

"This is how I should be, this is how my body should be. I'm naturally a big guy, I'm 6'3", I have a big frame and I should be around 16 1/2 stone," explains Haye. "That's my natural weight. If I was overweight I'd be 18 stone (252 pounds). When I had to come down to 14 stone 4 (200 pounds), as you saw on the scales, there was nothing of me when I fought Maccarinelli and even Mormeck."

Haye's most significant battles have come with the scales. But he typically shows up in superb condition and ready for a fight.

And that should be a scary thought for the world's heavyweights when you think that the muscular Haye, who believes that he appeared emaciated at 200 pounds, will now have another 25 or 30 pounds to play with. He was successful in his starved state, so much so that he was able to destroy Enzo Maccarinelli for the WBO title in less than two rounds back in March and before that he dispatched Jean Marc Mormeck for the WBA and WBC title belts in less than five rounds.

"My bodyfat is 12% at the moment. When I fought Maccarinelli it was 7.5% or 8%. I've got a little bit of bodyfat on me but I think you need that," boasts a proud Haye who sports wide, chunky shoulders and round, thick arms. "Come weigh-in time for my next fight I'm going to look pretty much the same as I did for Maccarinelli, but I'll have 2 stone (28 pounds) of extra-solid, lean muscle on me."

Haye, who has been a pro for less than six years and has run his record to 21-1 (20)KO's, feels that the timing for his move to the world of the big men couldn't be more right. Haye is an electric puncher with quick hands and he is of the notion that he brings youth, excitement and the ability to attract attention and money back to what has become a moribund division.

"Every heavyweight in the division wants a payday," says Haye of the division's woes. "That's the one thing they're not getting at the moment is a payday. They know by coming over to London and getting knocked out by me that they're going to get a nice wedge of cash. But it's all about getting the right opponent the fans want to see."

Haye has been called out by everyone from Monte Barrett to James Toney and other fighters that he feels only have dollar signs in their eyes. Barrett, in particular, who is coming off a quick win over Tye Fields, views Haye as a vehicle to get into another tax bracket, as well as contention. But Haye discounts the vocal Barrett.

"Who cares if I fight Monte Barrett?" asks a disdainful Haye. "Who has Monte Barrett ever fought? If he has another win, maybe, and looks good, then he could be in the mix. But at the moment he's just a 38-year old journeyman who had a good win against some 7-foot basketball player."

Haye was ferocious in overwhelming Enzo Maccarinelli in less than two rounds.

Perhaps the most compelling factor that Haye brings to the land of the giants is that he is personable, quick-witted, well-spoken and not afraid to vent his mind. Many of the belt-holders at or near the top of the division are severely lacking in the "flair" department and they fumble with every awkward word of broken English they mutter. Some cannot speak English at all and it's frustrating for U.S. television viewers who can't develop a connection to them. Americans view those heavyweights as nothing more than robotic mutes that are dependent on translators when the bright lights, cameras and microphones are pointed in their direction.

As for the man that most regard as the number one heavyweight in the world, IBF/WBO titlist Wladimir Klitschko, Haye is not impressed, especially with what he saw when Klitschko faced Tony "The Tiger" Thompson last month and knocked out Thompson in the 11th round.

"What I saw was someone who was terrified of engaging in battle," says Haye of the curiously cautious Klitschko. "Someone who didn't want to stand there, hold his feet and go to war. The other guy, Tony 'The Pussycat' Thompson, he didn't impress me. If I fought him I'd have a go. It was the biggest fight of his life. He should have let his hands go a little bit and you never know what could have happened, especially with someone like Klitschko. But he didn't, maybe the crowd intimidated him a little bit."

"Wladimir Klitschko, he got the job done, I'm glad he did that," continues Haye. "He got the knockout and I'm glad it didn't go to points. Hopefully he beats Alexander Povetkin of which I think he will do. I think Wladimir's too experienced and his arms are too long. Povetkin doesn't cover the distance, his footspeed is very slow and I think that will be the difference between them. I think Wladimir will probably win a decision or a similar sort of late stoppage."

Haye is confident, has ability and could rattle the heavyweight division.

So as Haye begins his feast in the heavyweight dining room, he mostly thinks of Wladimir Klitschko and what will happen. In fact, he's already perused the menu and can't wait to take a bite out of the big Klitschko sandwich. He says he knows how to beat Wladimir and that he will stick a fork in him if he gets a chance.

"You need speed, a lot of angles, a lot of movement and that's what I bring in abundance," says Haye who will never be accused of being short on confidence. "I just want to get this fight as soon as possible, that's what I want. I'm in the gym training every day and feeling healthy and feeling good, my diet is great. I just want to get in there, I can't wait to get in there, you know?"

"There is nobody else in the heavyweight division that can bring what I can bring. I'm the undisputed champion in my respective weight category and now I'm moving up. Who else is there? It's wide open. It's me or no one."

David Haye is not starving anymore, but he's still very hungry. And he's licking his lips.

August 2008


Lbug said...

If it wasn't for that dodgy chin Haye would clean up. But if one of the big boys catches him he might not get up

Ian McDermott said...

I don't know where his "dodgy chin" has come from.
He's been knocked down twice in his career. Once by Carl Thompson, a fighter with a good 75% knock out ratio, (A fight for which Haye has admitted his own mistakes and inexperience led to his loss). The second time by Jean Marc-Mormeck, a two belt world champion with an ok 66% KO ratio, where he proceeded to get up and win by KO himself.
Even the great Ali was knocked down the same number of times in his first 22 fights but you don't hear about his dodgy chin, (just using this as a fact, I would never compare the two in terms of boxing ability or in terms of greatness before anybody starts!)

Let's face it, in the heavy weight division it doesn't matter who you are, if one of the big boys hits you flush, you aint getting up! Whether you're David Haye, Lennox Lewis or Cassius Clay, it only takes one punch and your lights could go out.