117-109, 118-108, 116-110. Not even close. David Haye couldn’t back up all of his trash talk and T-Shirts. Wladimir Klitschko didn’t do anything special – just his usual dominant presence in the middle of the ring, jab and grab. It was enough for 56th career win and adding the WBA belt to his WBO, IBF and IBO titles. The Klitschko family holds all of the belts in heavyweight boxing, which wasn’t saved tonight in Hamburg, Germany.
Haye (25-2) knew he needed to be more aggressive and probably knockout Klitschko to win the fight. Klitschko might be Ukrainian, but he lives in Germany. The home advantage, with fans and judges, was obvious. Haye also knew he had to do it quickly. As the rounds blew by and Haye’s best was giving Wlad a little nick beneath his left eye, it was more and more obvious it wasn’t the former Cruiserweight’s night.
Klitschko caught Haye a couple of times with something more than jabs, but in general, just stayed confident in the middle, turning as Haye went and kept the Brit close to the ropes. During the first four rounds, it seemed the Haye did find a way of taking Klitschko out of his “rigid ways“, but also revealed a tactic that would be one of his downfalls tonight – the slip, falling on his knees every time things got a bit too hot for him. At a certain point, Klitschko was awarded a knockdown for one of those “accidental falls”.
Round 10 came, and Haye had nothing. Wlad made the adjustments, and Haye couldn’t get another scratch on him. He didn’t seem desperate enough. He looked happy enough to make it out of the fight unscathed. Later, as Klitschko was celebrating, Haye said he had a broken toe that troubled him.
So the Heavyweight division wasn’t saved tonight. Not by Haye, and certainly not by Klitschko. There’s the Adamek – Vlad fight soon enough, but hopes aren’t high on that one either. It would be a wise bet to put your money on the Klitschko machines to age out the belts before anyone beats them. A great fight tonight would have meant a different course for the sport, but there was nothing of the sort. Welterweight remains the only real draw, and the hopes of the sport return to the chance of Pacquiao and Mayweather finally exchanging blows, someday.
Wladimir Klitschko and his brother are great fighters. Very hard to rattle, play their game plan perfectly, nearly impossible to penetrate. Good for them, great for them and their place in history, their legacy. Bad for the sport. Sad but true.