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David Haye's lack of will or Wladimir Klitschko's dominant skill?

Joseph Herron Updated
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Most fighters can only dream of one day fighting for the universally recognized heavyweight championship of the world.

Natural athleticism combined with hours of dedication and hard work equate to a world class fighter. It takes a lot to get to that level...more effort than most are willing to put forth.

When a fighter finally gets to that point, he must be mentally and physically prepared for the best and the worst that prizefighting has to offer. In order to achieve boxing greatness, a fighter must be willing to walk through fire to take hold of the brass ring.

The sacrifices are numerous but the reward is infinite...to win the heavyweight title on the grandest stage would be forever etched in the annals of boxing.

Apparently, someone forgot to remind David Haye on Saturday.

What was billed as the biggest heavyweight attraction in almost a decade fell short of expectation in large part due to the venom which spewed from the mouth of the former WBA title holder, David Haye.

Haye did a masterful job of promoting the much anticipated contest with his relentless banter of the universally recognized champ, Wladimir Klitschko.

The public wanted to see a great heavyweight fight so badly, that they fell for it hook, line, and sinker.

David Haye claims that he just missed his opportunity by a "toe". The millions who were watching felt that he missed his opportunity by a "heart".

The last heavyweight who defeated Wladimir Klitschko did so by enduring the best that the younger Klitschko had to offer. Lamon Brewster showed amazing heart and mental toughness on April 10th, 2004, to upset Dr. Steelhammer.

The relentless one had the heart to become the WBO heavyweight champion of the world.

Did David Haye simply think that Wladimir Klitschko, the heavyweight champion, was going to crumble from one big punch?

Mike Tyson once stated, "Everyone has a fight plan until they get hit."

That seems to be the case with every opponent that Wladimir Klitschko has faced since he fought Sam Peter back in September of 2005, when "herd mentality" was once believed that the younger Kltischko was a mentally weak man.

During that fight, Wladimir proved that he had the heart and mental toughness to get up from the canvas and earn a hard fought victory.

Since that defining moment, very little has shaken the Ukrainian Olympic gold medal winner.

Wladimir has defeated fourteen straight opponents, but he is still trying to earn the coveted title of "global respect".

Klitschko's critics will have to start recognizing his dominance with his latest victory over the dangerous David Haye.

No one, before today, had ever come close to dominating the powerful Brit.

Is it simply coincidence that none of Klitschko's opponents seem to have heart? Is it mere happenstance that Wladimir's opponents appear to simply give in and stop trying to win?

It's time to start recognizing the skills of the current heavyweight champion of the world, and time to stop blaming his dominance on a "weak" heavyweight division.

Like Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao, Wladmir Klitschko has proven that he is a dominant fighter who is light years ahead of his competition. Yet the younger Klitschko continues to strive for the same respect that the aforementioned pound for pound fighters have rightfully earned.

Most critics will call Klitschko's latest effort a boring one sided affair in which an unworthy opponent refused to take risks.

Yet, when Floyd Mayweather Jr. dominates a smaller Juan Manuel Marquez, it becomes a boxing clinic and further evidence of the pound for pound fighter's greatness.

Is this a case of a boxing double standard, or is it simply a misconception that an opponent wasn't as worthy as once perceived?

Juan Manuel Marquez, after all, is a proven warrior and David Haye did very little to earn his heavyweight title shot.

Haye defeated Nikolai Valuev in 2009 to win a version of the heavyweight title pie, but very little else.

Since beginning his campaign at heavyweight back in 2008, David Haye hasn't exactly fought the best of the best in the heavyweight division. He fought and defeated Monte Barrett, Nikolai Valuev, John Ruiz, and Audley Harrison; not exactly the murderer's row that we like to see in a heavyweight championship resume.

Perhaps Wladimir was correct in his assessment; Did David Haye simply talk his way into the biggest heavyweight fight in years?

Most critics will more than likely come to that conclusion.

There is very little Wladimir Klitschko can do about this outside of fighting his brother; but how many fight fans really want to see "Kane versus Abel"?

Fortunately and unfortunately for the younger Klitschko brother, he has very little else to accomplish in the sport of boxing. If Wladimir retired today, he would easily be a first ballot Hall of Famer and would more than likely be recognized in the top 20 of "all time great" heavyweights.

But, somehowWladimir Klitchko's critics would still find something to complain about.

In the words of the great Larry Merchant: "The dogs bark, and the caravan keeps rolling along."



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