Freddie Roach Picks David Haye

By Robert Ecksel on June 21, 2011


When Freddie Roach speaks, it’s wise to listen, and he says WBA heavyweight champion David Haye has the right stuff to beat IBF/WBO heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko (55-3, 49 KOs) when the two men meet in Hamburg, Germany.

Klitschko has looked invincible during the last five years, due in no small part of Manny Steward’s marshaling of the Ukrainian’s talents. But he’s an imperfect fighter, a vulnerable fighter, as losses to Corrie Sanders in 2003 and Lamon Brewster in 2004 indicate.

“The key to this fight for Haye is to take Wladimir’s confidence away, and do it early,” Roach told The Daily Telegraph. “Take him out of his comfort zone. Being forced anywhere outside Wladimir’s comfort zone is his greatest weakness. He does lack confidence as a fighter and we discussed it when I trained him.”

Roach worked as assistant trainer in Klitschko’s corner for four fights, but he doesn’t have an ax to grind, doesn’t have a dog in this fight. 

“I trained Wlad Klitschko, he is a friend, and so is David Haye a friend of mine. It’s one of the best fights out there, and a good fight for the heavyweight division.

“I think Haye has a great opportunity if he goes out there early and uses his power, and tries to take Wladimir’s confidence away. That’s the best way for him to fight this, but Haye needs to take that window of opportunity.”

That “window of opportunity” exists, but it exists early, before it slams shut with a loud bang

“Listen,” said Roach, “Klitschko’s a very good boxer. Once he gets into a rhythm, and gets that jab going, he’s very difficult to beat because he has good power and a size advantage. He’s also one of the best heavyweight athletes I’ve ever seen. I said to him one day, ‘You’re a great athlete.’ But you know what he said to me? ‘I wish I could fight.’ (italics added)

“The key to beating someone like that is to take their mental confidence away straight away. Haye can do that with his power, but not by boxing Wlad. I like guys who like to fight. Haye believes in himself, he talks a bit of bull, but he’s just trying to ignite interest in the fight. He’s young, exciting, and charismatic. Haye’s the best thing for the heavyweight division right now, because he comes to fight, he comes to win, and he’s a puncher.

“That’s what heavyweight boxing should be all about. The Klitschko brothers are great boxers but they are boring. They don’t take risks. You’ve got to go for it in this sport, and give 100 per cent.”

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  1. Joe 04:17am, 06/23/2011

    The guy with the biggest stones will win it.

  2. elliott21 08:27am, 06/21/2011

    David stops him in the 11th round. Good fight, but Haye wins. Movement is the answer and power. New Champ !

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