The only Haye is up!
Glenn McCrory says nine tough rounds were better than one... and David Haye's ready for the Klitschkos.
Last Updated: 13/04/10 8:21am
I said before the fight that David Haye might do something totally sensational... and he almost did.
The speed and the power of Haye caught John Ruiz totally by surprise in the opening round and he was so close to something truly outstanding.
But in some ways I was pleased that it wasn't all over after round one. We got a very fit, focused and determined Ruiz who had come to win and he managed to get up and hang on when many heavyweights wouldn't have been able to.
He managed to make a really entertaining fight and it gave us so much more. Crucially, it let us see so much more from Haye. It let us see that he has the pace, the temperament and the workload required to be heavyweight champion of the world.
We also saw the heart of Haye on Saturday night. Ruiz kept getting up and coming back at him and that would have broken the heart of a lot of fighters. A lot of people would have gone into their shell or waited for the points decision, but Haye came through all of that.
So in many ways we got the best of both worlds. We saw in that first round that he could be sensational; we saw that he is a hard puncher who can hurt the toughest of Jims.
But we also saw there was a lot more to him. We saw more of the fighter that Haye has become and in a way that pleased me more.
The win against Nikolai Valuev was a great performance, but it was a very calculated one and didn't tell us a lot about him. We learned a lot more on Saturday night.
Like Adam Booth, I thought his defence was a little slack, but he explained afterwards that he hadn't had the sparring - and that showed.
He got his punches off well, but you can practise that sort of stuff on the bag and on the pads, but defence is something you need sparring for. You need that to get your timing and your movement and it showed that he hadn't had that.
That was the only concern, but he still took plenty of shots. A late stoppage proved that his stamina was good and overall there was a lot to be very encouraged by.
There's no fear about him being in the heavyweight division any more
The challenge now for David is, of course, the Klitschkos and (if you'll pardon the pun), I'm sure he'll want to make hay while the sun shines
There's no harm in making voluntary defences. We all want to see him keep the title for a while and he doesn't have to fight the very best every time. He's allowed to make money from easier defences.
He has plenty of time on his side, but David Haye has always been a guy in a hurry so why wait for the big-money fights?
And fighting the Klitschkos will make massive, massive money.
I think he has the beating of both Klitschkos, but I'd maybe look at Vladimir first. He's the younger of the two and is much more susceptible but I think Haye could beat either of them.
As for Ruiz, he was always going to be Haye's toughest fight to date, but I didn't expect the American to give as much as he did; it was the best I've seen of him for a long, long time.
He saw this as a chance to become a three-time world champion, he worked very hard and he rejuvenated himself - but it still wasn't enough.
He took one heck of a beating - he didn't make much sense in the press conference afterwards - and it's going to be tough for him to come back from this. He obviously showed he has a lot to offer the heavyweight division, but at 38-years-old it will be hard for him to pick himself up again.
There are definitely fights for him and he can definitely compete in the division if he wants to, but how much will a long, sustained beating take out of a fighter?
So we've got the heavyweight champion of the world, but the great news for British boxing is that there is a crop of up-and-coming fighters behind him.
George Groves gave us a great example of that on Saturday night. We know he's a very confident guy and we also saw some great foot speed and some quick hands, but what really surprised me was the power of his punch.
Charles Adamu literally seemed to be cowering at times and seemed scared to take his punches. Remember, this was a tough, fit fighter who was expecting a comfortable defence of his title and was battered from the opening bell.
Groves is in a good place now. He can defend the Commonwealth title quite comfortably and he seems quite keen on getting the British title from Paul Smith.
He can try to clean up domestically while James DeGale builds himself up and that rivalry could turn into something as big as Benn v Eubank. We want to see those two guys get to that stage in that division.
Overall I felt it was a terrific night for British boxing. Often we have some world-class fighters at one or two weights, but at the moment we have several world champions and plenty more excellent fighters besides.
We've got Carl Froch, Amir Khan and David Haye at the top of the game and then so many very good prospects. When the likes of DeGale, Groves and Kevin Mitchell come to fruition things are only going to get even more exciting.
As far as the boxing world goes, it's rule Britannia. Great Britain is ruling the boxing waves and the Americans must be wondering what's going on.
That's fabulous to see... and it's only going to get better.