David Haye is hoping to get 2-4 wins under his belt and then challenge Anthony Joshua for his IBF/WBA heavyweight titles in 2018 if he still has the belts in his possession.
Haye (28-3, 26 KOs) is coming off an 11th round TKO injury loss to Tony Bellew from earlier this year on March 4 in London, England. Haye, 36, would like nothing better than to avenge the loss, but he’s not counting on the rematch against Bellew getting made. The 2 are not in agreement in the negotiations for the fight. Haye obviously isn’t going to bow down to Bellew and let him have his way in the negotiations and put himself at a disadvantage. As such, the Haye-Bellew rematch remains very much in doubt.
It would be good to see Haye and Joshua inside the ring next year. The boxing public could finally see the two of them together. Joshua struggles against movement, power and speed. If Haye can stun Joshua or get him gassed out like Wladimir Klitschko did last April, Haye wouldn’t let him off the hook. Haye would go all out to put Joshua out of his misery rather than letting him catch his second wind and recover the way Wladimir did.
Wladimir had Joshua teetering on the brink of being stopped in rounds 6 through 9, and he didn’t press his foot on the gas to try and knock him out. That was dumb, dumb and dumb of Wladimir. If I had been in the same position Wladimir was in, they would have had to pull me off of Joshua. I would have been throwing punches even while they were dragging me away.
Joshua would have had to either take the shots or he would have been finished. Wladimir showed mental weakness in not going after Joshua when he showed that he exhausted in round 6. Haye is a finisher. If he gets Joshua in the same position Wladimir did, he would go for the coup de grace on him. It would be like when Haye had John Ruiz hurt in round 9, he finished him off to get the stoppage. I’d like to think Wladimir would have done the same thing if he was in Haye’s position, but I don’t know that he would. Wladimir might have decided to play it safe and just box Ruiz like he did with Joshua.
Joshua (19-0, 19 KOs) has a couple of risky mandatory title defenses he much get out of the way first before he can start thinking about fighting Haye in 2018. Joshua will be fighting his IBF mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev (25-1, 13 KOs) on October 28 at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium. If Joshua gets through the Pulev fight in flying colors, then he must defend against his WBA mandatory Luis “King Kong” Ortiz in early 2018. That’s a fight that Joshua could lose. The Cuban southpaw Ortiz hits hard, and he’s very experienced and highly skilled.
Haye tore his Achilles in the Bellew fight last March in a fight that he winning until the injury occurred. In the 11th, Haye slipped and fell out of the ring. While he was trying to get back in the ring, Haye’s corner had he fight stopped. Haye wasn’t hurt at the time. He had lost his footing and fell out of the ring. It’s too bad the fight was stopped, because Haye was loading up on big power shots and looking to KO Bellew.
Haye has to start winning again and keep winning for him to get a title shot against Joshua next year. Another loss or another debilitating injury by Haye will give Joshua and his promoter Eddie Hearn whatever excuse they need to ignore him and go in another direction.
The negotiations between Haye and Bellew could potentially lead to a fight between them later this year, but I’m not expecting that fight to get made. With Bellew, 34, likely wanting to be the A-side now in the negotiations, I think it’s improbable that a second fight can get made between them unless Haye is willing to give Bellew what he wants.
“Four fights maximum; I believe I can work my way up the rankings and get the right fight with the right guys. Number one in my eyes is Anthony Joshua,” Haye said o skysports.com. “Joshua has some business to take care of with (Kubrat) Pulev but then next year, in an ideal world, I’ll fight Anthony Joshua. At the moment, I’m not on his radar because I lost my last fight,” said Haye.
Whether Haye will get ranked high by the sanctioning bodies or not will depend on the quality of the opposition he faces. Fighting 4 times by next year would seem highly ambitious for the 36-year-old Haye at this time, as he’s fought only 4 times in the last 5 years. It took Haye 5 years to fight 4 times, and now he’s talking about fighting 4 times maximum to get ranked high enough to fight Joshua in 2018. I don’t see it. A more likely number is 2 fights at the most for Haye.
I see Haye fighting before the end of 2017, and then maybe getting the Joshua fight in late 2018. Joshua would and his promoter Eddie Hearn would need to be good with Haye not having fought much. If Hearn insists on Haye getting a lot of fights under his belt to help build the Joshua-Haye fight up for the British boxing public in order to maximize the revenue, then I don’t see the fight happening. I don’t see Haye staying active the way Hearn wants him to for him to help build up the Joshua fight.
“All I know is that obviously there are talks going on,” said trainer Dave Coldwell told to skysports.com about a rematch between Haye and Bellew. “They have been back and forth for quite a while now really I suppose, but I believe there are positive talks going on. It is one of those fights that are possible. Whether or not it gets finalized or not, I’ll believe it when I see it.”
Bellew supposedly has options other than Haye, but I don’t see too much out there for him. Other than Haye, Bellew’s only chance for a good payday fight is against light heavyweight champion Andre “SOG” Ward, and that’s going to be an awfully tough fight to put together. I’d be surprised if Bellew and Ward ever fight. I don’ see it happening. Bellew can probably make a lot more money fighting Haye though than Ward. That’s the fight that Bellew should be exhausting every effort to try and make happen.
If Bellew doesn’t take the Haye fight, then he’ll likely lose to Ward for less money, and that in turn will hurt his chances of getting the good money he was hoping to get in the rematch with Haye. Bellew would not be in the position to dictate terms to Haye if he gets beaten by Ward. That’s a risky fight for Bellew to take. I would only take a fight against Ward if I thought I had a good chance of beating him. If Bellew could capture a win over Ward, it would strengthen his position in the Haye negotiations down the road. More likely than not, Bellew will lose to Ward, and he’ll be in a position of weakness to get a good deal in the Haye negotiations.