After a 12-month fake retirement hiatus, David Haye returned to the ring Saturday in spectacular fashion, stopping fellow British heavyweight Dereck Chisora in a battle of two of the biggest mouths in boxing. Despite months of trash talking from both fighters, the two gentlemen decided to squash their beef in a cordial show of post-fight sportsmanship. A final positive spin was put on the evening when Chisora agreed to honor a bet he had with Haye in which the loser was to donate £20,000 of their purse to the winner’s charity of choice.
The Hayemaker looked very sharp throughout the fight despite the long layoff, showcasing both his hand and foot speed while putting together quite a few dazzling combinations. Haye consistently got off first and used excellent head movement along with his quickness to disengage and slide out of potential trouble on the inside after landing.
Both fighters used their jabs fairly effectively, but Haye was the only one following the jab up with other punches in his repertoire. Chisora looked slow and a tad overweight, and simply stood stationary too often while waiting to land that one big punch instead of truly getting into the flow of the fight. Unfortunately for Del Boy, this game plan was tailor-made for Haye to shine, and Haye was able to land scoring blows with nearly every punch in his arsenal.
A crisp, perfectly thrown short left hook that landed right on the button ultimately proved to be Chisora’s undoing near the end of the fifth round. Chisora crashed to the canvas and never fully recovered, eventually getting decked again after beating the count the first time.
Chisora was on unsteady legs after arising from the first knockdown and resorted to trying to clinch to survive the round out of sheer desperation. With less than ten seconds remaining, Haye iced Chisora with a blistering combination, and referee Luis Pabon did a fine job of enforcing the “cannot be saved by the bell” rule once the round ended as Chisora was getting up.
Del Boy showed massive heart by beating the count of ten, but had there been more time remaining in the round he would have been unable to continue, thus Pabon waved it off. This was a perfect application of the rule by the referee since Chisora was completely finished and in no condition to fight on even though the bell had already sounded.
Haye has plenty of options now after becoming the first fighter to stop Chisora. His first priority will be targeting Vitali Klitschko, who currently has a fight scheduled for September against Manuel Charr. Should Klitschko beat Charr, which seems likely, then a Haye-Vitali Klitschko battle could very well be looming on the horizon.
After coming up short against Vitali’s younger brother a year ago, questions still remain as to whether or not Haye, a natural cruiserweight, can have much success against some of the giant heavyweights of the division. At least for the time being, Haye has given the division a breath of fresh of air and reestablished himself as a legitimate top 5 heavyweight.
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