INSIDE THE ROPES WITH TRAVIS HARTMAN

David Haye on brink of cashing in

on heavyweight title shot

By TRAVIS HARTMAN of "The Boxing Amusement Park"

Oct. 20, 2008

David Haye could be just one fight away from meeting his Goliath.

Haye (21-1, 20 KO), has power and blazing speed on his side and will need every bit of it in the current super-sized heavyweight division. Barring a major injury prior to or on Nov. 15, Haye will defeat former heavyweight contender Monte Barrett in his next bout, and then we could possibly see the 21st century version of David versus Goliath.

With his flashy GQ looks, Adonis stature and charming personality, Haye could resurrect the European division, also known as the heavyweight division to the laymen. Moving up after dominating the lackluster cruiserweight division, Haye could do what only a handful of men have been able to accomplish in the history of professional boxing -- win a heavyweight world title.

After losing inside five rounds to blown-up cruiserweight weight Carl Thompson, Haye's chin could be his only significant weakness. In addition, Haye's one blemish on his record does bring into question if he has what it takes to be a contender as a heavyweight. If Haye canít take the power of a cruiserweight, then how is he going to handle one on the chin from one of the giant Klitschko brothers or the 7- foot Nikolay Valuev?

Muhammad Ali has a theory on the matter.

ďYou canít hit what you canít see,Ē Ali famously said.

Therefore, Haye will have to use his speed and quickness to counteract his suspect chin.

In an era where the heavyweights are not the most popular fighters, this division is wide open for a young and very charismatic guy like Haye to steal the spotlight. Is Haye more hype then hope or is this move to heavyweight a publicity stunt to help spice up the heavyweight scene?

However, he did impressively defeat cruiserweight title-holder Enzo Maccarinelli inside two rounds, and up to that point Maccarinelli only lost one fight in eight years. Haye's impressive knockout power and amazing talents earned him the coveted Ring Magazine No. 1 rated cruiserweight in the world. However, he relinquished that title with his current move to heavyweight.

The David Haye story still is being written, and eager boxing fans wait to see what will become of a David and Goliath matchup. If Haye can get past Barrett on Nov. 15, then it will be up to one of the current heavyweight world champions to give Haye his shot at their title. Haye could be what the division needs with the Klitschkos and other title holders progressing into the later stages of their careers. Haye, 28, can bring longevity to the heavyweight division, which hasnít happened since the former undisputed champ Lennox Lewis ruled it from 1997 to 2003.

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