David Haye stuns Russia’s Nikolay Valuev to claim WBA heavyweight crown
On Saturday evening 29 year-old Londoner David Haye triumphed against Nikolay Valuev in one of the most eagerly anticipated boxing showdowns in years. He fought immaculately and in the process fulfilled his childhood dream by capturing the WBA heavyweight crown. The judges awarded the fight 116-112, 116-112, 114-114 in favour of the Brit.
Before the match all talk had been of David Haye giving away seven stone to the colossal Russian but as soon as the fight began it was clear that the pertinent issue would be age. Valuev looked every bit his 37 years, reacting in a cumbersome and slow manner without any of the dynamism of his opponent who was simply too fit and fast to let the difference in height and weight matter. The fact that Haye fought from the third round with a suspected broken hand made his victory even more impressive.
The first seven rounds were promising for Haye and after a short period tiredness in the seventh he began to take control with perhaps the decisive moment of the fight coming in the ninth. It came as Haye executed a left jab followed closely by a right straight down the pipe followed by a couple of right-hand hits in the next round. From this moment Valuev appeared desperate and lacking in ideas.
Haye almost knocked out Valuev in the final round and continued to batter him until the final bell confirmed his victory. Unsurprisingly the new WBA Champion was delighted with his achievement telling the BBC "I made him look like an amateur. People doubted my skills, but I did enough to win. "Here I am, heavyweight champion of the world and I'm loving it. I'm going to clean up the division". Haye is now pencilled in to begin his defence with a fight against the American John Ruiz next year.