Boxing

Boxing Betting Preview & Predictions: Haye vs. Klitschko

Wladimir “Dr. Steelhammer” Klitschko vs.  David “The Hayemaker” Haye BettingThis Saturday boxing fans are finally getting treated to one of the two most-anticipated fights of the past several years. Don’t get too excited, you didn’t miss it, Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao isn’t fighting Floyd Mayweather Jr. this weekend. Instead, we get the first exciting match-up in Heavyweight boxing in a long time; arguably since Mike Tyson and Lennox Lewis fought 11 years ago.

This Saturday night, live from the Imtech Arena in Hamburg, Germany a Heavyweight grudge match is set to take center stage as David “Hayemaker” Haye takes on Wladimir Klitschko battle in Germany.

When: Saturday July 2, 2011
Where: Imtech Arena in Altona, Hamburg Germany
TV: Live on Pay Per View in UK and Europe, Live on HBO in North America
The Fight: Heavyweight Unification Bout for the WBA/WBO/IBF/IBO/The Ring Heavyweight Championships (12 Rounds)

Current Available Betting Lines (From BODOG.com):
Wladimir “Dr. Steelhammer” Klitschko (-270) / David “The Hayemaker” Haye (+210)
Total Rounds – Over 7½ Rounds (-140) / Under 7½ Rounds (EV)

Fight Preview

This is a fight that has been brewing for several years. It is a heated grudge match between two Heavyweights who really don’t like each other. This fight has actually been made in the past, but injuries as well as problems with fight contracts forced the cancellation of the bout previously. Let’s take a quick look back at the history that has turned this fight into such a highly anticipated match up.

Several years ago after moving up from Cruiserweight Haye called out Wladimir and the fight was made. Haye pulled out citing an injury, but then was scheduled to face Wladimir’s older brother, and WBC Heavyweight Champion Vitali Klitschko. Citing contractual differences, Haye once again pulls out. Recently after defeating the massive Nikolai Valuev to gain the WBA Heavyweight Title, Haye was once again on a warpath straight towards the Ukrainian Klitschko brothers. Haye has since made a mandatory title defense against John Ruiz and then took another fight, simply for money against Audley Harrison (a man widely regarded as the worst Heavyweight title challenger in decades.)

Over the Christmas break of 2010, the brothers released a joint statement saying that both were ready to fight Haye in 2011 and it was up to the British-born Haye to step up to the plate. Talks instantly began in the new year, but quickly broke down. After another potential suitor came calling for the brothers, talks were back on and the fight with Wladimir was booked. Haye has stated publicly that he plans to retire from the sport of boxing on his 31st birthday in October. He plans to defeat both brothers in that time frame and leave the sport at the pinnacle of his career. Going out on top of the world.

Haye has done a lot of trash talking over the years leading up to this fight. He mocked the two brothers, calling them the Klitschko sisters. He also sported a t-shirt that featured a graphic of the two brothers’ severed heads. After the t-shirt incident, it seemed that Wladimir had finally had enough. He released an official video calling out Haye. Clearly the Brit had gotten under the Ukrainian’s skin.

The fight was agreed upon at a 50-50 split on all monies; which was a huge sticking point in the first contract negotiations. Both fighters also agreed to waive the standard rematch clause. Now finally, we are on the eve of what could be one of the most exciting Heavyweight boxing matches in a long time.

Fighter Analysis: David “Hayemaker” Haye

David Haye is an English professional boxer, fighting out of Lambeth, London, England. Haye is a former unified and lineal Cruiserweight Champion of the world. He is also the reigning WBA Heavyweight Champion, a belt that he won with a majority decision over Nikolai Valuev in November of 2009. Haye’s last fight was a voluntary defense of his WBA Title against 27-5 Audley Harrison in Manchester, England.

Haye stands 6’3″ tall and is an Orthodox fighter. The 30-year-old Brit has a professional boxing record of 25 wins with 1 loss, along with a staggering 23 wins by way of Knockout. Haye had a decorated amateur career. In 1999 he competed at the World Amateur Boxing Championships in Houston as a Light Heavyweight, but was eliminated early in the competition. However, at the 2001 World Amateur Boxing Championships, this time closer to home in Belfast, Northern Ireland he fought at Heavyweight, where he won a silver medal.

Haye is an extremely fast and agile fighter. He often relies on his fancy footwork and quick hand speed to make up for what he lacks in size. Haye often weighs in for Heavyweight fights around the 220 pound range, which come fight night will be significantly smaller than his opponent. Haye is an extremely athletically gifted fighter, he is 220 pounds of solid, shredded muscle. Haye has not lost in 15 fights, since a 2004 TKO loss to Carl Thompson.

For David Haye to win this fight he must use his speed and aggressiveness to win him the fight. He needs to go back to his style as a Cruiserweight, aggressiveness is going to be key for Haye. According to Compubox (www.compuboxonline.com) as a Cruiserweight Haye landed almost 50% of his Power Punches per round, which is something he’s going to need to do again if he wants to test the questionable chin of Klitschko. Haye is also going to need to avoid the jab of the bigger fighter. Haye was successful against Nikolai Valuev by moving around constantly and disrupting the big man’s rhythm. Klitschko is several times the fighter that Valuev is, but the strategy must remain the same.

The other major saving grace for Haye may be his corner. Adam Booth has trained and managed Haye throughout his entire career and has become known as one of the leading boxing strategists around. Along with Haye, Booth has come up with many a game plan that has foiled Haye’s previous opponents.

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Fighter Analysis: Wladimir “Dr. Steelhammer” Klitschko

Wladimir Klitschko is a Ukrainian professional boxer, born in Kazakhstan of the former USSR. Klitschko is the owner of several Heavyweight boxing titles including; the IBF, IBO, WBO and Ring Magazine championships. Klitschko is also the record holder for the longest reigning Heavyweight Champion of the IBF, WBO and IBO Heavyweight Titles. He is considered by many to be a top 3 Pound for Pound best boxer in the world.

Klitschko stands 6’5″ tall and has an extremely large reach of 81 inches, all of which he puts to use through the strength of his strong left jab. He is also built like a tank at nearly 255 pounds of solid muscle. Klitschko is often hated by members of the public or the media, because he is a safety-first fighter, preferring to rely on a strong defense, while taking offensive opportunities when they present themselves. The 35-year-old fighter has an extensive resume, which includes a professional record of 55-3 with 49 wins by Knockout. Klitschko is currently riding a 13-fight win streak, with his last two victories coming by way of Knockout.

Klitschko is a very slow and very focused fighter. While this sometimes draws the ire of critics, it is hard to argue with the results. Klitschko is an accomplished Ring General, who is always able to control the ring and control the pace of the fight. He uses a very strong left jab to keep his opponent’s at bay and out of range. That combined with his 81-inch reach and his ability to land punches effectively make him an extremely difficult fighter to oppose. Klitschko’s one glaring weakness has always been his fragile chin, all three of his career losses have come by way of KO.

In order for Klitschko to win this fight he must follow the same game plan that his trainer Emanuel Steward has laid out for him. Klitschko uses his solid jab to set the foundation for his offense, it establishes range and keeps his opponent’s on the outside. He also throws very few power punches per round, he limits this ability to negate a good counter-punchers chance to test his chin. However, he lands those few power punches that he does throw fairly successfully.

Match-Up Advantages:

Punching Power: David Haye
Hand and Foot Speed: David Haye
Defense: Wladimir Klitschko
Heart and Chin: EVEN
Fight IQ: Wladimir Klitschko

Fight Predictions:

There is an old boxing adage that with all things being equal, the bigger fighter will beat the smaller fighter 99% of the time. I think that rings true here. Things are pretty equal here and I consider this fight to be pretty close to a coin flip. I would favor Klitschko slightly based on hometown advantage and Fight IQ.

Athletically, Haye is the more gifted fighter. Haye has greater hand speed, greater foot speed and has more one-punch knockout power. However, Klitschko has an extensive record and lots of experience inside the ring. He knows what it takes to win and has been doing so effectively for years.

For Haye to win, he’s going to need to disrupt the rhythm of the bigger fighter. I think he had an easy time doing that against someone like Nikolai Valuev, but will have a significantly harder time against Klitschko. The use of Klitschko’s jab is going to be the key to this fight. If Wladimir can keep Haye on the outside of his range for multiple rounds, it’s going to be smooth sailing. Haye is going to need to find a way to get around that jab and get inside to land those big power shots and test the questionable chin of the Ukrainian.

At the current line I have no interest in betting. I believe the fight is closer than the line indicates. Currently with Klitschko as a -270 favorite it indicates the books giving him a 73% chance of winning. Conversely a line of +210 for Haye means the books are giving him a 33% chance of winning (due to the nature of Sports Betting and the inherit house advantage this doesn’t add up to 100%) I give Haye a slightly better chance than that. Which means that I am advocating a play on David Haye. However, there is one more thing to consider. Several books and bookmakers offer props on boxing matches. One of these is picking a fighter to win by KO/TKO or Decision. This is where I would recommend a better play. I found a line of +250 of David Haye by Knockout or TKO.

This is what I consider to be a great bet. You are getting a little extra return on your money, on what I think is Haye’s only path to victory. With Klitschko so strong with the use of his jab, as well as being at home (yes there is likely to be some hometown bias in Boxing judging, don’t be surprised) I think it is unlikely that Haye out-boxes the Ukrainian to a Decision. However, I think Haye can knockout Klitschko if he is able to get inside and test the big man’s chin.

In a straight up boxing contest, I would pick Klitschko all day, and I won’t be surprised to see his hand raised by the referee at the end of the fight. However, what I am making is a play for value. You don’t expect to win this bet every time, but I believe there to be a discrepancy between the Bookie’s line and the true line, enough that I am making a wager hoping that I get lucky and smack it.

Fight Prediction and Bets: David “Hayemaker” Haye to win by TKO/KO inside 12 Rounds (+250)

David Haye by Knockout in the Fifth Round.

Lee McGregor is a fan of all combat sports including both Boxing and Mixed Martial Arts. When not catching fights or watching hockey, he can be found as an Author and Editor at his own website MyManCave.ca

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Eric G.

Eric is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric's work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia. Eric has an MBA from Temple University's Fox School of Business.

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