Is David Haye Really 1 Of The Best Heavyweights On The Planet Like He Claims?
There is little doubt that David Haye has had a lot of success in his career winning a number of titles. Haye started his career as a cruiserweight and achieved a lot in this division winning the British and Europian titles as well as the WBA, WBC and WBO world titles. He never won the IBF after losing to Carl Thompson but regardless had a very decorated record at cruiserweight.
Can the same be said for his career as a heavyweight though?
Haye claims that he is 1 of if not the best heavyweight on the planet and 1 of the best heavyweight’s in history which is a huge claim to make. For Haye to say this he is putting himself in the same category as the likes of Ali, Forman, Tyson, Lewis, Klitschko and a number of other highly successful heavyweights over the years. Although his Boxrec record is not completely accurate due to a couple fights being missing and also some fights are titled as heavyweight bouts but on the night officially labelled them cruiserweight bought. Regardless, for the sake of this post, we will use this information to look at David Haye’s career as a heavyweight.
David Haye will be fighting Tony Bellew for the second time at heavyweight soon after losing his first attempt earlier this year. In their first fight, both fighters did a lot of trash talking but Bellew never moved from his statement that David Haye has not fought anyone significant as a heavyweight and the people he did fight he lost to them with the biggest name being Wladimir Klitschko.
This made me have a look at his record a little more closely than I usually would do to see how good it really is.
Haye had his first heavyweight contest in 2003 against Roger Bowden and wouldn’t have another bout until 2005 when he beat Garry Delaney. After that Haye fought again in 2007 at heavyweight had 1 (maximum 2) fights at heavyweight every year after that until 2012 when he beat Dereck Chisora for the WBA intercontinental and WBO international titles. Haye won his first world title in 2009 beating Nikolay Valuev for the WBA belt but his reign only lasted 2 years as he lost the title to Klitschko in 2011 and lost his chance to win the IBF, IBO and WBO titles.
After his fight with Chisora Haye was not seen again until 2016 in his comeback fight against Mark De Mori who was not considered as a huge test for Haye and was expected to beat him which he did in a first round KO. In 2017 after another heavyweight fight Haye would face Tony Bellew who stepped up from cruiserweight to face him. Tony Bellew won that fight but some say he only did this due to Haye picking up an injury during the fight but Bellew did some good work and was winning on points before the injury happened as Haye was just throwing wild punches for the most part of the fight.
according to Boxrec, As a heavyweight Haye has had 13 fights at this weight out of his 33 total bouts. He has lost 2 fights as a heavyweight to Klitschko and most recently Bellew who stepped up to face him. Haye has only managed to capture 1 out of a possible 5 world titles in his heavyweight career and when you compare this to other heavyweight legends is not a lot.
In just over 15 years as a pro, Haye has had fewer bouts than people such as Dillian Whyte, Deontay Wilder and a list of other heavyweights he calls out including Anthony Joshua who Haye says he wants to fight and can beat him. Since Joshua’s first pro fight in 2013 to now he has had more fights, yet to lose and won more titles in his career and still got a few more years left in the game before he should think about retiring.
Looking on paper then, Haye has not left much of a mark in the heavyweight division and I wonder if when he retires we will be talking more about his achievements as a cruiserweight rather than him being a heavyweight. The biggest fights Haye had he lost and I can’t help but feel in 10 years time people will not remember his fights with people such as Audley Harrison, Monte Barrett and others like them but will remember that he lost when he faced top level competition.
What are your views on David Haye as a heavyweight?