Barrett was knocked down twice in the third round, twice in the fourth, and once more in the fifth before referee Ricky Davies stepped in to prevent Barrett from again getting up and fighting on, as it appeared he was about to do. The overdue stoppage sealed a fifth round knockout for David Haye in London.
It's not a performance to get up in arms about. Though Barrett did catch him a few times in the second, I still wouldn't say we've seen Haye's heavyweight beard tested. But his chin issues, frankly, have long been a bit overstated. Still, when he's hit hard by a 240, 250 pound guy -- what happens then?
As far as his punch goes, clearly it's carried up in weight, as most expected it would. There was actually no real reason to think it wouldn't. He was an exceptionally heavy-handed cruiserweight, and he is a hard puncher fighting at 215 pounds, too.
The real difference, I think, was just in total package skills. Haye was a very good amateur boxer and as I said earlier today, his technique is often overlooked. He can get a bit wild, but he does it, it seems, at the right times. He pounces like few others in the sport do, regardless of weight class. And when he smells blood, he finishes.
He also showed great restraint, not getting overly excited when he'd knock Barrett down. He never threw a big volume of sloppy punches that accomplished nothing. He instead waited nicely for another chance to drill Barrett. And it seemed every time he got a chance, he made it happen.
Big ups to Monte Barrett, too. He was fighting on hostile ground in a huge, packed arena, and he never stopped trying, even when the outclassing massacre became clear for what it is. David Haye was obviously the better man, but Monte did himself no disservice. He went at Haye a bit too boldly, I'd say, but he also appeared to lose confidence in his jab as early as the first round, when he couldn't get it home and the resulting shortcomings of the punch got him cracked a couple times.
We'll see what's next for Haye. Vitali Klitschko, the WBC titleholder, was in the house and all over Setanta talking up a fight with Haye (or a fight between his brother and Haye), but Vitali has to either deal with Juan Carlos Gomez or give up his title, if the WBC is to be believed.
But as far as today goes, David Haye made a nice "first" impression on the heavyweight scene.
We'll be back in about three hours for round-by-round coverage of the super middleweight eliminator between Jermain Taylor and Jeff Lacy. Join us then!