Klitschko vs Haye Underrated Factors: Haye's Intelligence, Klitschko's Speed

Wladimir Klitschko and David Haye may not be as different as it appears at first glance. (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)

Our staff picks will be up around Noon EDT, and my audio breakdown is available on this week's podcast, but I wanted to quickly look at what I feel are two very underrated factors going into this fight.

David Haye's Ring IQ

Make no mistake -- David Haye is not a dumb fighter. He talked about taking the fight to Nikolai Valuev, and while I think it was a case where he was too cautious, he picked his spots pretty well. Against John Ruiz, he picked his spots very well. In many ways, Haye and Klitschko aren't that dissimilar in their approaches to fights, especially since Haye's gone up to heavyweight. David, like Wladimir, knows he doesn't take the best shot in the world, and he has adapted to that. He gets aggressive in spurts, mostly when he's confident about it, same as Wladimir. There's chatter that Haye will boldly attack Klitschko immediately. Don't expect that. Haye, like Klitschko, looks for the right times to attack.

Wladimir Klitschko's Hand Speed

Haye is considered to be the IQ inferior to Wladimir. I don't see it being a huge advantage for Klitschko. Similarly, I don't see Haye having an amazing hand speed advantage against Klitschko, who can let go in combination very nicely when he tries to attack in that manner. Klitschko is often called slow, but he isn't. He follows his jab well with a monster right hand when he's comfortable. Like Haye, he also undermines his own speed quite often by going one punch at a time, or when he simply relies on his thunderous jab instead of mixing it up offensively. Haye often looks for one punch at a time, hoping for something big to come of it. Wladimir, when he's too tentative, just jabs and jabs and jabs. Frankly, Wladimir's approach when tentative is much more effective and has proven capable of sucking the life out of opponents.

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