David Haye's ego took a hit yesterday, but there's still a lot out there for him -- if he wants it. (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)
Earlier we discussed what could be next for Wladimir Klitschko, but what about the man he defeated Saturday, David Haye? Haye says he plans to retire in October, but Roy Jones Jr said he planned to retire almost 10 years ago, so let's treat Haye as your normal boxer instead who will talk about it, and maybe even announce it officially, but never truly follow through, and always come back to fight again. What can David Haye do next?
One thing: His next fight will not be a rematch with Wladimir Klitschko unless Wladimir truly can't find anyone else at all to fight him, and that won't be the case. Worst case scenario he'll find someone thrilled to take the payday. So we won't even talk rematch here. It's not happening.
Vitali says he'd still like to fight Haye, and knock him out. The elder Klitschko brother recently admitted that if it had been him facing David Haye instead of his brother, he wouldn't have been as laid back before the fight, as he's far more emotional. He flat-out said he wants to "kick Haye's ass." Vitali would probably be Haye's best money option, and any road leading to a rematch with Wladimir -- if Haye really wants that -- probably has to go through Vitali. We're back at the point where any negotiation with the Klitschkos will not see Haye on equal footing, too, so anything between the two parties could be exceedingly difficult to negotiate. There's no way he's getting a 50/50 split or much by way of concessions. If he wants to play ball with the brothers, he has to play their game now. There's no other option.
Dimitrenko is 6'7" but that's about all he has in common with the Klitschkos. He's also the European champion, so if Haye were to take a comeback run super seriously, he could start there and work his way back up. Like, if David Haye wanted to prove that his performance against Wlad was not his own standard, he could start marketing himself as taking the hard road back to the world title. Dimitrenko (31-1, 21 KO) lost to Eddie Chambers, so he's vulnerable against smaller heavyweights, and Haye is still better than Chambers, in my view, faster with his hands and far stronger a puncher. But Eddie also puts punches together better than Haye does, so there's that, and David has proved reluctant against men bigger than him, even with lousy Nikolai Valuev. I do think this would be a good "comeback trail" starter.
Just because it could be sold as a fun fight. Despite the fact that he's not generally all that exciting anymore, David Haye does maintain the reputation of being one of the "fun" heavyweights. I know that right this minute that might not hold true, but if this fight got signed, people would talk about it anyway. Boxing fans might "hate" too much, but they also are blessed with short memories when it comes to getting excited. I think that's a good thing, by the way. I mean, how many times have you been let down by a fight or any particular fighter, only to find yourself excited for the next one, or the next time that guy fights?
If Adamek loses to Vitali Klitschko in September, as expected, this would still be a damn good fight. Two former legit cruiserweight champions who have proven good if not great as heavyweights. Adamek is a fan favorite for his generally ballsy approach and genuine toughness. He's one of the toughest guys out there. And they both have boxing skill, though I would say Adamek uses his entire game far more often than does Haye, who at this point might have to be considered a bit of an underachiever in that he just doesn't use all his talent often. I would be truly into this fight no matter what Adamek does against Vitali, because styles make fights and I think Adamek vs Haye is a good style contrast.
I know. Look...I know. I really do. But I would never count this out. While I think the Klitschkos will never fight Holyfield -- and have thought so for years -- simply because neither of them would see it as a fair or tasteful proposition, I don't think David Haye would mind trying to sell his taking the scalp of the washed-up, nearly 50-year-old legend. The greatest bit of intrigue here would be seeing if the Sky Sports team try to sell Holyfield as the legendary Holyfield instead of what he is today, sort of like the Aussie commentators for Roy Jones Jr vs Danny Green.
The two have some history as amateur rivals and have both been thwarted by the Klitschkos after promising to be the man to take them out this year. For evidence of Vitali being more emotional and prone to anger than his brother, observe Vitali's post-fight reaction to bum-legged Solis after their March fight. He looked like he wanted to punch him, and I don't mean in a boxing sense.
Dereck Chisora or Tyson Fury
I can hear it now -- "X may hold the British heavyweight title, but I'm still the best heavyweight in Britain, and I'm going to take my throne," and so on. And I do think both Chisora and Fury would be ballsy enough to do it, especially since it would guarantee them a career-best payday. I also think both will be willing to fight Wladimir if that does indeed come into serious play.
He's old, he's not very good anymore, and frankly he never really accomplished anything that adds up to his popularity, but it's easy to love a short, squat, thunder-punching Samoan heavyweight who always looks like he has the worst intentions once the bell rings. Tua is rematching Monte Barrett on August 13 in New Zealand, and would have to get by that. He says if he doesn't, he'll retire. Haye vs Tua has been mentioned before by fight fans as a potentially fun fight.
Jean Marc Mormeck
They had a great fight which netted Haye the cruiserweight championship back in 2007. After a two year break, Mormeck came back, this time as a mediocre heavyweight who has trouble with Vinny Maddalone, Fres Oquendo and Timur Ibragimov. He's 39 years old, has history with Haye, and really, really is not a heavyweight, so that could be perfect for Haye's comeback.
You know, if Teddy Atlas wants to take off the baby gloves. Watching Povetkin run away from Wladimir twice and take massive steps back from Eddie Chambers in six straight fights has turned the Russian amateur star into more or less a non-factor in the division. He's talented, but he's not in the game right now.