Earlier today, David Haye went back to his Twitter account to offer respect to world heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko, who beat Haye yesterday in Germany:
Wladamir was the better man last night.He did exactly what he needed to win decision. He's a great fighter, and a hard man to beat.Respect.
Haye (25-2, 23 KO) doesn't seem to be "blaming" the broken toe quite as much as it appeared early on, though you have to admit that immediately pulling his foot out for the TV cameras was a bit of an odd move.
But it just seems like David Haye can do this sort of thing -- and good on him for saying it -- all he wants, and he'll still never gain the respect he desires. Personally speaking, trash talk to me is just trash talk, and after all is said and then done in the ring, I couldn't much care less what went on beforehand. I mean, take Victor Ortiz. I think he says goofy stuff. But he beat Andre Berto and I didn't care what he'd said beforehand so much. Once he fights Floyd Mayweather Jr, all the goofy stuff he's saying now won't really bother me either. Haye is Haye, and next time he fights, he'll talk the same big game. It's what he does.
Still, I understand the people who lost respect for him after yesterday, because he said so much, for so long, and didn't just fail to deliver in the minds of many -- he failed to much try to deliver. That's the real point of no return for many, I think. A perceived lack of effort, the failure to "leave it all in the ring," is far worse than simply not being able to back up your mouth and getting knocked out for it. Shane Mosley recently experienced the same backlash. When fans feel you didn't try as hard as you could have, that's when the real loss of respect comes. And some fighters care, while others really don't. Junior Witter is someone I could name who truly does not care what fight fans think. Is David Haye like that, or will this eat at him? And if it's going to eat at him, will he fold up shop, or will he come back more determined than ever, this time not to prove himself, but to erase the bad memories? Victor Ortiz recently did the latter by finally showing the sort of fighter he really is, which it turns out is the fighter he was hyped to be all along -- imperfect, but exciting and ballsy.
We've seen all of this before. It's now up to David Haye more than anything or anyone else.