Friday, July 1, 2011

Klitschko-Haye: Four Scenarios

As with SNB's other preview pieces, this post will analyze the most likely outcomes for the Wladimir-Klitschko-David Haye fight.  Each scenario will have the result followed by a percentage, which indicates the scenario's likelihood of occurrence.

Scenario 1.  Klitschko defeats Haye by wide decision.  40%

With all the talk and bluster from the two combatants, the most likely outcome for this fight is a 12-round decision.  Both fighters can be hesitant and have had chin problems in their distant pasts.  Klitschko is often more than content to pile up points with his piston-lack jab, left hook and occasional right hand.  Haye, when facing the substantially bigger Nicolai Valuev, used the ring to his advantage and fought opportunistically in spurts.  He avoided staying in the pocket against his taller and stronger adversary.  Against Klitschko, Haye might employ similar tactics. 

Haye and his trainer, Adam Booth, are smart people.  To march into Klitschko's kitchen, outgunned and undersized, would be foolish.  Many fighters have tried to go right at Klitschko.  His heavy jab and punishing right cross are enough to discourage most of them by the middle rounds. 

The trick for Team Haye is to figure out a strategy to pick up points.  One way of scoring is for Haye to use his hook to the body and turn Klitschko with angles.  Haye would need to stay active enough to keep up his work rate.  His left hook could be one viable weapon, but it's hard to see how that would be enough to win the majority of the 12 rounds.

A methodical fight favors Klitschko.  His work rate and conditioning are excellent and no one ties up better on the inside than he does.  His offensive weapons will allow him to coast to the victory.

Scenario 2.  Klitschko defeats Haye by early-round knockout.  25%

This outcome would be most likely if either fighter decides to get frisky in the opening rounds.  Instead of relying on his usual risk-averse and often boring technical mastery, Klitschko, in this scenario, opts to attack Haye from the opening bell.  Additionally, if Haye charges his opponent in the early rounds, Klitschko will have great counter opportunities with his left hook followed by his straight right hand. 

Klitschko's power can be devastating.  Unfortunately for boxing fans, he is not always offensively oriented.  Should he decide to rise to the occasion, the elements are available for a spectacular knockout.

Scenario 3.  Haye defeats Klitschko by early-round knockout.  15%

This would be the Corrie Sanders fight template, whereby Haye lands a bomb in the first two rounds in which Klitschko can't recover.  Although Haye has good power for a heavyweight, he has not yet demonstrated that dimension against a top-tier opponent.  If Haye's power is as good as he thinks it is, he may be able to dethrone the heavyweight king.

Scenario 4.  Other.  20%

The following potential outcomes could be in play for this fight.  A. Fight stopped due to injury.  Haye has had shoulder and rotator cuff problems in the past.  Klitschko can also be awkward when moving around the ring.  The potential for a bout-ending injury is certainly possible.  B. Klitschko wins by late-round knockout.  This would be an attrition-style stoppage where Booth decides to throw in the towel or Haye refuses to answer the bell as the fight progresses.  In this scenario, Team Haye concludes that there is no viable chance to win the fight.  C. Klitschko wins by close decision.  In this scenario, Haye would have his moments throughout the fight, but not enough of them to win it on the scorecards.  This outcome could also occur if there is a replaying of the Klitschko-Peter I fight, whereby Haye knocks Klitschko down a time or two but is unable to win enough rounds to pull out the victory. D. Haye defeats Klitschko by close decision.  This scenario would occur if Haye were able to drop Klitschko a few times and wins some additional rounds to pick up the victory on the scorecards.  E. Klitschko wins by disqualification.  This would happen if Haye concludes that he has no conceivable opportunity to win the fight and decides to end it with low blows. 


Both fighters are active but refuse to engage in close combat.  Klitschko's jab and hook are enough to fluster Haye and keep him on the outside.  Haye continues to look for opportunities to attack but can't find success.  Klitschko's high work rate and superior accuracy are enough to win almost every round.

Klitschko defeats Haye 118-110, or ten rounds to two.

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