Top 5 potential opponents for David Haye
Published Jul 24 2012 by: Rich Thomas
David Haye's Future Dance Card
David Haye's resounding victory over Dereck Chisora has brought the potential for explosive, trash-talking Hayemaker excitement back to the heavyweight division. This prospect has left many fans -- both of Haye personally and heavyweight action in general -- asking what might be next for David Haye.
This list represents wishful thinking tempered by a steely dose of reality. Just as a boxer's career is sometimes dictated by electrifying bouts that everyone wants to see, it is also sometimes formed by fights that no one wants, but politics dictate must happen.
---> You can also check out our Klitschko Readiness Rating column for David Haye
- Alexander Povetkin: Haye only recently lost his WBA belt to Wladimir Klitschko, a loss that opened the door for Povetkin to become a fake ("regular") champion. As a former champion with a big win under his belt, Haye should reappear WBA's rankings in a high position, and the Briton undoubtedly wants a belt and another big win to his name before entering negotiations for Vitali Klitschko's probable retirement bout. Furthermore, the outcome of Povetkin vs. Haye would be very hard to call, and the respective styles could produce a very exciting fight. The problem is that I have a very hard time seeing Povetkin take such a risk for any amount of money, not unless he is forced to. That leads us to...
- Hasim Rahman: I know what our fearless leader, Jake Emen, will say when he sees this: "no one wants to see Rahman fight anyone, let alone Haye!" He would be almost right, because I can think of just one group of people who might want this bout: the WBA. For some misbegotten reason, the Baltimore Knucklehead was the WBA's #1 contender, and slated to fight Povetkin until he pulled out due to an injury. I suspect that while the WBA might want to force Povetkin vs. Haye, they can't just make Haye the #1 contender straight off the bat without doing something to appease Rahman. Political logic makes a Haye vs. Rahman box-off for mandatory challenger's rights very likely at this juncture.
- Tony Thompson: If David Haye really wants a trial run for Klitschko the Elder, Thompson is his man. True, Klitschko and Thompson have very different styles and are on entirely different levels, but there aren't that many 6'5" heavies out there to fight. Furthermore, at age 40, I bet that Thompson's management are less eager to protect him from top-tier opponents in the way that they have in the past.
- Robert Helenius: The Nordic Nightmare would be a better trial run for Vitali Klitschko than Thompson, and Haye vs. Helenius would make big bank in Europe. The fight would also be an instant contender for Fight of the Year, pitting Haye's speed and explosiveness against Helenius's heavy-handed aggression. I'd pay PPV prices to see it. Still, I can't see Helenius's management making this fight unless a title were on the line, and even then they would be hesitant. After all, Haye clobbered Chisora, the guy who gave their man a close run for his money.
- Tyson Fury: A clash with Fury would have it all. Fury is a big, aggressive young lion, so a fight with him would be good Vitali prep and an exciting clash to boot. It would also have the British rivals angle that played into making Haye vs. Chisora a success. Like Helenius, I'd pay PPV rates to see it. However, this fight is much less likely than Helenius, since Fury is nowhere near as far along in his career progression. I would dearly love to see it, and the fight would make big money for everyone involved, but it is the least likely of the Top 5.
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