With the last great UK heavyweight champion, Lennox Lewis, between them, WBA heavyweight titlist David Haye and challenger Audley Harrison completed their weigh-in requirements earlier today in the UK.
Harrison, who is receiving the first title shot of his nine-year career, tipped the scales at 253.5 pounds. The weight is Harrison’s highest since a 2009, three round decision win over Danny Hughes.
David Haye came in at a surprising 210.5 pounds. That represents Haye’s lowest weight since 2008, when as a cruiserweight he weighed 188 pounds before knocking out Enzo Maccarinelli in two rounds. In his last fight in April against John Ruiz, Haye’s weight was 222 pounds.
The champion dismissed comments from Harrison that he may have over-trained for this fight.
“Adam (Booth) said before we started training that if I hit all of my targets in the gym, if I did all the training that he wanted me to do and I didn’t get any injuries that I would come in at around 15 stone,” Haye explained to Sky Sports News. “I’m stronger now than I was before my last fight and the fight before that so I’m pushing more weights; I’m lighter, I’m faster. My sparring partners can’t believe how much power I generate from being only 15 stone but I’m really happy with that weight.”
The fight will be Haye’s second title defense, and fourth fight at heavyweight.
Haye vs. Harrison will be broadcast on UK pay-per-view live from Manchester, England’s MEN Arena.
This fight was seen as a joke when it was initially talked about. With just 24 hours to go, we’ve seen some people profess that Harrison has a decent puncher’s chance. From my view across the pond, I see that development as a very remote possibility.
Harrison is a 39-year-old heavyweight. These days he fights in spurts and can be easily outworked, as seen by what Michael Sprott was doing before Harrison’s come from behind KO in the 12th. For A-Force to win, he’d have to be very consistent in his offense, constantly coming forward and keeping Haye on the backfoot. David Haye is no defensive wizard despite being good at slipping punches. But with the way he’s looked in recent fights, it’s hard to imagine Harrison being able to have the stamina to do that.
Haye is smaller, but his hand speed will be the big difference. Haye is excellent at catching ponderous fighters with quick shots they don’t see coming. It was how Haye was able to shock and easily drop John Ruiz in the first round. Harrison will be caught in similar fashion coming at Haye. If he elects to try to box, Haye still holds the advantage of being a much more technically sound fighter with a better variety of punches.
David Haye has promised for months that fans will witness one of the most brutal knockouts in boxing history. I see no reason to doubt him. If Harrison presses Haye, it comes early and before the fifth. If he tries to box, Harrison gets taken out by the ninth. There will no last round heroics this time around.