The pattern of the fight was clear from the off, with Klitschko pawing out his jab and making Haye lunge to try and get his shots off. Haye seemed to struggle with Klitschko’s reach and each round seemed to replicate the other with a cat and mouse fight unfolding from the first bell, with the Briton unable to get close the bigger fighter.
Klitschko’s athleticism and ring know-how saw him push the smaller man down, blatantly at times, but it was effective and Haye seemed to tire into the later rounds. The WBO, IBF and IBO champion popped out the odd right hand to remind Haye of his dominance and the now former WBA champion just could not get his shots off.
Haye seemed to have the better of the third round, but Klitschko’s volume of punches saw most rounds go his way. Haye did catch him with two power punches in the middle rounds and one in the twelfth, but Klitschko took them and came straight back at the Londoner to half the crowds delight.
The judges saw the fight 118-108, 117-109 and 116-110 to hand the Ukrainian four versions of the world title and the Klitschko brothers total dominance of the heavyweight division. Haye proved he could take a shot and that he could stand up with the best heavyweights in the world, but he is clearly a cruiserweight and the size and strength of Klitschko was too much in the end.
The Brit acknowledged Wladimir’s dominance after the judges’ decision and gave him the handshake he craved after the fight to finally show his respect for a true champion.