CompuBox Pre-Analysis: David Haye vs. Dereck Chisora
Who says crime doesn't pay? Had David Haye and Dereck Chisora gone at each other in the streets the way they did during the Vitali Klitschko-Chisora post-fight press conference, both would probably be sitting in a jail cell. But because it unfolded in a boxing setting, they scored a ring date that will result in extra millions pouring into their respective bank accounts.
So who will win Saturday's grudge match? Their respective CompuBox pasts provide these possible answers:
Haye's Slow Trigger: Ever since rising to heavyweight, the dynamic punching that marked Haye's cruiserweight reign has been largely absent -- at least in terms of volume. In his four heavyweight title fights Haye averaged just 25.4 "Hayemakers" per round -- 45% below the 45.8 heavyweight average.
He managed to dethrone then-WBA titlist Nikolay Valuev by decision in the Russian's adopted home base of Germany despite throwing a microscopic 14.2 punches per round. He stopped Audley Harrison in three but threw just 34.6 per round and sleepwalked through the heavily-hyped unification match with Wladimir Klitschko by firing just 24.2 per round. The reasons Haye went 2-1 instead of 0-3 can be traced to one set of numbers-- accurate and timely power punching by Haye and sub-par marksmanship by his opponents.
He connected on 51.3% of his power shots against Valuev while being struck by just 20.2%. Against Harrison he landed 36.1% while his countryman didn't attempt a single power punch. And in losing to Klitschko, Haye connected at 30.3% while "Dr. Steelhammer" clocked in at 21.8%. These days, judges take output and power punching into heavy consideration when scoring close rounds and while Haye lacks one, he excels in the other.
A Possible Blueprint: If Haye wants to use a template to beat Chisora while also exciting the masses, he need not look farther than his own fight with John Ruiz. There, Haye threw a robust (for him) 42.3 punches per round, landed 47.9% of his power shots and out-landed the ex-champ 142-82 (total), 64-47 (jabs) and 78-35 (power). Along with the activity, Haye also was accurate as he landed 39% overall, 31.8% jabs and 47.9% power.
Lighter is Righter: Like Chris Arreola, the number on the scale has a direct correlation on Chisora's performance level. In losing a 12-round decision to Tyson Fury, the lethargic 261-pound Chisora could only muster 26 punches per round while the fit 255 1/2-pound Fury unleashed 64.6 per round and amassed connect leads of 295-115 (total), 58-20 (jabs) and 237-95 (power). Fury landed 51.9% of his power shots and 38.1% overall, trumping Chisora's 36.9% and 40.8% respectively.
But when Chisora slimmed into the 240s, he performed better. In "losing" a horrifically-scored decision against Robert Helenius, a 243-pound Chisora uncorked 56 punches per round and pounded out connect advantages of 278-140 (t9tal), 64-63 (jabs) and 214-77 (power). He also rocked the Finn with 41.4% of his total punches, 31.4% of his jabs and 45.7% of his power shots while limiting his 6-9 opponent to 21.6% overall, 14.6% jabs and 35.8% power.
Against Vitali Klitschko, a 241 1/4-pound Chisora averaged only 29.9 punches per round only because he had difficulty getting inside "Dr. Ironfist's" long arms. But when he threw, he landed at a higher percentage than most of Big Brother's recent opponents as he landed 45.4% of his total punches, an impressive 46.5% of his jabs and 45.1% of his power shots. Moreover, Chisora limited Klitschko's jab to 22.1% accuracy but did get hit by 44.4% of his power shots, vaulting him to connect leads of 211-163 (total), 57-33 (jabs) and 154-130 (power).
If Chisora wants to maximize his potential as a fighter, he should work his way down into the 220s. But if that's not possible, the 230s would suffice.
Prediction: Haye, a 13-5 favorite, is coming off the longest hiatus of his career while Chisora has been active. Also, this fight summoned Haye out of retirement, which could either mean he's extra-motivated or he's trying to restart what he intended to be a dormant engine. No one will be able to tell which it is until the bell actually rings.
Despite the pre-fight venom, expect a slow-paced fight with Chisora taking the lead. If Haye has the desire to fight, his athleticism and superior conditioning will likely lead him past Chisora by decision.