Originally Posted by Absolutely!
Haye didn't just fight to survive, but then he also wasn't prepared to put himself at undue risk to get the win, which I suppose boils down to the same thing in the end. To blame Wlad for that, though, is not only ludicrously unfair but doesn't take into account the fact that the reason Haye didn't do much of anything was because Wlad was keeping him at the end of his jab and totally limiting his offensive options. You can call it boring, and it mostly is, but it's also kept him winning fight after fight for the last eight years, and when you've got a winning formula it'd be foolish not to stick to it, especially at this level of the sport.
Wlad did what a fighter was supposed to do and win, however it does little for his credibility and legacy the fact that despite being much bigger, stronger, taller, heavier, more exp. fighter compared to Haye and despite Haye's trash talking, and Wlad promising for a knockout he basically won by default, simply by using his jab and the occasional right hand to keep the much smaller man at bay. This against an ex cruiser who was nearly KO'd by an ex Middle and KO'd by someone not even regarded as a puncher.
Seeing such a timid and cagey performance against an opponent like Haye gives me little hope and reassurance that Wlad could hang in there with guys like Holmes, Bowe and Ali. Guys who had serious heart and grit who were willing to put themselves on the line in order to win. If Wlad fought like that against Haye how would he react to bulldozers like Tyson and Foreman or even a guy like Morrison?