David Haye Rabbit Punches John Ruiz’s Corner into Submission By Gabriel Montoya, MaxBoxing (April 4, 2010) Special to Doghouse Boxing
Before an impressive crowd of 20,000 at the M.E.N. Arena in Manchester, England, former cruiserweight champion and now heavyweight titleholder David “The Hayemaker” Haye, 24-1 (22), took out a very game and rugged John “The Quiet Man” Ruiz, 44-9-1 (30) with one no-contest, via a corner stoppage in the ninth round. Up to that point, despite being well ahead on the scorecards and scoring four knockdowns (three of which were dubious as hell), Haye got his toughest test yet in his first heavyweight title defense.
The Puerto Rican Ruiz, who carries the distinction of being the first Latino heavyweight titleholder, was aggressive from the first bell. He charged forward at Haye and wisely employed a stiff jab to the chest. Haye, more athlete than pure boxer, glided around the ring jabbing and moving backward, looking to lure in his foe. Ruiz seemed ready to jab with Haye and get into the pocket and exchange. But Haye would try and change his mind by dropping Ruiz with a brutally crisp jab/right hand. Ruiz got all of it and it was clear his mind was foggy as he rose late in the count. Haye tried to follow up, but if there is ever a man who can clinch in a bind, it’s John Ruiz. He tied up Haye and they tumbled to the ropes. Haye got out of the clinch and Ruiz ended up halfway over the ropes when a Haye rabbit-punch (a blow to the back of the head, for those keeping score) landed flush and dropped Ruiz again. Referee Guillermo “Not a very good ref” Perez strangely counted the illegal blowcaused knockdown, but then acknowledged the foul by taking a point from Haye. Contradictory, but whatever floats your boat, I guess. Any way you slice it, Haye took that first round big and the fight seemingly was going to end fast.
However, John Ruiz had other ideas.
In the second, he came back out aggressively and Haye seemed to understand patience would be a good thing with this particular aging veteran. The fight settled into more of a boxing match which favored Ruiz. He peppered Haye with the jab to the head, gut and chest and stayed behind his tight guard. Haye would throw one or two shots a time and bide awhile.
In the third, Ruiz came out strong again, looking to either outwork or bully Haye. He got a brief moment when Haye was backed to the ropes in a corner and unloaded a jab/jab/right hand but Haye ate it just fine and spun out to center ring. Haye got his own jab going and used it to crush Ruiz’ nose into a bleeding problem but “The Quiet man” still came forward looking for trouble. He peppered Haye with the jab but Haye countered with a right before Ruiz could get anything off. A nice exchange as Haye got off a jab/jab/right and Ruiz came back with his version of that combo followed by a solid left hook to the body and head of Haye to finish the stanza.
Ruiz pressured more in the fourth and Haye seemed to take the round off which allowed Ruiz to gain a little head of steam.
But Haye answered Ruiz’ aggression by catching the ex-champion with jab/jab/hard right hand, to start the fifth, that sent Ruiz into the corner covering up for dear life. But Ruiz gamely fought off the ropes and out of that spot as Haye ripped him with a body shot. Ruiz answered back with a 1-1-2 that caught Haye, but did no damage. As the round neared an end, Haye leapt in and landed a jab/jab/rabbit punch that dropped Ruiz hard. As he sat on a knee on the canvas, Ruiz complained of a foul but the ref must have missed it because he kept counting and didn’t warn or take a point from Haye. In the commotion, the ref also missed the bell and the action almost continued until, luckily, he caught his mistake. You know, Ray Charles might not have missed as much as this ref.
Both went back to the jab in the sixth until Haye let go with a jab/right hand and then another that caught Ruiz and caused him to get back into his shell. An overzealous Haye began to hammer his fist at Ruiz’ head (or rather the top and back of it) until Ruiz fell again. As if he hadn’t made his point clear enough, the ref did nothing about the foul, yet again. Ruiz took matters into his own hands and got up, poised and looking for a fight. They exchanged jabs and right hands with some body shots mixed in for good measure until, finally, Ruiz paused along the ropes, ate a couple rights and the bell ended a solid round of action.
Over the next couple rounds, Ruiz slowed down a bit as did Haye. Ruiz circled and jabbed with Haye getting off the right hand lead again and again. Haye’s speed and agility were simply too much for the 38-year-old veteran and by the ninth, though he seemed aware of himself and with his will to win intact, Ruiz paused along the ropes, ate some hard right hands and his trainer, Miguel Diaz mercifully threw in the towel. The time was 2:01 of the ninth.
Afterwards, Haye had much to say about heavyweight contenders Eddie Chambers and Chris Arreola, who recently lost to Wladimir and Vitali Klitschko, respectively. Haye called them embarrassments to the sport and predicted he would knock both Klitschko brothers out. Now if he could just conquer signing that contract and showing up to the fight…