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David Haye v John Ruiz world title fight as it happened

LIVE TEXT COMMENTARY (all times BST)
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By Harry Reekie

DAVID HAYE BEATS JOHN RUIZ BY TECHNICAL KNOCKOUT IN THE NINTH ROUND TO RETAIN THE WBA WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE

00:09: Well that's about it from me. A top performance from a British heavyweight - that's something we haven't been able to say all that often of late. And long may it continue. Be sure to have a read of Ben Dirs' full report which will be up on the site shortly as well as all the reaction. Thanks for your company. Until next time....

00:04: I wonder if those Ukrainian fellas will be interested in taking on The Hayemaker in the future now? There was a feeling that Haye's victory against Nikolay Valuev back in November would make the boxing world sit up and take notice but it didn't really. I'm told this fight wasn't shown on American television either so it appears Haye still isn't exactly box office on the other side of the pond. What else can he do?

Anon, via text on +44 7786200666: "Impressive by Haye. Quick, decisive, well worked. Think the heavyweights have poster boy and the man to light up this division. Klitschkos cannot ignore that."

Haye's trainer Adam Booth on BBC 5 Live: "We were close to rearranging the fight a few weeks ago because David cut his hand sparring. But David was very confident he could win it without sparring properly and that's what he did."

World champion David Haye on BBC 5 Live: "I am really happy. I have given all these beautiful fans screaming for the Hayemaker a great performance."

23:56: That is apparently the first time Ruiz has ever been stopped in a world title fight, which puts into context just how impressive Haye's display was. And it was no fluke to be fair to the home man. Haye was on top from the very first bell.

23:52: Well, that was a hugely impressive display from Haye. A lot of people said that Ruiz's experience would be too much for the young pretender - but it wasn't. Haye was clinical and powerful and I for one reckon that was exactly what the heavyweight division needed. I wonder what the Klitschkos made of that?

Brian, Maidstone, via text on 81111: "Very impressive performance from the Hayemaker. He may just be the man to unify this previously boring division! Kudos to Ruiz though he's one tough nut to crack."

23:46: Ruiz was knocked down on three occasions and took a mighty beating throughout the fight and it was inevitable his corner would throw in the towel. Surely it was? Two minutes and one second into the ninth round is announced as the official time of the win and Haye retains his WBA world heavyweight crown by technical knockout.

Round Nine: The end surely must be close, oh, and there it is! HAYE WINS THE FIGHT AS RUIZ'S CORNER THROW IN THE TOWEL.

Richie Woodhall on BBC 5 live: "If I was in Ruiz's corner, I'd put him out of his misery."

Round Eight: A jab from Ruiz is easily missed by Haye as the crowd continue to scream for the home man to finish it. No such luck though it seems as Ruiz continues to act as a punch bag. A bit of showboating from Haye does little to trick the American and the veteran proves as much by landing a decent right hand of his own. But Haye comes right back at him and lands with another right that leaves his opponent swaying in the middle of the ring. Yet again though, he survives. I cannot understand how this guy is still standing up.

Round Seven: BBC commentator Mike Costello suggests Ruiz's corner might be ready to throw in the towel if the beating continues. You get the feeling that Ruiz would keep fighting if Haye cut one of his arms off. The Brit is beginning to breathe quite heavily but he wins round seven as well. Haye must be way ahead on points but at the end of the seventh Ruiz is still there. Somehow.

Round Six: RUIZ HITS THE DECK AGAIN! Haye lands with another series of blows - some to the back of the head - and Ruiz drops to one knee again. But he's up once more and trading blows. Incredible stuff from Ruiz to keep going. A moment's break when Haye's gum shield falls out but the champion again pummels his opponent towards the end of the round. Referee Guillermo Perez looked like he was about to stop it but the bell saves Ruiz again. This is brilliant stuff.

Richie Woodhall on BBC 5 live: "Haye has got to finish Ruiz off quickly. He's there for the taking."

Round Five: Much better from Haye early on in the fifth. An excellent right-left combo hurts Ruiz but the veteran is certainly one tough cookie. He just keeps coming forward, just as he said he would. If Haye's game plan was to win this early he had better think again because Ruiz doesn't look ready to lie down easily. All the more impressive after that early knock down. BUT SUDDENLY RUIZ IS DOWN AGAIN. A right hand sees the American drop to one knee but he's just about saved by the bell.

Round Four: Haye's trainer Adam Booth tells his man that he 'looks comfortable but is giving silly things away'. Interesting. Into the fourth round and Ruiz is looking slightly more at ease - apart from the blood on his face that is. Haye lands with a right hand to the body and a left to the head but Ruiz stands firm. The American then sets about throwing punches of his own and it looks like it's the challenger's round. Bad news for the Haye man.

Round Three: Ruiz comes out fighting in the third as Haye's early barrage fades. But the home favourite begins to get into the groove with a series of decent combinations. A strong right hand startles his opponent and the blood is starting to trickle down Ruiz's face.

BBC summariser Steve Bunce on BBC 5 Live:"I think David will need another two or three quiet rounds to recover after that hard first round where he threw so many punches."

Round Two: It looked like Haye might win it within a minute but Ruiz is already living up to his 'durable' tag. The American begins to land a few punches as Haye surprisingly opts to stand behind a jab. Ruiz has his hands high and Haye low but the second round has far less fireworks.

Round One: A SENSATIONAL START FROM HAYE. Only 25 seconds of the fight have passed by the time a massive right hand sends Ruiz crashing to the canvas. A count of seven follows but the American bravely gets back to his feet - only to face another barrage from the Brit. Haye then has a point deducted for hitting Ruiz on the back of the head when on the ropes. Ruiz survives to the bell.

2307: Ruiz has finally taken the shirt off he opted to keep on at the weigh-in. He looks in half-decent shape but rather shabby compared to the ripped Hayemaker. Still, he does look very focused as Lennon Jr introduces both fighters once again.

2305: Eventually Haye appears through a door in a Union Jack wall that looks like it's come straight out of an 'Austin Powers' film. A bit of predictable strutting follows before a very confident walk to the ring. Remember, this is his first defence.

2303: It's Haye time. Lennon Jr gets back on the mic and introduces 'The Hayemaker' and the entire arena goes pitch black, before explosive noises and thunder boom out. No sign of the man in question though as the crowd are kept waiting. This is like a Naseem Hamed entrance.

2301: So, who exactly is John Ruiz?......Well, he's 38 as I've said and known as a bit of a brawler. And quite often a dull one to be honest. He has held a world title on two occasions but actually retired back in 2005 after being smashed around by James Toney. However, he returned to the sport after only 10 days and now he wants a third world title. So there you are.

2259: Ok, here we go. Lennon Jr gives it the big sell and 38-year-old Ruiz emerges at the far end of the arena to chants of 'who are ya?'. Great stuff. And after a bit of jogging on the spot in front of a wall of fire he wanders to the ring.

2256: Ring announcer Jimmy Lennon Jr is ready to do his thing in the ring. I was hoping it would be 'The Buff' but Jimmy will do the job just as well.

Chris, Cambridge, via text on 81111: "Come on Haye! Have bet on he will finish it inside 3.5 rounds!!"

2253: Haye will be the heaviest he's ever been when he arrives in the ring. He tipped the scales at 15st 12lbs which is five pounds more than he weighed for his win over Valuev in November. Still a full nine pounds lighter than Ruiz mind.

2250: More shots fresh in from the Haye dressing room. The gloves are going on but, perhaps worryingly, the shorts are not. Haye is currently strutting around with just his boxers on.

2247: If you don't already know, 29-year-old Haye from Bermondsey, London has been beaten just once in 24 fights and never since stepping up to heavyweight. This will be his first defence of the WBA world title he won against Russian monster Nikolay Valuev back in November.

Former world super-middleweight champion Richie Woodhall on BBC 5 live: "This will be a serious test for David Haye. You have to give Ruiz a lot of credit because he's a very durable opponent."

2241: We've just seen some rather contrasting shots from the two dressing rooms. Haye appears to be getting his legs wobbled by a trainer while Ruiz is being lectured by someone in a dark suit and doesn't look happy about it. Imagine an angry man biting his lip while a door-to-door salesman goes for it.

2237: A bit of news to bring you up to date with first of all - England's George Groves lifted the Commonwealth super-middleweight title a bit earlier on after stopping Ghana's Charles Adamu on the undercard. But Colin Lynes failed to make it a successful British double after being counted out in the eighth round of his Commonwealth light-welterweight fight with Nigerian Ajose Olusegan.

From BBC Sport's Ben Dirs at the MEN Arena on Twitter: "Guess where John Ruiz is from? Chelsea. Just thought I'd mention that... "

2229: Don't forget if you want to get involved then text 81111 UK or +44 7786200666 (world). Oh, and BBC Sport's very own Ben Dirs is ringside at the MEN so you can follow him on Twitter if you wish.

2225: Good evening to all you fight fans. I'll be guiding you through the latest chapter in the David Haye story this evening as Britain's WBA world heavyweight champion makes the first defence of the belt he won against Nikolay Valuev back in November. Standing in his path is the slightly reduced frame of America's John Ruiz who seems to have been around forever. Who shall emerge victorious at the MEN Arena in Manchester?





see also
Haye stops Ruiz to retain title
03 Apr 10 |  Boxing
Haye v Ruiz photos
03 Apr 10 |  Boxing
Ruiz bout start of legacy - Haye
02 Apr 10 |  Boxing
Haye wary over awkward Ruiz style
18 Mar 10 |  Boxing
The making of Haye
09 Nov 09 |  Boxing
Haye shocks Valuev to take title
07 Nov 09 |  Boxing
Ten to Tackle - Haye special
10 Nov 09 |  Fun and Games


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