EDMONTON - David Haye is done — if not as a fighter, at least as a heavyweight pretender.
As predicted here a week ago, the trash-talking Brit unravelled like a cheap suit en route to losing last Saturday’s title unification bout against Wladimir Klitschko in Hamburg, Germany.
After alternately running like a schoolgirl and flopping on the canvas like a gut-shot walrus through 12 boring rounds, Haye, who entered the ring as the WBA champ, deemed it necessary to doff his right boot to show the world the bruised toe that he claimed limited his mobility and cost him a victory.
Wah! Wah! Wah!
All he did was prove that the toe is a long, long way from what passes as his heart.
Maybe the self-proclaimed “Hayemaker” should check out film of some real heavyweight legends who remained vertical despite far worse physical challenges.
How about Muhammad Ali fighting 10 rounds against Ken Norton with a broken jaw?
Then there was Jerry Quarry, who went the distance against Jimmy Ellis — with two broken vertebrae.
George Chuvalo refused to hit the canvas even when a monster left hook from Joe Frazier dislodged his right eyeball from its socket.
Or what about Chuck Wepner, who stood up to Sonny Liston at the cost of 85 stitches to his face?
Haye’s chronic timidity and ready excuses were all the more galling in light of his punkish pre-fight posturing.
At the final media conference, he dismissed Klitschko as “finished.”
“It’s going to be fun watching this robot start malfunctioning; that’s what’s going to happen ... real fast,” predicted Haye. “I’m healthy, my speed is ridiculous, my punching power is there. I’m just in a really good place. I have the perfect plan to beat Wladimir and his rigid ways.
“This will be my defining night, my legacy. One of my lives ends in Hamburg and my new life begins when I fly home with all the belts.”
We can only hope that new life will be one of quiet retirement.
If Haye is remembered at all, it will be as a capable cruiserweight who trash-talked his way to a $5-million shot at making history with the big boys.
Too bad he couldn’t conjure up the cojones to match the moment.