By Alexey Sukachev
WBA heavyweight champion David Haye (24-0, 22 KOs) scored a ninth round TKO over 38-year-old former champ John Ruiz (44-9-1, 30 KOs) on Saturday night at the M.E.N. Arena in Manchester, England. Haye dropped Ruiz twice in round one, the first time with the right hand almost immediately, the second time with a rabbit punch. Haye was deducted a point for the rabbit punch, but Ruiz was still given a count and no time to recover from the foul. A determined Ruiz survived the round. Haye floored Ruiz again at the end of round five and again early in round six. Ruiz’ corner finally threw in the towel to stop the punishment in round nine. Time was 2:01.
Full Report: Fourteen years removed from his devastating loss to David Tua, John Ruiz suffered his second career defeat inside the distance, which can very well mean an end of the road for the proud Puerto Rican expatriate. Oppositely, David Haye’s road to the top of the glamour division moves on following his dominating ninth-round TKO.
WBA #1 Ruiz started the bout aggressively, trying to stalk elusive Bermondsey native across the ring. Indeed, he was able to make Haye, 29, a moving target but he was unable to hit this target with his punches cleanly. On the other hand, the first one-two of the WBA champion found its mark, and Ruiz went down hard as the result of Haye’s devastating right hand. Ruiz beat the count of referee Guillermo Perez Pineda and ran froward again. He moved Haye into the ropes only to find there himself and to be hit with several punches at the back of the head. Ruiz (44-9-1, 30 KOs) took a knee and received a count, while the Panamanian referee deducted a point from the champion for hitting his opponent illegally without issuing any preliminary warnings.
After the wild first round, Haye seemingly lost his breath and showed signs of fatigue, very much resembling his lone career loss to Karl Thompson. However, the champion had learnt several lessons, which he proved by applying wise tactics of circling around slower Ruiz, peppering him with stiff jabs and adding right crosses and hooks on ocassion. Two-time WBA champion Ruiz landed some punches as well but they weren’t clean.
Rounds three and four were much the same but Haye, even under Ruiz’ pressure, regained his stamina and started to fight back in spurts, throwing more and more fast combinations.
In round five, Ruiz tried to bring war to his younger opponent but ate another right hand followed by another punch at the back of the head, when Ruiz was already on his way down to one knee. Surprisingly, the referee deducted no points this time.
In round six the situation repeated – this time near the ropes – and Ruiz went down after a muddle there for the third time taking another illegal blow by Haye.
Rounds seven and eight were sad for the brave American. He kept marching forward but he speed was too low to stop David Haye’s constant movement and backfire.
In round nine Ruiz continued to attack the Brit but at the end of the second minute the champion exploded with the right-left-right combination, hurting Ruiz, 38, badly with several crisp blows. As famed trainer Miguel Diaz appeared on the ring apron and began waving towel, referee Perez Pineda stepped in and halted the action at 2:01.
David Haye (24-1, 22 KOs) retained his title for the first time. He once again called out for Klitschko brothers during his post-fight quickie but also gave props to 18-year veteran Ruiz for his heart and durability.
Former Nigerian, African and British junior welterweight champion Ajose Olusegan (still unbeaten at 28-0 with 14 KOs) retained his Commonwealth title for the fourth time, scoring a kayo victory over veteran Colin Lynes (33-8, 12 KOs). It was an impressive display of Ajose’s technical skills and composure as he kept pressing the Brit tightly and, it seemed, couldn’t miss a punch when throwing it. Lynes was circling around Olusegan not because that had been his original plan but rather to accommodate (unfortunately) the Nigerian’s southpaw stance and quickness. Olusegan took a slight pause in the fifth to play Roy Jones Jr. and Sugar Ray Leonard but then continued his beating. In round eight, the WBC #2 Nigerian connected to the body of Lynes and the latter took a knee in a couple of moments. He failed to beat the count of referee Dave Parris and at 1:23 of the eighth the bout was waved off. Ajose Olusegan prove he can compete with the best of this weight class but his moderate punching power and too methodical approach make him not so fun to watch. Lynes is just 2-5 in his last seven fights.
Hayemaker-promoted super middleweight George Groves (9-0, 7 KOs) showed once again, why he is regarded one of the best prospects in business, after a dominating stoppage of rugged Ghanaian enforcer Charles Adamu (17-5, 12 KOs). Groves started the bout dancing outside on his toes and landing his left jab with the tremendous ease. Free-swinging Adamu tried to punish the Brit with his wild hooks but landed none. Groves, on the other hand, dropped the African guest with a stinging right to end the round. Rounds two and three were calmer but not for Adamu who was taking a methodical punishment without landing anything of note in return. Sensing his foe is discouraged, the Brit went in for kill in the fourth, decking Adamu twice after chilling left and right hands and almost stopping him before the break. Adamu, the reigning Commonwealth 168lb champion, was able to survive through five rounds only to be saved by referee Victor Loughlin at 2:51 of the sixth. Groves is moving up – now with his first pro belt around the waist. Adamu was defeated inside the distance for the first time during his pro career.
Middleweight Sergey Khomitsky (22-7-1, 9 KOs) forced local favorite Jamie Moore (32-5, 23 KOs) to retire on his stool after the sixth in a major upset! Khomitsky badly hurt Moore with a liver punch at the end of the stanza. Moore survived till the break but was unable to get out of his corner when the seventh round started.
Irish junior welterweight Peter McDonagh (15-16, 2 KOs) notched yet another minor upset, outpointing French national champion Christopher Sebire (20-4, 8 KOs) over eight even rounds. Sebire applied a continuous pressure to defensively-oriented McDonagh and seemed to tag him at least on a few occassions. However, referee, who was the sole judge of this bout, raised Irishman’s hand up, and the announced score was 79-75 in his favor. Fightnews had the fight 76-76 – a draw.