Ink & A Stick

The ramblings of a man who should know better.

Archive for the category “Boxing”

Haye We Go Again.

Apparently, one definition of madness is to repeat the same actions over and over whilst expecting different results. I found myself thinking about this as I read an auto-translated version of David Haye’s recent interview with German newspaper Die Welt this morning. David Haye, I’m sure you know the chap. He was the man who was going to knock out Wladimir Klitschko and then retire back in July.

I would imagine you are all aware that is not quite how the story panned out. Haye was by no means entirely embarrassed in the fight. He just singularly failed to live up to almost every pre-match boast he had made. The icing on the cake of that particular evening was the assertion from Haye that a broken little toe had cost him the fight. However, David isn’t the first fighter to make a himself look stupid and he won’t be the last. The trick with these situations is to make sure you learn from them and don’t let it happen again. Except, like Bill Murray waking up to find that Andie MacDowell still isn’t next to him, here we are again. Groundhog Day!

It would appear that Vitali Klitschko, (fresh from his late stoppage of Tomasz Adamek on Saturday) and David Haye are close to agreeing a fight. After Haye’s loss to Wladimir there seemed to be an immediate suggestion that the “definite” retirement would be put on hold. Bearing in mind that retirements in boxing are often seen as a mere sabbatical, the prospect of seeing ‘The Hayemaker’ back in the ring doesn’t come as an enormous surprise. Sadly, another thing that hasn’t shocked me today is the fact that Haye doesn’t seem at all chastened by his experience on that wet night in Hamburg back in July.

Haye describes last Saturday’s fight in which Klitschko beat Adamek, (like Haye, a former cruiserweight) as boring. I have no problem with that. I wasn’t exactly on the edge of my own seat either. Haye goes on to claim that a fight between him and Vitali would be more exciting. Really? The last time I was genuinely excited by a David Haye fight was over three years ago when he fought Enzo Maccarinelli. Fighting at heavyweight has robbed him of the fear factor he used to hold over boxers at cruiserweight. Monte Barrett knocked Haye down and since then he’s fought on the back foot. People might point to the Audley Harrison fight as evidence against this but we all know that bout was an utter farce and Harrison belonged nowhere near that ring. Wobbling Nikolai Valuev, whilst impressive, doesn’t make you a supreme knockout artist. In fact, it’s worth noting that despite being labelled a devastating puncher Haye has only ever knocked out three opponents. The south London boxer has stopped a lot of fighters but whilst he’s criticising Vitali for failing to knock out the likes of Adamek and Shannon Briggs Haye might like to cast a look over his own record.

In the interview David goes on to criticise Vitali’s choice of opponents. The same man who fought Audley Harrison and John Ruiz has the temerity to suggest that the older Klitschko sibling goes for easy opposition. The more I read of the interview the more I found myself getting annoyed but then I cast my mind back to an interview Haye did before the Wladimir fight with BBC 5 Live’s Sportsweek. At the time Haye was asked about the trash talking element of his promotions. His general response seemed to show a belief that all the great boxers did it and fighters who didn’t try to belittle their opponents got nowhere. I think it’s fair to say that many people’s choice for today’s pound for pound King, Manny Pacquiao might disagree.

It was suggested to me earlier that Haye is only behaving like this to secure and subsequently sell a fight with Vitali. While this may be true I am not sure it is entirely necessary. Whatever anyone thinks of David Haye he is still probably the third best heavyweight in world boxing today, the fight sells itself. If anything Haye is danger of putting people off. Trainer Bobby Rimmer remarked a while ago that David had been pulling the wool over people’s eyes and I would have to agree. First with the Harrison fight and then again with the Wladimir match up, shouting his mouth off, promising XYZ and then struggling to deliver half of X. Fans are getting tired of hearing it and a number of them remarked to me that they would be going against the habit of a lifetime and actively supporting a British fighter’s opponent should this bout happen.

Going back to the issue of selling the fight. A match between Haye and Vitali would sell out most arenas, promotion or not and assuming Sky Sports show the bout then pay-per-view figures are no longer an issue. Sky’s decision to suspend pay-per-view boxing broadcasts are almost certainly as a result of fighters like Haye not delivering PPV standard bouts and cards. All of this means that David could quite easily make this fight and then keep his head down and train. Personally I would love to see a British heavyweight world champion again and with his undoubted ability and career so far you would have to say that Haye probably does deserve it. The problem for me is that his mouth gets in the way and until that changes I’m afraid that I will always be hoping to see him eat his words.

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Die Welt interview with David Haye.

This is a Google-translation of an interview with David Haye. It appeared this morning on the website of German newspaper Die Welt, (the orginal can be viewed here). I didn’t write any of this and am not claiming that I did in any way, I just wanted to share it. The original author is a journalist called Gunnar Meinhardt.

The World: Mr. Haye, you will have seen Vitali’s title defense?

David Haye: Of course, along with my trainer Adam Booth.

The World: And?

David Haye: I nearly went to sleep, because the fight was boring. The only exciting moment was the moment when Vitali suddenly in the eighth round on the ground.

The World: Was not that Klitschko has boxed convincing?

David Haye: Who saw this way, the old man wants to flatter. In fact, he looked very weak. He was slow, had no real concept and pumped like a bug. I saw nothing spectacular. Adamek was being tailored for Klitschko.

The World: What prompted you to for this assertion?

David Haye: Adamek got his head away not moved poorly and had no clout. Vitali has been clever, he always seeks out only dead victims. Opponents such as Shannon Briggs, the old, sick and übern mountain, or how Adamek to him because of his physical inferiority can not do anything. To shine against such types, this is no big deal.

The World: Harsh words, Mr. Haye. Why do you always have to blaspheme?

David Haye: I do not blaspheme, but telling you my opinion. And I think it’s an indictment of Vitali, if he can send the Briggs and Adamek not even right to the ground. The have even managed Steve Cunningham and Chad Dawson, who are not heavyweights. I had expected that Vitali makes two, three laps. I will still tell a, Vitali has a hard punch. This is ridiculous.

The World: The Vitali defeated opponents see very differently.

David Haye: You were also no serious challenger. It is also claimed that Wladimir has a deadly punch. This supposed best punch I’ve put away without what happened. These brothers are a bunch of fakes. I can assure you that Vitali beats hit me and certainly not around!

The World: So you’re saying that you would ask him?

David Haye: Yeah, I’m ready for him.

The World: So you are not – as announced – on her 31st Birthday on 13 October’s career end?

David Haye: I did indeed say that I at my 31st Birthday wishes to stop. But I never said that I would like to end with a defeat. If I had won against Vladimir, definitely would have been concluded. If Vitali is a coward but to surrender, I remain in my decision and I hear on 13 October definitively.

The World: And do you seriously believe, to have a chance against him?

David Haye: I hit him whacked I told him smash his chin when he holds out as provocative as the fight against Adamek. But I think Vitali will run away from me.

The World: You’re a loudmouth. They prophesied the same thing before the duel with Vladimir, and nothing has happened.

David Haye Wladimir is but also ran away when I was trying to beat. Or he clutched and pulled me to the ground. Unfortunately the referee had to go through all that was an impertinence. Vitali has indeed harder eggs, but also he is a scared rabbit.

The world: they are a genuine provocateur.

David Haye: Again, I tell you what I think. However, the good in a fight against Vitali would be that he tries not like his brother, to cling to and keep his opponent when it strikes hard. I guarantee: Vitali against it would be a much more exciting fight.

The world: they are but also how one nursed Adamek cruiserweight, much lighter and smaller than Vitali.

David Haye: Sure I can have physical handicaps, but unlike all the other punching me. I hit harder than the two brothers together. I am also much faster, more agile and much, much harder to hit.

The World: Vitali has already signaled that he was disrespectful to your behavior against the brothers have a special need to knock you. He said: “If Haye is lying unconscious on the floor can also be a broken toe no longer serve as an excuse.”

David Haye: Then he should report to my management and bagged the contract. He has the contact details. I’m waiting for him and urge him on: Vitali, introduce yourself, if you’re a man! I do not care where I box against him. I’m also on the moon. No fight in the heavyweight division will bring more publicity than the old Haye against Klitschko. I am the most popular heavyweights of the planet, and I can earn the most money.

The World: How long would you wait for Vitali’s commitment?

David Haye Wladimir wants to fight in December, we could, in February or March in the ring. That would be an ideal time. But still I can not imagine that Vitali has the courage. If you do, I guarantee to send him into retirement. He will fight and never again able to devote himself full time to politics.

The World: Have you any idea how you would promote the fight?

David Haye: This would require not a lot of words. I guess they know the saying: “You can not teach an old dog new tricks” (you can teach an old dog new tricks – dR). Vitali is an old dog that normally he belongs in the home for elderly Boxers.

The World: Have you ever been recovered from the defeat against Wladimir, who is also the world champion of the International Boxing Federation (IBF) and World Boxing Organization (WBO) is?

David Haye: Yeah, everything’s okay.

The World: Even your small right toe, which they had broken in training before the match with Vladimir?

David Haye: Also, the theme is history.

The World: What do you do now?

David Haye: I relax. I was just four weeks in Montego Bay in Jamaica, have spent much time there with Lennox Lewis. We’ve talked a lot about Wladimir and Vitali. Lennox has also given me tips on how I can beat Vitali.

The World: Has he seen Vitali’s fight?

David Haye: Yeah, and he had no other opinion than I do. He also said that Vitali is old and slow and only searches from opponents, who may not be dangerous. Lennox really want to see the fight between me and Vitali. When it comes to that, he is in my corner. He has promised me.

He ain’t heavy….

Frank Stallone, Ralf Schumacher, Carl Hoddle. Sports and entertainment are littered with less succesful siblings that have struggled under the weight of a family name. Another member of this unpopular club is about to make his bid for freedom. Matthew Hatton, brother of former two weight world champion Ricky ‘The Hitman’ Hatton has one last shot at the big time.

On March 5th at the Honda Center in Anaheim, CA, Hatton will go up against the young man many are referring to as the future of Mexican boxing, Saul Alvarez.

For a long time Hatton laboured on the undercard of Ricky’s big fights, here and in the US. Matthew took on such pugilistic luminaries as Frankie Santos, Frank Houghtaling & Edwin Vazquez. All solid, if a little uninspiring, pros. A failed attempt at a British title eliminator and another failure for the Commonwealth crown did nothing to endear Hatton Jr to the British crowds, many of whom accused him of riding on Ricky’s coat tails. He was lambasted for dodging the big domestic fights when the truth is that he just wasn’t good enough to warrant them.

From my perspective little has changed in the time that Matthew has been the sole licensed Hatton boxer. He shined intermittently against some pretty average European fighters to win and then defend the vacant EBU welterweight title and again it looked like he’d slipped in the back door to gain recognition.

I make little secret of the fact that I am no fan of either Hatton brother. Ricky was a decent fighter whose record was hugely padded out by some judicious Frank Warren matchmaking rather than the world-class operator that the UK media painted him as. Matthew, it seems is an altogether different proposition.

Ever since Sky Sports started showing Matthew’s fights under the Hatton Promotions banner the talk of him getting a world title shot has got louder and louder. The increase in volume is in inverse proportions to the quality of performances. One can only assume that Sky are hoping to keep Hatton Promotions sweet in case they make a success of the matchmaking game. Having a pop at the CEO’s brother for being distinctly average is not a healthy business model.

In reality though none of this is really Matthew Hatton’s fault. He has an older brother who looks out for him and does what most siblings would do if presented with a similar situation. That said, I would be lying if I claimed anything other than a deep desire for a resounding Alvarez win on March the 5th. I’ve seen Alvarez fight a number of times now and believe me, he will be making a huge noise all over the world very soon. He is the future and Matthew Hatton is the wrong name from an over embellished past. Some people cast too big a shadow.

Haye V. Harrison: What Legacy?

Like most boxing fans I am incredibly excited about the weekend ahead. One of the greats of this generation fighting, in some people’s opinion, an overrated and once disgraced man who probably doesn’t deserve this final shot at the big one. However, before Manny Pacquiao destroys Antonio Margarito, (and after that disgraceful video of Margarito and his cohorts mocking trainer Freddie Roach’s Parkinson’s disease I sincerely hope he does) we have another matter to deal with. David Haye versus Audley Harrison.

This fight is being billed as The Best of Enemies and Sky have done their usual job of trying to ratchet up the tension as well as the importance of the biggest all-British heavyweight clash since Frank Bruno took on Lennox Lewis in 1993. It’s also the biggest all-British affair since Haye’s 2 round demolition of Enzo Maccarinelli in early 2008. However, in real boxing terms that is where the importance ends.

“He doesn’t deserve a title shot” has almost been a mantra for Haye in the build up to the fight and the reality is that Haye is right.  Audley Harrison was one punch away from a career ending loss to Michael Sprott in April of this year. Harrison should be nowhere near a world heavyweight title fight unless he has bought a ticket to watch.  As exciting as this fight might be for the occasional boxing fan in the UK I can’t get away from the feeling that more discerning fight fans probably feel short-changed by this bout.

David Haye dominated the Cruiserweight division and was undisputed champion after going to Paris and stopping Jean-Marc Mormeck almost 3 years ago to the day he’ll fight Harrison. He then dipped his toe in the Heavyweight pool by beating Tomasz Bonin before essentially ending the career of Enzo Maccarinelli, (Enzo Mac was never the same again) with a comprehensive 2nd round stoppage. Only twice have I felt slightly sickened watching boxing despite its obvious brutality. Once was watching Ricky Hatton getting knocked out by Manny Pacquiao and the other was Haye’s victory over Enzo in early 2008. After this is was back to the Heavyweights for Haye and he wasn’t shy about telling us he was going to unify the division as he’d done in the Cruisers.  All this before his 31st birthday in 2011. After beating a giant, if one-dimensional Nikolai Valuev Haye got the first part of his dream and he should get huge credit for that but after that it all stalled.

My biggest problem with Haye’s behaviour isn’t the fact that Harrison isn’t worth the title shot. It’s not even that Haye tried to paint John Ruiz, a first defence of his title, as a ‘live’ opponent. It’s that David Haye is cheapening his reign as champion by going back on what he said in the past. Haye always maintained that he wanted to be the best in the division after moving up weights and that he would do whatever it took. It wasn’t about the money, he said. It was about creating a legacy. Ducking the Klitschko brothers, and make no mistake that’s exactly what Haye is doing, is no way to become an All Time Great. Haye’s latest excuse is that he’s not getting enough of the tv money to fight Wlad or Vitali. So instead he fights Audley Harrison. Some legacy. I wouldn’t mind this at all if Haye had approached his latest odyssey like some, (Chris Eubank springs to mind) and say he wanted to make as much money as possible and retire early. I could then sit and watch his awesome speed and heavy hands and think ‘he’s not fighting the best out there but he’s not claiming he will and blimey, it’s entertaining’. David Haye said recently that Wladimir and Vitali Klitschko were running out of time to fight him before his planned retirement in October 2011. There’s only one person running here and it’s Haye, to the bank.

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