Today, Halloween has fallen on a Sunday, meaning that tomorrow is the start of another work week, the start of another November, and 13 unlucky days before the English witching hour strikes when two MONSTERS commence with their titanic engagement.
If the great American heavyweights have gone the way of ALL YOU CAN EAT buffet stockyards, then surely the Haye vs Harrison battle of the sweet tweets is the type of English Handbags @ strokes of midnight affair that real men dare not contemplate for fear of a real beating or worse.
Well, never fear, Mr. Haye and the WBA have no such old fashioned manly sensibilities to hinder them from putting their WBA cheese belt up for grabs in public, so here we are, David Haye vs Audley Harrison, Handbags & Hairbraids a’Flyin’ in equal measure.
Who you got?
Yeah, yeah, I know, it’s a new era of harder women and softer men where anyone can own a designer belt of their choice. Hey, I’m OK with the sociologic notion of everyone owning a piece of self esteem. I like Teddy Bears and easy work as much as the next man, woman, or other.
Regardless of the comedic value of the fight, David Haye and Audley Harrison do have some genuine talent and credentials, so it never had to come down to this level of derision. Technically and emotionally, it’s quite possible a fine fight can be waged IF they can summon up the will and courage, however, on every weekend a boxing fan can find a few really fine, heroic quality fights being waged by journeymen class fighters, prospects, and fringe contenders.
One supposes Homer Simpson could also put together a fine battle between Krusty the Klown and Ronald MacDonald, and one can only imagine the all time randy cat scratchin’s that Hugh Hefner has refereed, so really, a world title fight should represent more than just a fine battle between contestants.
Myself, well then, I’ll happily confess to having more than my fair share of sport over these gentle metromen given the amount of money being generated by this fluff, the reason being that they have both been heavily promoted in their heavyweight careers and promised much, yet have scarcely delivered more than comedy or farce.
Fairplay: Mr. Harrison promised way back that he was going to fight for a world title and fight Mr. Haye, so he’s met most of his contractual obligations with the public regardless of what happens next. Given the rollercoaster nature of his career, injuries, and advanced age, 39, that’s quite a comeback for the former 2000 Olympic superheavyweight gold medalist who first turned professional with the world as his oyster.
Boo-hoo: The 31 yr old Mr. Haye relinquished his brief cruiser championship(one defense), with the promise of bringing a top ten heavyweight contender to England to smash up in his quest to clean out the division and seize all the belts. Instead, he retired to his new estate in Cypress for 8 months, ignoring the WBA’s generous offer to give him first crack at undefeated Russian legend, Ruslan Chagaev, who had wrested the WBA crown from the undefeated giant Nickoli Valuev on the eve of his attempt to tie Rocky Marciano’s undefeated 49-0 record.
Could it get any hotter than that?
Way, way too scalding HOT for Mr. Haye to handle. Instead he served up cold chipped beef leftovers on milquetoast on a dark and dreary London night against 40ish fringe contender Monte Barrett who hasn’t won a fight since.
Oh, I guess Mr. Hayemaker promotions delivered value of sorts, pricing the tickets at 2 for one to paper out the sparse attendance. And the fight was “exciting” for those of a wickedly cruel disposition, first kicked off when Barrett fell over while attempting to leap into the ring before both commenced to winging wide clubfighter swings in a donnybrook straight out of an Irish pub where everyone hit the floor to be hit on the floor.
The only thing missing was bar stools crashing, pints a’flying, and the tough Martin Rogan who had qualified himself by winning Prizefighter, but was not invited to the festivities. Alas, a threesome would’ve been way too much fun for the Marquis of Queensbury who promptly quelled the unseemly disturbance by pulling the plug on Barrett to declare Mr. Haye the victor.
Mr. Haye then pasted together an 8th grade styled youtube video of him promoting hisself running up an escalator to the foot of the big Ukrainian champ, Wlad Klitschko, pestering him for a title fight like a dog whining for a treat. Wlad patted him on his head and then went on about his business.
That promotion being unsuccessful, Mr. Haye then manufactured some tee-shirts of hisself carrying the severed heads of the Klitschko brothers who then had their first ever brotherly squabble, dickering over who had first crack at sending Mr. Haye splotto into Bolivia.
So, they pulled straws and Wlad won the contractual rights to Mr. Haye who promptly backed out of his contractual arrangements, leaving Wlad scrambling weeks before their fight to conjure up a credible challenger out of the rapidly Klitschko decimated heavyweight ranks.
The Klitschkos should’ve known better at that point.
Instead, Vitali exercised his short straw option and offered a crack at his WBC title. The terms had been slowly hammered out in principle, when, SHOCKER, Mr. Haye suddenly announced instead he would be challenging for Nickoli Valuev’s Don King controlled WBA strap that he had previously snubbed when the WBA first offered. That strap had been wrested by King from undefeated WBA champion, Ruslan Chagaev in a classic sleight of hand card trick.
Remember the blood testing shenanigans in Finland when King wouldn’t let Valuev fight Chagaev?
Instead, it fell to Wlad who picked up yet another emergency replacement to nick Chagaev’s first loss, well pulping him into a mess before retiring him in the 8th round. The WBA refused to sanction that fight, instead, stripping Chagaev of his belt and awarding it to Valuev AFTER Chagaev was knocked out by Wlad.
Poor cheated Chagaev had to win a recent eliminator bout just for the right to challenge for his old strap that Mr. Haye holds now.
Now, I apologize for having to piece together this sordid puzzle that has become the sad tale of Mr. Haye who promised to clean out the division. Instead, Mr. Haye FAILED us for our failure to read the fine print that has to be properly told in sequential order.
Mr. Haye IS cleaning out the division in HIS fashion, sweeping out the pensioners, but STARTING IN REVERSE!
You know, everything depends on what HIS definition of IS is.
Mr. Haye scarcely raised a fisted glove against the creaking giant Valuev, preferring a reenactment of the scalded cat in track shoes act, which, surprise, surprise, was enough to squeak by big Niko who barely had a glimpse of the little critter scurrying about under his feet. Since then, each title challenge is coming against progressively weaker and older 40ish heavy contenders as could be expected from this latest WBA reincarnation of their champ holding the decade long King disgraced belt.
At this rate of deconstruction, I expect the 1988 US Olympic silver medalist, legend, and soon to be 42 yr old Roy Jones Jr. to get a crack at his old WBA heavy belt sometime next year to be followed by1984 US Olympic bronze medalist and teetering ring legend Evander Holyfield who wants a world record 7th crack at his old WBA belt, say 2013 so 50 yr old Commander Evander can simultaneously set the record as the oldest heavyweight challenger.
First things first, however, so here we are with the soft British public A-GaGa over their all English Handbags at the stroke of midnight affair supported by the all English undercard. Harder fight fans may scoff as they will, but, let’s be fair, like any cat fight, this entertainment value is top shelf!
I can’t help but see this as a pickem fight where either fighter is as likely to either land a bomb or flee for refuge, probably a mixture both as they tussle over who gets to take the easiest path to glory.
Mr. Haye has shown a fighters’ heart in the past, but it’s been awhile.
Mr. Harrison on the other hand seems to have discovered himself while at the lowest ebb of his career, coming back against all odds after even his fans had written him off and his health was compromised. With Mr. Harrison coming off another major injury that left him fighting with just one hand in his last fight, it’s hard to predict what he has left in his quiver when the first bell sounds though.
One thing for sure, the British public has been revitalizing Mr. Harrison’s popularity after his sudden show of pluck and heart, so it’s quite possible that the previously popular Mr. Haye may enter the ring as the panto villain to be vociferously booed to the rafters. Fragile mental make-up at the sound of the first bell is likely the decider in this fluffybrook.
For now though, Mr. Haye is the obvious betting favorite, owning a huge ranking and youth advantage.
Still, Mr. Harrison has the size and experience that has shortened the odds dramatically, all while brilliantly maneuvering Mr. Haye from afar with sweet tweets and naughties, positioning both precisely in the ring for this moment for their intertwined destinies to be played out as The Fates dicker over the outcome in the shadows of Stratford-upon-Avon.
That assumes that Mr. Haye doesn’t back out of yet another contract at the last hour. Recent reports have him smashing his Mercedes in a walkaway, a public cry for help?
Hmmmm, wonder what the odds are for Mr. Haye backing out of this fight would be at Ladbrokes?
Mr. Harrison will simply not allow Mr. Haye to back out of this fight.