Tue, 6 July 2010
Haye vs Harrison – Mega-match or Mis-match?
This fight will be the biggest all-British heavyweight bout in nearly two decades, since Lennox Lewis fought Frank Bruno in Cardiff, and will undoubtedly sell out one of the big London arenas (most likely the O2). Lots of boxing people, as well as a few unscrupulous others, will make a lot of cash and if you are a big enough boxing fan to be reading this page then don't pretend you won't be tempted to put your hand in your pocket, either to buy a ticket or pay for it on TV.
As well as this potential match-up being a money-spinner and a headline grabber for British boxing, the other thing that goes in its favour is the question: with both the relentless robot boxing brothers from the Ukrainian seemingly already otherwise engaged, who else is there for Haye to fight? He could start knocking over the numerous faceless 'American hopes' that the Kiltchkos have already feasted on, but lets face it, that is not going to do Haye any real favours or make him any money ('Fast' Eddie? – and I didn't think the Americans did irony). The Hayemaker could fight a few Eastern Europeans, but are Sky really going to put that on pay-per-view? And if they do, will anyone buy it?
So far so good for the self-christened A-Force and his potential match-up with Haye. It explains my half-hearted delight at the prospect, so why do I also feel a sense of disgust that this fight might happen? The answer is both simple and obvious; Audley Harrison has done nothing to warrant a world title shot, against either Haye or anyone else.
Yes, Audley is a European champion but he won the vacant belt against a fighter (with all due to respect to Michael Sprott) who is a glorified contender with more than a dozen losses on his record... and Sprott had KO'd Harrison previously... and Sprott was comfortably winning the rematch until getting caught in the last round! Harrison has made no defences of the vacant title he picked up, so he has not even proved himself a good European champion, let alone a worthy world title challenger.
Yes, Audley won Prizefighter, but who did he fight? Prizefighter is a great concept and great entertainment but it is a showcase for inexperienced fighters looking to make their name and old stagers to have one last night of glory – a world title eliminator it ain't. I hear no calls for Patrick 'Tiger' Mendy to step in with Andre Ward or Lucian Bute. No one wants to see Martin Rogan vs Vitali Klitschko. So how does beating Coleman Barrett (nope, me neither) qualify Harrison to fight David Haye?
Yes, Audley won an Olympic gold, but that was 10 long years ago. Since that glorious moment of triumph in Sydney, Harrison turned pro and fought a string of nobodies for big money before succumbing to the combined 'might' of Danny Williams, Michael Sprott, Dominic Guinn and Martin Rogan. Audley has failed to fight, let alone beat, a genuine top 10 heavyweight, so does he deserve a world title shot? As our American friends would say 'you do the math'.
However, taking everything into account and putting aside my personal misgivings (and just about everyone else's) about Harrisons worthiness for a title shot, I feel that in the absence of Haye fighting the Klitchskos anytime soon a match between the two Brits would be a good thing for boxing in Britain. So in this case I will be delighted to be disgusted watching the immovable Hayemaker facing the irresistible A-Force.
Let the mega-mismatch commence.
p.s. Haye will win in 3 rounds.
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Category:general -- posted at: 1:49pm EDT