Wladimir Klitschko vs. David Haye: The National Media's Forgotten Fight

Jonathan R.R. ClarkeContributor IIIJuly 2, 2011

HAMBURG, GERMANY - JUNE 27:  Wladimir Klitschko (L) and David Haye attend a press conference on June 27, 2011 in Hamburg, Germany to preview the heavy weight title fight between them which will be held on the 2nd July 2011 at the Imtech Arena.  (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)
Scott Heavey/Getty Images

Tonight is the night that David Haye has to back up his flamboyant personality and confident, Borderline cocky, attitude—which has been the predominant locus of the build up and hype to this fight.

It is of international boxing knowledge that these two men detest each other. Conference after interview after stare-downs after conference, Haye has expressed a cool, calm and positive mental state—or so he seems to have implied.

Klitschko, on the other hand, has played right into the palm of David Haye. The Russian Robot has been riled, vexed and offended by the many publicity stunts and controversial words spoken about him by the plucky Brit.

A feud to end all feuds then, but why hasn’t the national media hyped this fight more?

Back before both of these fighters were mere embryos in their mother’s womb, there was camera crews by the dozen following Ali around as he prepared for his Rumble in the Jungle against George Foreman, Zaire 1974.

Hour-long documentaries, interviews and training sessions were strewn athwart national television sets as the hype for the fight slowly, but steadily reached fever pitch.

Even in more recent years, fights such as Lennox Lewis against Mike Tyson, back in 2001, received widespread media exposure. So why is it then that Haye and Klitschko appears to be the "forgotten" fight?

I’ll tell you why. Boxing is dead.

Some of you may have read my previous post covering the debate of "UFC versus Boxing" and may be experiencing a dose of deja vu right now, but it is true. The only pulse left in today’s boxing is Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather. After these two, you are struggling to fill Homer Simpson’s hand (yes, he only has three fingers) with world-class boxers who are currently fighting.

What happened to the 1970s, when Ali, Foreman, Frazier, Norton, etc. were all vying for the top spot in the heavyweight division—and have all since gone down in history as legends of the sport. Something I can guarantee is that Haye and Klitschko will never be remembered in the same league as those greats, and there are two reasons why.

Competition and interest.

The competition around these days is very weak. In fact, I would say that boxing, as a whole, is at the weakest it has ever been. Therefore it doesn’t matter who Haye beats or who Wlad destroys, in years to come, their legacies rest on who they fought and beat.

Take a look over Haye’s bouts. Pick out one big name...found it yet?

As for interest, I revert back to my old article. A lot of boxing fans, due to the weak state their sport is in, have converted to mixed martial arts. With an ever growing fan base and a worldwide explosion of popularity, companies like the UFC and Pride are able to offer what boxing doesn’t—excitement and big names.

In direct contrast to the death bed on which boxing resides, the UFC possess a rich vein of fighters with extreme talent and abilities that could see this generation go down in history in years to come.

Like in boxing through the 1970s, MMA currently possesses big names that are sure to be (or are already in) the hall of fame. The likes of Anderson Silva, Georges St-Pierre, Matt Hughes, B.J. Penn and even the young Jon Jones all possess the resumes of champions. They have all fought worthy competition to enable them to say they fought/beat some of the hardest opponents in the world.

Nobody is able to claim as such in boxing nowadays.

But it’s not Haye’s or Klitscko’s fault.

They cannot help who they fight. All they can do is fight who is around at the time, who is put in front of them and who poses the biggest threat to their record. Just like Joe Calzaghe retired undefeated—a fantastic feat, don’t get me wrong, but barring Chris Eubank, who did he fight of real danger at their peaks?

Which brings me to my case in point. The national media have not hyped this fight more due to the fact that boxing is relatively dying. If the fans, promoters and fighters wish to revive the sweet science—the corruption and the fighters must change.

Thank you for reading.


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