COMMENTARY | Could it be that the heavyweight division has gotten interesting again?
For many hardcore fight fans, the division of the big men never really lost its intrigue. However, it is true that the dominance of the Klitschko brothers has kept all four heavyweight belts in Eastern Europe for the last several years and the United States, once the absolute dominating force in the heavyweight division, now ranks just slightly ahead of Canada and Bulgaria in producing viable Top Ten fighters.
But for those of us not averse to watching a few afternoon cards from foreign venues, the division has been fairly solid, even without a strong American presence. And, recently, the division has truly come alive with some compelling talent and, at the very least, parity throughout the ranks.
Especially interesting right now is the UK scene, where a few high-end fighters have emerged and some interesting characters have made themselves known. Among the cast of characters, Tyson Fury and David Haye stand out as the most viable main stage fighters as well as the most entertaining out-of-ring personalities.
So, when it was announced that Fury and Haye would be facing one another on September 28 at the Manchester Arena, all of those fight fans "in the know" began practically salivating at the type of build-up this fight could produce.
So far, neither fighter has disappointed.
"He says I have not been at this level before and I agree I haven't - but this is my time now and I will be taking over after this fight," Fury recently said on the British television program, Sky Sports Ringside. "I would not be here if I did not believe in myself, I believe I can not only beat David Haye but do it in style and that is what I intend to do.
"I want to get into a fight with this guy. I am going to take him somewhere he has never been before. I am going to chop him up, rip his body to bits and rip his face. I am going to lean all over him. He can run but he cannot hide. He may be a sniper fighter like he said but snipers fight from a mile away. We have a 20 foot ring and that to me is in front of me. And if you are in front of me then you are in big trouble. He has not fought anyone like me: 6ft9in, 270 pounds of inside 'fightingness'. I know what it takes to fight inside."
Haye, not one to be left behind in the area of pre-fight bluster, has already launched a few verbal left hooks in Fury's direction
"He is going to end up tasting the canvas dust. He will be like a Dyson Furry, sucking up the canvas dust," Haye said shortly after the press conference held to announce the fight. "I am not joking. If he leaves himself open I will get him. I am so confident that I will finish this fight when I want to."
Knowing both fighters, this will go on and on until fight night -- and, likely, for a long while afterwards. There's no doubt that this will keep the sport in the headlines and will also do wonders for a division many fans have written off as dead or, at the very least, dying.
But the ultimate success of this event will come down to what happens in the ring. If three months of verbal fireworks culminates in a cautious, lackluster snoozer (Like Haye's disappointing non-effort against Wladimir Klitschko in 2011), this will only serve as yet another black eye for the sport.
Paul Magno was a licensed official in the state of Michoacan, Mexico and a close follower of the sport for more than thirty years. His work can also be found on Fox Sports and as Editor-in-Chief of The Boxing Tribune. In the past, Paul has done work for Inside Fights, The Queensberry Rules and Eastside Boxing. For breaking news, additional analysis, and assorted crazy commentary, follow him on Facebook, @TheBoxingTribune or on Twitter, @BoxingBTBC.
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- David Haye
- Tyson Fury