In most sports who is the undisputed champion is pretty clear to all and fixtures have to be kept to.
Not so in boxing as David Haye is finding out, says Ralph Ellis guest writer.
Wouldn’t it be handy if other sports were like boxing. Ricky Ponting could have failed to reach agreement on a contract to play England this winter and the Aussies might have chosen to hammer Holland instead; Liverpool could organise a gentle fixture list building up to a “world title” contest against Tranmere; And Andy Murray could ensure he never quite found the right terms to find himself across the court to Roger Federer or Rafa Nadal.
Haye thought he’d reached agreement to fight Wladimir in Germany on July 2, only for the IBF and WBO champion to announce yesterday that he’ll meet Dereck Chisora in Mannheim on April 30 instead. That’s the equivalent to Chelsea calling off their home game with Manchester United and rearranging the fixture against Stockport. (However much Carlo Ancelotti might fancy that idea at the moment he’s not allowed to do it!).”
But no. It’s only in boxing where there can be half a dozen people claiming to be the best in the world at a given weight, and all have a title and a belt to prove it. And it’s only in boxing where the politics of matchmaking can stop you settling the argument of who really is the top man.
Nobody is feeling that frustration this morning as much as David Haye, who seems to have finally given up on his efforts to meet the Klitschko brothers – the only way he could reach his goal of becoming the undisputed heavyweight world champion. He’s tried to fix the fight by negotiation, by offering big cash, and by insulting and goading the Ukrainian brothers into the ring.
Haye thought he’d reached agreement to fight Wladimir in Germany on July 2, only for the IBF and WBO champion to announce yesterday that he’ll meet Dereck Chisora in Mannheim on April 30 instead. That’s the equivalent to Chelsea calling off their home game with Manchester United and rearranging the fixture against Stockport. (However much Carlo Ancelotti might fancy that idea at the moment he’s not allowed to do it!)
Haye will instead have to meet the WBA’s mandatory challenger Rusian Chagaev in the summer and then if he goes through with his plan to retire on his 31st birthday in October, he’ll know he won’t have achieved his biggest ambition.
“I can retire with my head held high knowing I did everything in my power to make these fights happen,” he claims. “I’ve had defining fights and beaten the best in the world as a cruiserweight but without me Wladimir can never say he’s done the same as a heavyweight.”
It isn’t only among the marquee names that the problems occur.
Britain’s 2008 Olympic heavyweight bronze medallist David Price has had just as many problems trying to get anybody to let him get his pro career under way. He’ll have only his ninth professional fight next month on the undercard at the Brentwood Leisure Centre though he thinks he’s good enough to get in the ring with the likes of Tyson Fury and Chisora himself.
Meanwhile the only hope for Haye fans is that one last barb at the Klitschko’s might tempt them into inviting the Brit into the ring to sort it out once and for all. Betfair’s market for Haye’s next opponent has a lay at 130.0 for Wladimir and 1.000 for Vitali.
Sadly it’s safer to back the 1.02 option for it to be any other opponent.
Things you might not know about David Price
- Born July 1983 in Liverpool he was a promising schoolboy footballer and is a big Liverpool fan
- He admits his early amateur boxing career started slowly because he was “mentally weak” as a youngster
- He was one fight from making the British team for the Olympics in Athens in 2004 but lost to Italian Roberto Cammarelle in the European championships.
- He paid for his family to fly to Beijing to see him fight Cammarelle in the 2008 Olympic super heavyweight semi-finals, but lost again.
- He signed as a pro with David Haye’s promotion company but a combination of a hand injury and the collapse of Setanta left him in limbo. He is now in Frank Maloney’s stable.
- He defeated Tyson Fury in the amateur ABA’s in 2006
By Ralph Ellis Guest writer from Betfair www.betting.betfair.com
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