I’m sure the revelation Delia Smith, who famously coined the phrase “lets be having you” during an impromptu half-time plea to the insipid Norwich City football crowd, is looking to sell her stake in the club has nothing to do with the impending return of boxing maverick Herbie Hide to the region, but Hennessey Sports’ decision to run with the “Lets Be Having You” show title does provide coincidental segway between the two events.
The return of British boxing’s most erratic and eccentric veteran will doubtless also cheer the spirits of traffic wardens in the region looking toward their commission bonus this Christmas.
Hide has developed an almost mythical awe certainly in respect to his punching power. Two consecutive 12 round points victories represent just the second and third time Hide has seen the final bell, either in triumph or disaster in 48 fights. And triumph and disaster, with Hide’s combustible power and flimsy resistance are equally plausible outcomes whether opponent the is Evander Holyfield or Aleksejs Kosobokovs. At 37, this should be regarded as his last possible run at the world-level he first visited as a 21-year old. And it is more important than ever that Hide absorbs that point.
Despite his longevity and renown, closer inspection of his record shows precious few world-class wins but it doesn’t suppress the recognition of his name and he could prove a solid draw in the Norwich area.
It is certainly a bonus to Hennessey’s first card of the recently signed ITV contract and will provide a colourful pre-amble to the main-event, which features familiar British contender Jon Thaxton seeking to win the vacated European title. Should Thaxton, at this Autumnal stage of his career win the fight against confident Spaniard Juan Carlos Diaz Melero it will represent an historical peak to a roller-coaster journey.
Having been unable to put a dent in Yuri Romanov in his preceding attempt Thaxton looked unlikely to be offered this type of shot again. It reflected on the distraction the bounty of Amir Khan proved throughout the preceding months and Thaxton will have doubtlessly looked on ruefully when the protégé’s unbeaten record was subsequently smashed by Breidis Prescott. If only.
That was then, this is now and though the change in the Lightweight landscape was unexpected, one of boxing’s great truisms is “you’re only as good as your last fight”. Khan and Thaxton have both been returned to parallel paths having looked to be on divergent routes this summer and it would be healthy for the pair, the sport and the respect of their consumers if rival promoters Frank Warren and Mick Hennessey could find a way to put that fight together.
I wont hold my breath.
The Dancing Destroyer returns
Herbie Hide will have his first fight in Britain for four years in a non-title eight round bout at the Norfolk Showground in Norwich on Saturday, 4th October.
The former world heavyweight champion boxes in an eight-round bout against Aleksejs Kosobokovs (Latvia), who has won two of his last three fights by first round stoppage and went the distance with Willi Fischer (Germany) last year.
Hide’s comeback is part of the Hennessy Sports bill which includes Jon Thaxton’s (Norwich) European Lightweight Title challenge against Juan Carlos Diaz Melero (Spain) as top of the bill and Danny McIntosh (Norwich) versus Steve Spartacus (Ipswich) for the English Light-Heavyweight Title. ITV4 ‘Big Fight Live’ will televise from 8.45pm.
Hide suffered a nasty cut in his last fight in Britain, causing the bout against Mindaugas Kulikauskas (Lithuania) to be stopped.
Since then, Hide has been based in Germany and dropped down a division to cruiserweight where he has won nine fights back-to-back and claimed the WBC International Title.
Hide, 37, is ranked at No 5 by the WBC and is closing in on a shot at the prestigious world title.
As he prepares for his big chance to become a two-weight world champion, Hide returns to action in Norwich where he has moved back to.
Promoter Mick Hennessy believes Hide can be a force to be reckoned with in the cruiserweight division.
“Last time Herbie appeared over here was four years ago on a Hennessy Sports show and he has returned over here on a Hennessy Sports show as I’ve got an agreement to work on his career going forward with Ahmet Oener off Arena box,” said Hennessy.
“Herbie is No 5 with the WBC and that rating should improve soon. We are looking to get him a final eliminator for the prestigious WBC world title early next year.
“I think he’s capable of beating any cruiserweight in the world even at this stage of his career and he is capable of becoming world champion again.
“Herbie has done very well in Germany. He has been very dedicated and changed his life around. Arena Box have done a great job with him.
“Last time he fought here he was unfortunate because his career was picking up and he got a nasty cut which set him back a bit.
“He is back living in England now and this fight is just to reintroduce him to the UK market. It will also keep him busy because he is in an excellent position to fight for a world title again.
“He is back living in Norwich and he can see the venue from his house so he is going to walk there on the night. He is very proud to come from Norwich and is very excited to be on this show.”
“Let’s be having you”
European Lightweight Title
Tickets on sale now
Jon Thaxton vs Juan Carlos Diaz Melero
Hennessy Sports are proud to announce tickets for Norfolk Showground, Norwich Saturday 4th October 2008 now on sale via Ticketmaster box office
0870 060 1795
£30 Unreserved seating
£40 Outer Ringside reserved seating
£60 Ringside reserved seating