I wrote yesterday of Frankie ‘El Gato’ Figueroa’s unique ability to self-promote through the multitude of outlets the modern world of communication affords a fighter, contemporary David Haye is another advert for the power of a fresh approach to promotion. He was conspicuous in his use of the MySpace platform a year or two ago, collecting a rich bounty of busty twenty-somethings as friends on the premise of recruiting ring card girls, and blessed with good looks and an exciting, hard punching style his refreshingly candid manner in front of camera and his willingness to challenge giants on the top of elevators has rushed him into the consciousness of fight fans around the globe. But boy has he talked himself into a fight now.
Following in the classless goading of the Ukrainian doctors, Haye has now launched full-scale in to a child-like demonising of the giant Russian Nicolay Valuev. A fighter Haye looks to use as 300 pounds of leverage with the television networks in a quest to be better recompensed for the risks he will take tackling siblings Wladimir and Vitaly next year. In signing to fight Valuev, Haye has once more rejected the tried and trusted ritual of fighting progressively more dangerous opponents en route to the title challenges. His style in matchmaking and career management is a mirror reflection of his in-ring style – fast, aggressive and always on the high-wire between calamity and greatness.
Perhaps it is all destiny. Perhaps Haye’s ascension to the heavyweight heights is preordained. It could, after all, have been very different. But for an unexpected and unprecedented explosion of interest in his clash with Klitschko junior and the simultaneous collapse of Setanta Sports – Haye’s only paymaster for the series of bouts he agreed to with the two brothers – Haye could already have been a footnote. Such is the noise Haye generates, such is the colour and charisma he adds to the fight game that his obvious limitations continue to be overlooked, certainly a more clinical study would have suggested a Klitschko knockout victory was entirely the most likely outcome.
That isn’t to say he isn’t a sensational fighter, it isn’t to say he isn’t without some of the tools required to dismantle Valuev, Klitschko and Klitschko but what I do wish to remind the merry bandwagon about, is his ability to allow straight right hands to land. Little old Jean Marc-Mormeck landed right-hands, stunning and dropping the golden goose without much fuss.
And though Valuev is ponderous in comparison to the former Cruiserweight king, he packs an entire Super-Featherweight extra behind the shot and his chin will hold a much bigger counter than Mormeck proved able to. Haye simply hasn’t fought anyone close to the physique or stubbornness of Valuev, before we even mention the more talented Klitschkos. A fact Haye happily embraces of course, he sells the dream, the dynamism, the antidote to the slumber inducing big men. The smiling assassin.
On November 7th, we will learn more about Haye’s heavyweight voyage than we have in his brief encounters with Barrett and Bonin or the countless press interviews. And it wont matter whether Haye’s childish slurs on Valuev’s hygiene have upset the giant or not. As always with vulnerable punchers, the first punch taken and delivered will very likely point to the winner.
In the meantime, positive news for Haye’s plan to conquer America too. As the fight has PPV backing via www.integratedsportsnet.com