Now some would say I know precious little about boxing, others are less flattering, but one thing I do know for certain is – it takes two to make a fight. By my reckoning, and with some reliance on my Casio fx-100c, I am able to announce the inevitability of a clash between David Haye and irksome veteran Audley Harrison later this year. This isn’t based upon any inside knowledge, just the inescapable truth that all other roads are now closed for Haye.
According to Shannon Briggs, who bizarrely spent today touring Cardiff on an open top bus, he has a contract to fight Vitali Klitschko in October in the Ukrainian’s adopted home of Germany – as yet unsigned sitting in his hotel suite. On the same day, brother Wladimir announced he will now fight Samuel Peter – who replaces Alexander Povetkin – for his Autumnal bout. Of the alternate options, Tomasz Adamek has another profile building contest with Michael Grant and erm…that is widely accepted list of viable opponents essentially exhausted.
Only the oft-overlooked obligation to extend a rematch to Nicolay Valuev now stands between Haye and Harrison. Of course, there are heavyweights out there ranked above Harrison and more qualified. Ruslan Chagaev is one for example, but it seems increasingly likely to me that Haye will put to one side his natural reservations about the credibility of the all-British fight and doubtless deliver one of the UK’s most anticipated bouts of recent memory.
All this despite Harrison’s complete lack of qualification.
With Sky Sports returning their boxing programming to Saturday nights from September there is greater scope than ever to build up the rivalry between Haye and Harrison, and beyond that the Klitschkos. Both of whom could also feature on those Saturday nights slots – with HBO withdrawing from heavyweight boxing until Haye is matched with either Klitschko’s the marketplace for the export of the intervening Klitschko fights is much smaller.
And by airing their fights with Peter and Briggs, Sky could further heighten anticipation for 2011 fights between David Haye and the established order in the way Setanta attempted to before their demise.