It was meant to be different. That was the tag-line. The sedentary waters of the heavyweight division were to be purified. David Haye wanted to fight the best heavyweights straight away, he didn’t want to procrastinate, to manoeuvre. He just wanted to know if he was the best, prove it or fail. Money was secondary. Challenge was everything. Boxing’s downtrodden masses craved the Utopia Haye was selling. He evangelised about bypassing promoters, side-stepping sanctioning bodies and the established order. Boxing is about the fighters not men in suits he might have said. He founded this alternate reality. Hayemaker. Fighters flocked to his rallying cry. Pretty girls flushed, forums hummed, fans cheered. Now, with a portion of the establishment in his possession – the WBA belt – and an unexpected level of renown that now enables him to accumulate £1-3 million pay-days for the type of rudimentary defence he once denounced, the urge to corner a Klitschko in a ring, or even at the top of an elevator has evidently subsided.
It will not prove as easy for newly crowned WBA Heavyweight champion David Haye to sell tickets to his mandated clash with American John Ruiz in the spring as the David v Goliath showdown proved last weekend. But for all the doubters, I’d like to encourage everyone to visit YouTube and refresh their preconceptions about the 37 year old former two-time WBA champion. In short Ruiz is a different beast to the much maligned jab and grab merchant he’s often described as. Continue reading “John Ruiz v David Haye will be a thriller”
I’m not quite in the camp with the Tuamaniacs, a kind of derivative of the fanaticism Mike Tyson was able to evoke even after the flush of his youthful best had passed, but I must confess to more than a passing interest in the fortunes of the once destructive Samoan. Following an apparent eternity in the wilderness of legal, financial and promotional entanglements he’s back to doing what he once did better than almost anyone. Knocking out heavyweights. Continue reading “Tua; beginning to sound like a contender again”
It may seem condescending or ungracious to suggest Nicolay Valuev is a hard fighter to ignore, or perhaps overlook. At 7ft and over 300lbs the Russian is a man of almost mythical proportions but even though his contest with America’s John Ruiz is very unlikely to induce high-blood pressure moments, I will find the broadcast impossible to ignore. Continue reading “Valuev v Ruiz II; Impossible to miss”
When consigned to history John Ruiz’ career will be much maligned, it is already. His success and resolve will be overshadowed by the snipers who point to his suffocating, ugly style, a crushing defeat to the then Zeus like David Tua in 17 seconds and a ponderous pursuit of Light-heavyweight Roy Jones Jnr. in 2003. Despite these facts, and they are all facts, his rough-edges and lack of beauty, I just can’t help liking him. It’s a strange thing, attraction.
Rugged former belt holder John Ruiz is arguably the most criticised heavyweight of his generation despite twice being the possessor of a world championship belt and holding victories over Evander Holyfield, Hasim Rahman and Andrew Golota. True his victory over the giant Pole was widely considered contentious but I think a little respect for Ruiz’s willingness to engage with tough opponents and overcome the humiliation of his defeats to Roy Jones and David Tua to compile a mixed but worthy record is overdue. Continue reading “Ruiz, the uncherished heavyweight”