As a boxing traditionalist, the Klitschko brothers prove something of a troublesome enigma to me. Resplendent though they are at the top of the heavyweight mountain, their individual and collective resumes feature nothing but a procession of mediocrity – some of whom the physically gifted Ukrainians have conspired to lose to. But I cannot always count defeats against them, as an advocate of risk taking, defeats are the inevitable byproduct are they not? Risk? What risk? You see, for every argument I make against them, there is objective counsel to the contrary. News Sam Peter may replace the perpetually injured Alexander Povetkin in the Wladimir Klitschko’s September 11th defence yet more evidence to pour over. Do we laugh or cry, empathise or chastise? Continue reading “Boxing: Laugh or cry, matchmaking with the Klitschkos”
Despite David Haye’s protestations to the contrary the prospect of this unlikely heavyweight prizefight remains the talking point of the day in the dungeons of the internet’s boxing forums. Audley Harrison has, afterall, already sacrificed the European title in the belief that he will secure the all-British world heavyweight title fight he and television network Sky Sports appear to crave. Debuting his guest column, John Cascells reflects on the fight; why it may prove to be more challenging than the cynics presume and why he is sure it will make for must-see television. Continue reading “Boxing: Harrison v Haye – why it should happen”
There has been something of the David Icke about Audley Harrison throughout his decade as a prominent heavyweight. Fuelled and demonstrated by a paradoxical cocktail of delusion, acute self-awareness and paranoia. Qualities which ostracised him from the boxing public and allowed the media to portray him as the villain, the idiot and the clown in his own one-man pantomime. But like all cabaret shows, it aint over til the fat lady sings and maybe, just maybe, said fat lady is back stage sipping honey and lemon as talk of a Harrison v Haye contest gathers pace. Continue reading “Feted, hated, fated? Is Audley stepping closer to defining Haye fight?”
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 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. Continue reading “Look beyond the smiles; the Haye v Valuev build up begins”
Since the disappointment of David Haye’s withdrawal from this year’s biggest heavyweight title fight and a potential record breaking event to boot it has been widely assumed Ruslan Chagaev would prove to be the natural replacement for the former Cruiserweight king. Similarly shorter than Wladimir, with a reliance on speed and movement the WBA champion is a far more obvious replacement, physically at least, than Nikolay Valuev, the near 7ft Russian who offers a polar opposite opponent than the one the younger Klitschko has spent many weeks preparing for. Bu this thesis overlooks one obvious factor, the 6ft Uzbekistan fighter is a left-hander. Continue reading “The view from portside; will Klitschko really pick a southpaw?”
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”
Vitali Klitschko, 37, was never a great fighter. He certainly wasn’t a great heavyweight champion. In fact, I’d go further I’d say he was a poor heavyweight champion and little more than a mediocre fighter. Like many in the curious, contrary world of boxing his repute grew more in gritty defeat to an ageing Lennox Lewis than in any of his victories, of which I would struggle to summon a single performance of historic significance.
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.