It’s the fight that Boxing Fans everywhere have been crying over: David Haye will fight Audley Harrison on 13th November in a contest that simply shouldn’t be happening.
Harrison has for so long flattered to deceive. Olympic Gold was followed by him topping the bill on BBC as he tried to do his pro conversion in public, impressing few; now, having found what was admittedly an absolute peach of a punch to flatten Michael Sprott when well behind, he finds himself contender for a world title. To say this is a big turnaround is understating matters; a year ago, Harrison was reduced to accepting an offer to box in Prizefighter against some rahter limited fighters. One fight later, he’s apparently a worthy contender to Haye.
Haye in my eyes loses credibility for this. The Klitschkos may have gone elsewhere – and who dumped who is open to debate – but Haye really needed to be taking on a live contender. Instead, he takes on a domestic rival with the main interest being if he can finally pop Audley’s bubble and retire him.
The irony is that Haye had looked like bringing some much-needed sparkle to the Heavyweight Division, bringing audiences back to it; now, we have a matchup that will be unlikely to attract much attention outside the UK, and even within is unlikely to inspire the afficionados. This is a crashing disappointment; assuming Haye wins, the only redemption is if he gets one of the Klitschkos next.