A pay day, but no pride for Britain as Haye’s downfall is complete
Published: 22:35 BST, 13 July 2012 | Updated: 22:35 BST, 13 July 2012
Before fighting John Ruiz in April 2010, David Haye was heralded as the ‘Lord of the Ring’ by Sky Sports. It seemed he was the answer to all the ills of British boxing.
Handsome and talented, he fought with flair and confidence. Perhaps a touch too light to perform with the giants of the heavyweight scene, he had the charm and the style to make his mark. Not since Lennox Lewis did the British fight scene have a talisman.
So how has it come to this?
Head to head: David Haye (left) and Dereck Chisora meet at Upton Park
DAVID HAYE’S DOWNFALL
Click here for Sportsmail’s picture special on the career of the Hayemaker
On Saturday at Upton Park, Haye will climb from the floor to take on Dereck Chisora in a fight the British Boxing Board of Control has refused to sanction. Both are unlicensed by the BBBC. Both need each other.
It will attract a good attendance to east London — and a decent pay day — but this is not the way it should be. Not for Haye. He should be better than this.
The old fight game has to be about control and discipline but the origin of this fight stems from a lack of both from each fighter.
I remember all-British fights when they meant something more. Tony Sibson v Alan Minter, the fights involving Chris Eubank, Nigel Benn, Michael Watson and Steve Collins. Lennox Lewis against Frank Bruno, John Conteh and Chris Finnegan, Naseem Hamed and Steve Robinson, who had earlier fought my brother Duke.
Glory days: British stars Chris Eubank (right) and Nigel Benn
When I fought Terry Marsh in 1984, I was impatient for a world-title shot, but took on my best British rival instead, even though I was warned it was dangerous. I lost, but recognised what it meant to the British public to have these occasions.
More recently, James DeGale and George Groves was a domestic fight to cherish. But not this one, not tonight.
I will watch out of curiosity, but I will have no pride. It’s not a good night for boxing.
Clinton McKenzie is a former British and European light-welterweight champion. Visit www.clintonmckenzie.com for more information.
Previous 1 2 Next Despite dragging boxing through the gutter, Haye will have our attention come Saturday Haye 37lbs lighter than Chisora as rivals exchange final stare down at weigh-in Panto villains will do untold damage as Haye and Chisora finally meet in the ring
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