05.07.08 - By James Barlow: Nigerian born British former two time heavy weight champion Herbie hide last night defended his W.B.C International cruiser weight title in the Bueyuek Anadolu Hotel, Ankara, Turkey. This is his third defense of this title and Hide has now not lost since 2004. This loss came against Mindaugas Kulikauskas via a TKO, and anyone who saw the fight would not count it against Hide..
A bad clash of heads forced the referee to stop the fight in the third round. Up until that point Hide had been coasting using his Lithuanian opponent as target practice. Hide was on a drawn-out comeback which has spluttered, stopped and started since a defeat to none other than Vitali Klitschko in 1999. However this was five years before the Kulikauskas fight. Hide had been below form and sloppy against Joseph Chinangu and suffered a KO lost in 2001 but avenged this blasting Chiangu away in the first round of their rematch in 2003. Hide had boxed just 13 round in 3 years and you got the impression he could blast Kulikauskas away when ever he pleased but was looking to get rounds under his belt. In the early 2000’s the British heavyweight scene seemed to be generating some interest with Danny Williams and Audley Harrison seemingly on the up, there was even talk of a Frank Bruno come back. Hide was very verbal in expressing his desire to fight either Harrison or Williams. But luck was not on his side against Chinangu and the defeat left Hide frustrated and demoralized. Hide made it clear in his post fight interview that he was not happy with boxing in the UK and hinted at retirement.
It took 2 and a half years before we would see Hide back in the ring. And the fact that he had now decided to box outside the U.K under German Based Turkish promoter Ahmet Oener meant that U.K boxing fans have seen little of him on their screens. With neither Setanta or Sky having shown any interest or been able to broker a deal with Oener to show his fights it seems this is the way things will remain. Now 36 Hide is fighting at Cruiser weight. With his pedigree, history and recent run of wins you have to ask is he due a shot at one of the cruiser weight belts?
When you look at Hide’s career it is a difficult one to analyze. He has only been defeated 4 times. Two of those defeats have came against Riddick Bowe and Vitali Klitschko, Hide was clearly too small for the 6”5 Bowe and 6”7 Klitschko. And the other two defeats against Chinangu and Kulikauskas were avenged and on a technicality. Being a two time world heavy weight champion must hold some sway and is a notable achievement. Not many could begrudge him loses to Bowe and Klitschko as they have been at one time or another recognized as the top heavy weights in the world. But you just get the feeling Hide could have achieved so much more. He was just 27 when he lost the W.B.O heavy weight championship to Klitschko but seemed to slip completely off the scene at the top of the division. Long periods out of the game (2 years after the Klitschko fight, 2 years after the Chinangu fight and 2 years after the Kulikauskas fight) and poor management have meant Hide has not fought any notable boxers in almost 10 years. Given better guidance I believe Hide could and should have been fighting at the highest level for a lot longer. I would have at least fancied him to beat both Williams and Harrison and believe he could have dominated on the domestic level with one or two world title shots or even another alphabet title reign in there for good measure.
I would like to see Ahmet Oener get his act together and get Herbie a world title shot before it’s too late. I believe Hide even at this late stage of his career has something left in the tank and would at least give any of the current champions a good fight. It would be a shame if he just fought out the rest of his career against sub standard opposition in Germany.