Could 2008 Become One Of The Worst Ever Years For British Boxing?

Amir Khan07.09.08 - by James Slater - Last night's destruction of the highly touted Amir Khan left ripples of shock amongst fight fans in the U.K. But the year could get much worse for British boxing before it's over. 2008 has already seen the demise (at least temporarily) of Enzo Maccarinelli, Clinton Woods, Junior Witter, Gavin Rees, Matt Skelton and now Khan. Will British boxing's remaining world champions/ stars in Joe Calzaghe, Ricky Hatton and David Haye meet a similar fate before the year is out? It's a possibility that must be looked at by any patriotic British fight fan.

Firstly, "The Pride of Wales," Joe Calzaghe, faces the still formidable Roy Jones Junior on November 8th. At first, this writer felt the match-up was a fairly easily winnable one for the unbeaten Calzaghe. But now I'm not so sure. The 36-year-old Calzaghe has admitted he is coming to the end and has been picking up more injuries in the past couple of years, whilst training, than he has ever been accustomed before. And let's not forget the way the non too hard punching Bernard Hopkins put Joe on his back in the 1st round of their fight earlier this year.

If B-Hop can deck Calzaghe with a flush shot, what will Jones do? I fear we could very easily see another British boxing hero beaten in November - maybe even by a stoppage that will ruin Joe's hard-fought reputation. Then we have heavyweight wannabe David Haye. Making his re-debut in the ultimate division a week after the Calzaghe-Jones fight, "The Hayemaker" will be under enormous pressure to deliver an impressive performance - especially if Calzaghe has been defeated. Many fans have already expressed their belief that the big-talking Haye will meet the same fate Amir Khan met on Saturday, as soon as he meets a real heavyweight. Though he's undeniably gifted, powerful and athletic, as well as being a possible saviour of the heavyweight division, this thought has crossed my mind also.

We simply do not know how Haye's chin will react if he's cracked by a solid heavyweight's punch. After all the mouthing he's been giving, Haye would be a laughing stock if he were KO'd on November 15th. As unthinkable as this result may be to some, the same train of thought was applied last night - only for would-be star Khan to be smashed to defeat in embarrassing fashion almost as soon as bell one rang. If the same thing happened to Haye, British boxing would be left with one remaining hero - Ricky Hatton.

But there is a huge chance that "Magic Man," Paulie Malignaggi will do a number on "The Hitman" in New York on November 22nd. A KO is extremely unlikely, but Malignaggi may well outclass and out-point the fading Hatton. Never too hard to hit, paying the price for his ballooning weight between bouts and past his very peak, the soon to be 30-year-old Hatton may well be beaten and humiliated in the penultimate month of 2008. And if Hatton does lose, who will British boxing fans have left at world level? Carl Froch and Nicky Cook?

Sure, this is a very pessimistic article, but should all we U.K fight fans brace for the possibilities suggested above? Last year British boxing celebrated a fine year, could it be that Amir Kahn's devastation last night was an omen for the remainder of 2008? As conceivable as this scenario may be, we'd all better hope not!

Come on, Joe, come on, David, come on, Ricky!

Article posted on 08.09.2008

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