Out With the Old, In With the New

David HayeBy Rik Hine - Without a trace of irony, several boxing writers have announced that the wait is over; Jones-Hopkins II is now official. If youíre a boxing fan, then it's likely that you already know this. Of course if you really are a boxing fan, then you probably wonít much care. Slightly out-waiting the locust, this April 3rd will mark seventeen years since they first shared a ring. And to think that good things are supposed to come to he who waits.

Given that the outcome of this fight is hardly in doubt, there canít be many reasons for watching it outside of outright sadism. Still, if youíre willing to pay to see this debacle youíre likely a masochist too. Live and let live I suppose.

The slightly more discerning fan might turn his attention to another fight on the same day but the other side of the pond, as David Haye will be seeking to send John Ruiz into retirement. Iím probably not alone in hoping that Haye is successful; I hope Iím not alone in wishing that Jones and Hopkins would take the hint..

Haye has plenty to say for himself and thereís no doubt that many fight fans would like to see him eating some of his own words. But either way heís worth the price of admission. Itís reasonable to doubt that heís the future of the heavyweight division, but you must surely agree that Ruiz is the ghost of Christmas past.

The way that the ĎHaymakerí wobbled Valuev suggests that he has the firepower to check the chin of anybody in the division. The fact that heís hardly a stranger to the canvas himself just means that you darenít leave the room when heís fighting. If, on the other hand, you like to know the outcome of your sporting events in advance, then you can always watch some golf. ĎTigerí may have gotten bored of a hole in one, but eventually heíll be back to return to his winning ways.

For the rest of us, who hope that boxing can maintain the momentum itís built in the last few years, we need to see it ditch its own version of the Masterís Tour, drop the cheats, and stop the drugs. Haye could be the shot in the arm that boxing needs right now.

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Article posted on 03.02.2010

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