Who would have won the domestic blockbuster?
Talk about a fight, one that got everyone pumped up in a big way, falling apart in disappointing fashion. In fact, the Tyson Fury-David Haye British heavyweight super fight fell apart not once, but twice. As fans may recaall, the two stars signed to fight on September 28, 2013, only for Haye to pull out of the fight due to being cut in sparring. Then, the fight rescheduled for February 8 of 2014, Haye pulled out a second time, on this ocassion due to a serious shoulder ailment that recquired surgery.
And that was it – the fight was lost forever.
But had the fight taken place as scheduled, either in 2013 or in 2014, who would have won? At the time of Fury Vs. Haye being announced, interest was massive, the two men engaging in a hugely entertaining and memorable face-to-face in the Sky Sports studio. Fury was in top form, the 25 year old both funny and very loud. 32 year old Haye, carrying himself with an assured smugness, came across as a man who genuinely felt Fury was a level or two below him. The two men refused to shake hands.
Fury got off with some great lines, as did Haye.
“You swallowed before, you’ll swallow again. Or you’ll swallow your teeth against me anyway!” Fury said to Haye.
“If it goes past six rounds it means you’ll have taken one of the worst beatings ever,” Haye said to Fury.
“I’m asking you now, my friend – are you gonna come and fight on the night?” Fury quizzed Haye.
“You’ll have to find out on the night,” Haye replied.
“There you go. I sense a stinker,” Fury said.
“I’ll knock him out when I wanna knock him out,” Haye declared.
Back then, Fury was 21-0(15) and he had not yet perfected his craft the way he has now. Fury had recently been heavily decked by Steve Cunningham and Haye stated that he would be too fast and too powerful for the giant. Fury, Haye said, was wrong in thinking he would be too big for him. Haye, who was 26-2(24), had come back from his disappointing loss to Wladimir Klitschko – this a “swallow-job” according to Fury – beating Dereck Chisora by KO.
There is no doubt, Haye was far more experienced than Fury, yet “The Hayemaker” had been largely inactive. Fans were braced for a genuinely fascinating fight. Back then, I was firmly of the opinion that Haye would be too fast, too powerful, too accurate and too polished for Fury. Now, in looking back, I think Fury would have roughed Haye up, leaned on him, shoved him around and pounded the body. Haye would have got his shots in, but we know now what we didn’t know then – Fury has a great chin.
Fury’s co-trainer, former pro Clifton Mitchell, told me at the time that Fury would make Haye quit on his stool in the middle or late rounds. Today, with the knowledge of all the ailments Haye was dealing with back then, maybe Mitchell would have been proven correct had Haye gone through with the fight. Fury was coming up, Haye was approaching the end.
In the final analysis, I feel Haye jumped at the fight, initially thinking he would be able to easily deal with Fury. Then, having slowed things down a bit and properly studied Fury, this while assessing his own physical issues (Haye’s body was literally falling apart), the former unified cruiserweight champ and former WBA heavyweight champion had a strong change of heart.
But what do you guys think? What would we have seen unfold had Fury and Haye rumbled seven years ago?