Haye's farcical night pushes boxing closer to extinction

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Haye's farcical night pushes boxing closer to extinction

Post by w9 on Mon Jul 11, 2011 7:46 am

By PATRICK COLLINS

So, farewell, David Haye. Risibly promoted as heir to the crown of Sullivan, Johnson, Dempsey, Tunney, Louis, Marciano, Ali, Tyson and Lewis, he has returned to obscurity with his pockets full and his little toe slightly swollen.

Scarcely a week has passed since one of Haye's hapless disciples promised that this inflated cruiserweight was about to 'shock the world'. The world, regrettably, remains unshocked.

Instead, the prevailing emotion is one of seething resentment. How could so many be so contemptuously conned by boxing's equivalent of a three-card trickster?



The scuffle with Wladimir Klitschko is already fading from the memory. Soon there will be no more than vague recollections of a rainy night in Hamburg and the antics of an empty poseur with a trite line in excuses. But that resentment will be slow to fade and its intensity may help to reshape the sporting landscape.

Professional boxing has always been incapable of embarrassment. Its standard reaction to low comedy or fumbling pantomime has been a wink, a shrug and a cheery assurance that things will be better next time.



In the old days, it was cursed by a plague of 'Mexican roadsweepers', natural victims with slender credentials who were cheaply imported from distant lands to make our own brave lads appear competent. They came, they suffered and they swiftly surrendered. Then, when the fuss had died, they were replaced by another job lot of losers.

But such things were tolerated because there was a widespread affection for the sport, a feeling that its titles carried a certain authenticity and that its champions were, by and large, exceptional people of rare ability.

That affection is almost extinct. Fighters now seek notoriety rather than excellence. Malevolence sells more tickets than talent. The most creative work goes into the preliminaries; the utterly bogus confrontation, which involves an anxious promoter bravely standing between two furious boxers has become a tacky ingredient of the pre-fight publicity.

And the language has become bleak and vile. Where the old-timers used to boast that they would 'moyder da bum', their modernday successors issue gutter threats.

Which brings us back to David Haye. When he predicted that his previous fight, with Audley Harrison, would be 'as onesided as a gang rape', he was crossing a line. His repeated refusal to apologise for this squalid excess told us everything we needed to know about him.

While he was largely exonerated for his role in the subsequent farce, the stench lingered. He had found a commercial formula and he milked it with all the malice at his command. He was not aiming at genuine boxing followers, those people who believed that cruiserweights were not equipped to engage seriously capable heavyweights; people who, in Frank Bruno's brilliant phrase, 'could tell the difference between Primark and Harrods'.

Instead, his appeal was directed at the kind of audience who would turn out for a public hanging. And there were enough of them to make him an extremely wealthy man.

Nobody, it seems, warned Haye of the consequences. His trainer and promoter, Adam Booth, appeared to pander to his trash. Booth, who some know as 'The Dark Lord', would apparently send him out with the muttered instruction: 'The Dark Side of the Force is with you. It is the pathway to many abilities some consider unnatural.'

Some might suggest that he should have spared him such gibberish and taught him how to slip a jab.

But the entire stunt was always destined to reach an unhappy conclusion and the results may now be seen. Haye leaves behind a sport on its knees. Boxing has never been easy to defend, since it is the only recognised sport in which the primary purpose is to inflict a concussion.



But never has it seemed quite so ugly, so far removed from civilised standards. The more barbaric of its followers will presumably turn to the witless obscenity known as 'cage fighting'. Most of the rest will look for other sporting diversions.

Certainly, they will be in no hurry to pay £15 or £20 for the privilege of watching another piece of televised nonsense.

Jack Solomons , the celebrated promoter of British boxing's golden age, was a splendid cynic. One day, while watching the queues clamour at his box office, he remarked: 'They say there's a fool born every minute. I reckon there's a lot more than that.'

Last Saturday night in Hamburg, David Haye restated that ancient truth. But he did more than that. He brought us face to face with our own foolishness, he caused us to curse our gullibility and he pushed professional boxing closer, much closer, to the grave which awaits it.

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Re: Haye's farcical night pushes boxing closer to extinction

Post by Kid Gavilan on Mon Jul 11, 2011 8:06 am

Boxing is dead... again.
Time to move on to tiddlywinks.

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Re: Haye's farcical night pushes boxing closer to extinction

Post by StillWill on Mon Jul 11, 2011 8:31 am

I cant believe anyone actually believes boxing is dying.

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Re: Haye's farcical night pushes boxing closer to extinction

Post by StillWill on Mon Jul 11, 2011 8:31 am

that is a piece of shit article btw

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Re: Haye's farcical night pushes boxing closer to extinction

Post by Soy Chingon on Mon Jul 11, 2011 8:34 am

whoever thinks boxing is dead is an infantile retard. nuff said

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Re: Haye's farcical night pushes boxing closer to extinction

Post by w9 on Mon Jul 11, 2011 9:00 am

StillWill wrote:that is a piece of shit article btw

Patrick Collins has been an esteemed English sports journalist for over 25 years, a past sportswriter of the year and 2007 sports columnist of the year.

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Re: Haye's farcical night pushes boxing closer to extinction

Post by veprman on Thu Jul 21, 2011 3:27 am

Boxing is dying?

LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOOL!


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Re: Haye's farcical night pushes boxing closer to extinction

Post by CanadianAssault on Thu Jul 21, 2011 3:50 am

Boxing is the biggest combat sport in the world.

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Re: Haye's farcical night pushes boxing closer to extinction

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