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Haye v Harrison
Why the Brit-on-Brit fight is great for boxing...
Posted Sep 13, 2010 by Shaun Edwards
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The upcoming title fight between Haye and Harrison is going to be a belter. I genuinely can’t remember looking forward to a fight this much in years: there is literally going to be no loser in terms of the British paying audience. If Haye wins as expected, then we still have a British World Champion, who will then go on to presumably fight one of the Klitschko brothers, hopefully Wladimir, in what would be an undisputed championship fight: something the whole world wants to see. Secondly, it’s far more entertaining to watch Haye face someone that we all know and sort of like, even if it’s in a very mocking, English sort of way. Not that most English fans were overflowing with respect for the man, but after knocking down Michael Sprott in April, there was at least the recognition that Harrison might actually have the ability to be a plucky underdog: and everyone knows how much the English love that. The truth is, whilst Haye is openly admitting that he doesn’t consider his ex sparring partner worthy of a title shot, both men have taken this fight because of the money: two ex-friends, trained in the same city, finally meeting for a world title shot is a much better story (and therefore much more sellable) than Haye defending the strap against people such as Tomasz Adamek, who is a good fighter but hardly a household name. Regarding the Klitschko Brothers, many people have been pondering quite why Haye didn’t feel the need to fight one of them in his next bout, being as how that is what more or less everyone wants to see. The simple fact is, as with everything in boxing, it’s all about the green. Yes, fighting one of the pair will bring in the cash for Haye, but not necessarily anymore than the fight with Harrison will. Also, the champ is smart enough to recognise that there is more risk of him losing his title to the Klitschko brothers, so he might as well make as much cash as possible before embarking on a more serious defence.It’s best to think of it as boxing pantomime: the younger, fitter champion defending against the older, underdog. It’s almost like a later Rocky film: some want the older man to just quit, others would love to see him overcome the odds.Whatever happens, the fight (and it’s consequential fallout) will be great entertainment.