By Sean Crose
Legitimate or not, British heavyweight David Haye frequently has a ready excuse at hand. Whether it’s a back injury, a broken toe, a bad cut or shoulder problems, Haye has a litany of things to fall back on when he loses or backs out of a fight. Now he’s not only walked away from a bout with Tyson Fury for a second time, he’s suggested he’s going to to retire from boxing entirely.
All this, Haye claims, is due to recent surgery. No doubt he’s telling the truth. He’s presented the world with photos, after all. No one wants the man to sustain serious injuries. Still, it’s time to step away from the David Haye circus. It now consists of too much talking and not enough boxing.
One man who has plenty to say about David Haye, as well as lots of other things, is Haye’s would-be opponent, Fury. For those who are unfamiliar, Fury is an English heavyweight with an Irish background. He’s also a towering force of nature with an enormous frame, an enormous amount of confidence, and an enormous mouth.
Unfortunately, he didn’t show an enormous amount of promise this year in his American debut against Steve Cunningham. The former cruiserweight dropped the giant Brit early on with a right hand before finally succumbing to to Fury’s size and pressure.
Fury ultimately prevailed, sure, but his bandwagon had surely hit a bump in the road. By the time he was scheduled to fight Haye, many, if not most, experts thought Fury was headed towards his first defeat. By removing himself from their February 8th bout, Haye may have proven to be Fury’s best friend.
Had Haye disposed of Fury, as the great minds of boxing claimed he would have, Fury would’ve looked like a man who was all show and no go. Now he’s still got the show, The Tyson Fury Show, to promote. And an entertaining show it is. It may even lead him to a battle with a Klitschko sooner than one might think.
Let’s face it, colorful boxers are lucrative properties. The career of Floyd Mayweather, along with the careers of Hector Camacho, Mike Tyson, Muhammad Ali, Jack Johnson, and John L. Sullivan before him, are proof of that. Fury may not be as dominant as any of those figures, but he’s someone people want to see – if only to see him lose.
The Fury-Haye bout was a big deal across the pond. It was something fans in the British Isles wanted to watch. In short, it was a money-maker. Fury could possibly become a money maker in the States, too. His Hollywood swagger and Irish background, might (“might” being the operative word), just generate some serious interest here in the former colonies. Thanks to Haye’s backing out, Fury now has more time to market his brand without a humiliating “L” on his record.
One would hope, however, that Fury is also taking some time to improve his game. Seriously, the guy got floored by Cunningham, a man past his prime, who, just for the record, had also lost three of his four previous bouts. Imagine what Wladimir Klitschko, who was trained by Emanuel Steward himself, would have done to Fury that night. Fury needs to work on his defense, so he doesn’t continue getting hit with so many clean shots (remember, Tyson: the better the competition, the more destructive those punches are).
Still, it’s good to keep in mind that Fury is not without talent and that there is some real ability there to work with. The man has true heart, for starters, as well as the ability to use his enormous size to his advantage. The fight with Cunningham also proved he can come back after being hurt. Oh yeah, the guy can hit, too. With some impressive showings against some quality heavyweights, he may actually end up being as good as his words.
As things stand now, though, David Haye may have done Tyson Fury a huge favor.