By Jackie Kallen
Wow. What a disappointment the heavyweight title fight was. I am still reeling at how boring, flat and uninteresting this match-up turned out to be. The lead-up was far more exciting than the actual fight. David Haye turned out to be a big mouth who wrote a check he couldn’t cash.
I am angry that a wasted a beautiful Saturday afternoon here in LA to sit in front of a TV set at 1:45. I should have known better.
It started off with Haye stalling his ring entrance. I guess he thought it would psyche Klitschko out and mess with his head. After what seemed like forever, he came out with a huge entourage to “Ain’t No Stopping us Now.” He looked serious and focused, as if he was about to hand out a beating.
Klitschko came out to the Red Hot Chili Peppers and looked like he was on his way to a day at the office. I actually felt a little tingle at the thought that this might actually be a FIGHT. It’s been a long time since I saw a heavyweight fight that was even remotely compelling. No Thrillas in Manilla in recent years.
Haye made a show of waiting for Klitschko. He paced the ring, wrapped up in shiny plastic to keep the heat in. His tight braids and facial hair gave him a menacing look. But that turned out to be just aesthetics. He had nothing to back it up.
Klitschko took the lead early and the writing was on the wall. Haye was a zero from the start. He had absolutely nothing to bring to the party. No body shots, not enough jabs, not enough ANYTHING. He should be ashamed of himself. He could not have robbed the fans worse if he held a gun to our heads.
It might not have seemed as bad if he was a humble guy who simply tried to score a big win. But Haye is a loud mouth, smack-talking bully who got his butt kicked.
The really sad part is that Klitschko did not set the world on fire, either. Any decent heavyweight from the past 50 years could have beaten him. That’s the state of the heavyweight division today. More than half of the Top Ten Heavyweights are European. The four from the US have seven losses between them.
Where are the future stars? Evidently they are not here. I miss the days when a young American athlete dreamed of becoming Muhammad Ali. Now he dreams of becoming Michael Jordan. Boxing is in trouble.
Jackie Kallen is a boxing manager who has been in the business for over three decades. Her life inspired the Meg Ryan film “Against the Ropes” and she was a part of the NBC series “The Contender.” www.JackieKallen.com, www.facebook.com/JackieKallen