by Charles Jay
I’m sure there is some kind of additional hidden agenda on their part, but I am glad that the World Boxing Council (WBC) is going to refuse to sanction any fight that involves David Haye.
In particular, we are talking about the proposed fight with Vitali Klitschko, who is recognized by the WBC as heavyweight champion of the whole wide world.
Klitschko is desirous of such a fight, I am sure, because he sees that Haye offers an opportunity for a payday, and on a personal level, he was certainly not pleased with the way Haye conducted himself leading up to his unsuccessful and uncompetitive bid for Wladimir’s multiple belts.
Oh, and there’s another reason – Haye doesn’t figure to do much better here either.
Jose Sulaiman, speaking for his organization, said that not only is Haye not rated by the WBC, but “It would be setting a bad example for boxing if we accepted him. Haye is not a good example for boxing.”
Since Haye has only been out of the ring for eight months, there is really no qualitative reason he should be positioned outside of the Top 30 in the world, regardless of how anyone feels about him personally. But if this is a stand on principle, so be it.
Yes, Haye is a terrible example for boxing, as is the guy he engaged in that silly brawl with, Dereck Chisora, after Chisora’s recent loss to Vitali. Chisora has also been kept out of the WBC ratings.
The problem with these guys is that they think that forcing something with shock value is going to make up for other things. Sadly, in a sense they’re right, because after their tomfoolery there was talk that a Haye-Chisora would make a lot of money. And hey, maybe that fight will still take place somewhere, even if it’s not in the UK, where Chisora’s license has already been taken and the formerly “retired” Haye would almost surely be turned down if he applied.
Neither of these guys are the first to engage in brawling outside the ring, in an “official” function. It’s the continuation of a disturbing trend where he are almost surprised if we don’t see pushing, shoving or fists thrown at a press conference or weigh-in. I’m exaggerating, but only a little bit. These are events that are directly connected to sanctioned boxing events, and in the case of weigh-ins, they are exercises that are officially overseen by boxing commissions, but the commissions here in the United States don’t seem to have the balls to impose major penalties on fighters when they pull that kind of nonsense. And of course, the people putting the fights on, more often than not, think that is “great promotion.”
Of course, if they knew how to promote they wouldn’t need “great promotion” of this nature. The proposition that this is what is needed to “sell” a fight, it represents a very bad sign for the sport.
What’s even worse is that when you see guys like Chisora and Haye going at it, you realize that they probably put more effort into that then they did in the fights themselves. I mean, if you really want to get depressed, think about the fact that as professional fighters, they must have dreamed from the beginning for a shot at the world title. So in the biggest opportunity of their lives, they didn’t have the intestinal fortitude to lay it all out on the line, yet they chose to be overly combative in pre-fight and/or post-fight fiascos that weren’t going to gain them anything.
I blame Haye a little more for this, because he is, by all accounts, the more talented fighter, and thus has less of an excuse for coming up empty. And while we’re at it, what has he done – qualitatively speaking – after a non-performance like he put forth, to earn yet another shot at a heavyweight title without doing anything since?
“Nothing” is the answer, and I hope that was part of the WBC’s thinking. I would also like to think that if the WBC didn’t trash this proposed fight, the boxing public would have sent a message and rejected it.
Then again, maybe not. Perhaps I’m not in touch with what boxing needs to “sell itself” these days.