Monday, 9 November 2009

Sky is the limit for David Haye

Hull city win, my own football team finish top of the table, Man Utd lose, Andy Murray won in Valencia, and then just when I thought this weekend couldn't get any better, David Haye somehow beat the 7'2 tall 23 stone heavy Nikolai Valuev to become Britain's first Heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis.

Living in Vienna I watched the fight on terrestrial TV in a Pub. Therefore the commentary was inaudible. However when the referee stepped between the hairy Goliath and the flashy David it seemed to be clear as day who had won the fight. I counted on one hand the number of times Haye was hit, in contrast to the larger amounts of accurate shots that Valuev had to take. Any doubts were then totally put to rest when Valuev did his leaning 'Tower of Pisa' impression in the last round after Haye connected with a so called 'Hayemaker'.

I had actually thought along with other sports pundits that Haye would come up short against Valuev, and that his brittle chin would be his downfall. Haye wonderfully surprised me and I partied hard, safe in the knowledge that I would be reading glowing headlines the next day praising Haye's display. How disappointed I was then to go online the next day and listen to what British fans had had to listen to on Sky Box Office. All the commentators had Haye losing the fight on their scorecards and had been berating the champion for not being more aggressive throughout the fight.

Nicky Piper, Glenn McCrory, Johnny Nelson, and Jim Watt should hang their heads. They had all fallen for Hayes pre fight hype. Haye had said he was going to knock Valuev out in spectacular style, but this was all just fight selling talk. Every other boxing observer outside the Sky studios believed Haye would adopt a hit and run tactic and that he would try to out point the Giant Valuev, and out point him he did. How they all came to the conclusion that Haye was behind is beyond me.

Sky Sports coverage of boxing is usually very tinted. Fighters who are screened on Sky are often over hyped by pundits (such as the ones mentioned) almost to the point where you could be forgiven for thinking that they had been given lines to read by their producers. Haye was universally slated by Sky pundits before the Maccarinelli fight (Maccarinelli had been a Sky sports regular and Haye hadn't) then he signs a deal to fight Valuev on Sky and all of a sudden those same Pundits are waxing lyrical about him. It gets worse as well. Frank Warren (Boxing Promoter) has a deal with Sky whereby they exclusively show all his fight shows. I don't think I have heard a truly negative comment about one of his fighters from the Sky pundit panel. Amir Khan is the biggest joke of all. He is a world champion on the back of Sky's backing but were he to be put in the ring with any of the best men in his weight division he would be knocked out cold. Yet still the Sky panel insist that he is best thing since sliced bread. I wonder how fast their views would change were Khan to switch promoters and television networks.

My advise to those people that are new to watching boxing is not to listen too much to pundits and so called boxing experts as they usually all have an ulterior motive. Frank Warren for example has already come out and said that Valuev was one of the worst Heavyweights in history. However he failed to mention that 'Hayemaker Promotions' (owned by David Haye) is one of Warrens main promotional competitors.

What boxing fans should do if they want to hear impartial content is to find a web site or paper that holds little or no connection to the sport. The BBC (where boxers are more likely to be seen flitting around a dance floor than a ring) is usually a good place to start. Failing this there is always the ultimate source of impartial and entertaining sports opinion here at Nickssportrant.

You can take it from me 1. David Haye won his fight fair and square 2. He is the most exciting boxer in the Heavyweight division 3. You shouldn't listen to Sky Sports Boxing Pundits as had they been judging the fight the WBA heavyweight champion would still eat half a deer for breakfast, scare children, and need an industrial sized full body wax!

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