Boxing: Hide's quick step closer to Lewis

HERBIE HIDE has no doubts about his standing among the world's heavyweights. "I believe they're all running from me - I'm too quick, they're scared of me," said Hide. "I'm so fast, so powerful and so sharp - I believe I'm the man out there." And he will continue to believe so if he is able to dominate opponents as easily as he did Willi Fischer, a 26-year-old from Frankfurt who challenged Hide for the World Boxing Organisation championship in Norwich last night.

Hide hardly needed to go into second gear in order to destroy his mandatory contender in round two. And now, says Frank Warren, the champion is ready to take on far stiffer opposition in the form of Lennox Lewis, the World Boxing Council champion.

"Lennox has got a belt, Herbie's got a belt, why can't we get the fight on?" said Warren. "Forget about the world, let's see who the best heavyweight in Britain is."

Certainly, the 27-year-old "Dancing Destroyer" from Norwich is building impressive credentials. Hide's 52-second blast-out of the undeserving American, Damon Reed, earlier this year, was the fastest-ever win in a heavyweight title fight; and the victory over Fischer was Hide's 30th by stoppage in a record of 31-1, his only loss coming three years ago against the far bigger, much more experienced Riddick Bowe.

But Hide, despite his championship, is regarded as a second-tier heavyweight. Considerable work needs to be done before a match with Lewis would be worthwhile for the WBC champion.

Once again, the 5,000-seat Norwich Sports Village was less than packed, and that the venue was as full as it was can be attributed largely to the ticket-selling efforts of Marion Thaxton, the mother of local light- welterweight hero Jon Thaxton, who featured in the chief supporting bout. A surprise boost to the live gate came from a couple of hundred German fans who made the trip to Norfolk - presently, Hide can only dream of such support.

Against Fischer, Hide used the opening round for a little scouting, sizing up the second challenger of his second reign as WBO champion. But Fischer's defence was noticeably less leaky than the roof of this leisure centre venue, which let in water throughout the main event, and it seemed as though the challenger might be fundamentally sound enough to survive a few rounds.

But when Hide decided to go to work early in the second, the fight was as good as over. A straight right-left hook combination dropped the German, who was up quickly, seemingly more surprised than hurt. Fischer bundled Hide to the canvas in an attempt to buy himself the few extra seconds that might have allowed his head to clear, only to be floored almost instantly by another left hook. The German made it to his feet again, but, moments later, another hook smashed off the challenger's head, flooring Fischer again, and forcing referee Joe Cortez, of Las Vegas, to call a halt after one minute, four seconds of the round - the three-knockdown (in one round) rule being applicable in all WBO championship fights.

"One thing's for sure, nobody finishes a man better than Herbie - he's a natural destroyer," said Frank Warren, who celebrated promoting his 100th world title fight. But Warren knows he will have his work cut out in order to take Hide's career on to the next level.

An even bigger challenge for the London-based promoter will be rebuilding the career of Thaxton, who lost his WBO and IBF Intercontinental Light Welterweight titles by seventh round stoppage to unknown American Emmanuel Burton. Thaxton was the mandatory contender for the "full" WBO championship, but he paid the price for a 10-month absence due to injury. Burton, by comparison, had fought three times this month and was simply too sharp for the popular local, who was rescued from further punishment by referee Dave Parris.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - OTE £30,000+

£16000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are looking for individual...

Recruitment Genius: IT Project Coordinator / Manager

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Project Coordinator is requir...

Recruitment Genius: Mortgage Advisor - OTE £95,000

£40000 - £95000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Vehicle Inspectors / Purchasers

£20000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Trainee Vehicle Inspectors / Pu...

Day In a Page

Greece debt crisis: EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

An outbreak of malaria in Greece four years ago helps us understand the crisis, says Robert Fisk
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas
How to survive electrical storms: What are the chances of being hit by lightning?

Heavy weather

What are the chances of being hit by lightning?
World Bodypainting Festival 2015: Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'

World Bodypainting Festival 2015

Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'
alt-j: A private jet, a Mercury Prize and Latitude headliners

Don't call us nerds

Craig Mclean meets alt-j - the math-folk act who are flying high
How to find gold: The Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge

How to find gold

Steve Boggan finds himself in the Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge
Singing accents: From Herman's Hermits and David Bowie to Alesha Dixon

Not born in the USA

Lay off Alesha Dixon: songs sound better in US accents, even our national anthem
10 best balsamic vinegars

10 best balsamic vinegars

Drizzle it over salad, enjoy it with ciabatta, marinate vegetables, or use it to add depth to a sauce - this versatile staple is a cook's best friend
Wimbledon 2015: Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

Serena dispatched her elder sister 6-4, 6-3 in eight minutes more than an hour
Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

No hope and no jobs in Gaza

So the young risk their lives and run for it
Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

Fashion apps

Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy