Boxing: Klitschko hitch for Hide
Sunday 27 June 1999
Hide hung himself with his own words. Earlier in the week, the Norfolk- based champion had declared: "If I'm stupid enough to stand in front of a man that big and let him hit me, I deserve to lose". He did and he did - quickly. He was dropped twice by right hands in the second round and the fight was waved off after 1min 14sec of the round.
Timing has never been Hide's strong point and a terrific opportunity has ended disastrously. Indeed, it is hard to imagine he has any future left in the sport following this defeat, for which he only has himself to blame.
The distraught 27-year old left the Arena without attending the post- fight press conference but his bitterly disappointed promoter Frank Warren, said: "That was not the way to fight someone of Klitschko's size. Herbie just stood in front of him with his head held up. He was asking for it and he got it."
If ever there was an apt moment for a heavyweight to state his case, this was it. The March unification fight between Lennox Lewis and Evander Holyfield achieved nothing, and last weekend in New York, the much touted contender Michael Grant, with a shot at Lewis's World Boxing Council title promised to him, allowed the veteran Lou Savarece to last the full 10 rounds. Like the recently retired Joe Bugner, Grant has the firepower but appears to lack to fire that makes great fighters.
Hide has always appeared a man who was born to fight and relishes each opportunity to do so. He had knocked out a string of sparring partners, some might say unprofessionally, in preparation for this fight. And the ugly incidents at two press conferences in the week, with Hide needing to be restrained from attacking Klitschko and a former sparring partner, Danny Williams, most definitely were not hype.
Klitschko's record, now 25-0, all by KO, might have suggested he has a similarly fiery nature. And at 6ft 8in and 18st he is a sight to behold. But any comparisons between the Kiev native's chiselled physique and those of the statutes of ancient Greece must hint at a lack of mobility. Luckily for him, Hide played straight into his hands.
This was Hide's third defence of the title he regained two years ago. An earlier, one-year reign came to an end in March, 1995, when he was battered into submission by Riddick Bowe in Las Vegas. There were excuses then. Bowe was regarded as the world's best heavyweight at the time and Hide had at least shown willing, clambering to his feet several times after being knocked down before finally accepting defeat amidst a flood of tears. Now he will have to embrace the concept that his career at this level is all but over.
Latest in Sport
Andy Murray tells how coach Amélie Mauresmo revealed her pregnancy
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao: The biggest fight of all time, or maybe just the most lucrative?
What time does Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao start?
Everton 3 Manchester United 0 player ratings: Who scored lower - Marouane Fellaini or Radamel Falcao?
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao: What time does it start and where can I watch it?
- 1 Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
- 2 Sofyen Belamouadden murder: The inside story of a crime that horrified Britain
- 3 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 5 UK weather: Britain braced for snow as arctic air mass moves in
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove
£16 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity for someone ...
£18000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This successful, family owned m...
£20000 - £25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Account Payable Assistant - SW Londo...
£14560 - £17680 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Even though their premises have...