For the second time in a week David Haye has been beaten to the punch by Wladimir Klitschko. First in the ring and now on screen.
Big Wlad and even bigger brother Vitali will be in London tomorrow, not to gloat over last week's humiliation of Haye but to promote a new film in which both have starring roles. Klitschko is a movie about their lives and times which has received rave reviews in the United States.
"Nothing short of fantastic," says one critic of the docu-drama which shows a very human side of the only brothers to hold world titles simultaneously and who are erroneously perceived as unemotional robots.
So how galling is it for Haye, who had been taking acting lessons with the intention of launching his own celluloid career on the back of an anticipated conquest of Wladimir? For him, Hollywood is now on toe-hold, so to speak. At the moment he would be lucky to get a limp-on part.
The classy Ukrainians have chosen one of Britain's swishest watering holes, the Syon Park Hotel near Kew Gardens, to entertain the media. Of course, they can afford it as they have amassed close on £100m between them.
Wladimir will tomorrow formally quash any notion that he will give Haye a return. There is no public appetite for a repeat and UK paymasters Sky certainly would not bankroll another £1m production which included a team of 120 in Hamburg and a chartered aircraft to fly them home.
Haye's best hope, should he fight on, is that Vitali, who defends his WBC belt against Poland's Tomasz Adamek on 10 September, will offer him a consolation shot. But Haye might fancy the match even less than the short end of the purse.
While the fight would not sell here – not least after Sky's Box Office booking cock-up – it would in Germany, where the home crowd pack arenas simply to enjoy watching their adopted ring idols slowly beating up opponents.
Beyond his Ken
Until now the former London mayor Ken Livingstone hasn't had a bad word to say about the 2012 Olympics. Why should he, as one of the founding fathers, knowing they would underwrite his promised regeneration of east London. But our Ken is not a happy bunny at the moment.
What is getting up his nose is the 56 miles of roadway that will be exclusively for the use of the "Olympic family". Venture into these lanes if you dare and you'll instantly be £200 poorer.
Something similar happens in all Olympic cities, but London seems to have decided on a more aggressive approach which will make parts of the city a no-go area, and require costly reconstruction, with the removal of pedestrian crossings, installation of special traffic lights and halting daytime deliveries to shops. Livingstone argues it might even endanger lives.
Most competitors will be housed in the Games village within the Olympic Park, so who will use these lanes? Mainly IOC bigwigs, transported to Stratford in their chauffeured limos from five-star hostelries in and around Park Lane.
So why are they ensconced in the West End, not the East End? There are decent hotels in Docklands, where jolly Jacques and slippery Sepp could bed down for the night. But they aren't the Dorchester, Savoy, Hilton or Lanesborough, and for so many sybaritic IOC members they are rather a long way from Annabel's, the Ivy and the pole-dancing cuties at Spearmint Rhino.
Not to simple, Simon
The sight of News International's charmless spokesman Simon Greenberg squirming in front of the cameras all week will have evoked little sympathy from his erstwhile colleagues in sports journalism.
Especially those who recall Murdoch's apologist as a supercilious, rather obstructive communications chief at Chelsea before he helped mastermind England's failed 2018 World Cup bid. He's found a different ball game now.
His discomfiture in trying to defend the phone-hacking was described by one Tweeter as "Being roasted over a slow fire until he was pink".Reuse content