This is a chronicle of a fight foretold, a fight made at a time when nobody wants to freely admit too much about the David Haye and Tyson Fury showdown.
There was a time before multiple championship belts, before the proliferation of television companies when the Lonsdale belt was the most sought-after trophy in British boxing.
That time has gone and during the last 25 years fantastic British fights fail to take place on a monthly basis, which is why the bold, secret and whispered talk of Haye against Fury is such good news.
Haye has been picking and choosing his opponents, his television company, his retirement date and just about every aspect of his boxing career for a long time. It has worked for him, he has amassed a fortune, been in fun fights and has a high profile; he is the best known British boxer since Ricky Hatton's first retirement. He has the touch, people like him and he even wriggled free from ridicule when he presented his damaged toe as an excuse for defeat against Wladimir Klitschko in 2011.
Fury relinquished his British heavyweight title because a mandated fight with David Price was simply not going to make him enough money, which is the only reason fights fail to take place. Fury concentrated on getting a world title fight and is now one fight away from becoming the mandatory challenger for Klitschko's IBF belt. However, that "one fight" was meant to be against a sullen, dangerous and unbeaten Bulgarian called Kubrat Pulev; that fight is not going to happen and Fury now looks likely to sign for the far more lucrative meeting with Haye. It's a simple business the boxing business.
The reality is that a fight between Fury and Haye will do sensational business and the winner will inevitably get a world title fight against one of the two Klitschko brothers, who between them hold all four of the recognised and respected heavyweight belts. The brothers, who are now entering their second decade of dominance, have fights planned and nearly made, which means that Haye/Fury will not get their chance until May next year. It would possibly have been earlier for Fury had he met and beat Pulev instead of taking the money for a showdown with Haye. The Pulev fight was hard, it would have ended up in Berlin and Fury could have lost.
The Haye fight is hard, it will be in Britain and Fury will make more money. However, there could still be a problem with rival television companies making excessive and expected demands; Fury has been starring on Channel Five's irregular coverage and Haye is now back at Sky, where pay-per-view was once again introduced for the Carl Froch fight. The fight only happens if Sky agrees pay-per-view terms with both boxers. Fury had offers, both on and under the table, in excess of £500,000 for fights before shifting his attention to Haye.
Meanwhile, Haye, will be counting his blessings that he injured his hand a few weeks ago in training and had to withdraw from a fight in Manchester at the end of this month against Lebanon's Manny Charr. There is nothing like a bit of summer pantomime. It seems fortuitous that the interim recovery period suited the intentions of Fury and that is why the fight is close to being made. Haye and Charr was not a pay-per-view and was slow to ignite. It is not the first lucky injury in boxing.
There will not be a Lonsdale belt on offer when the pair fight but there will be a lot of pride, a lot of money and a lot of interest. Last summer Haye beat Dereck Chisora in a slugfest at Upton Park in a fight drenched in publicity and notoriety. Haye against Fury could do even better business and it is just a relief that it is happening and not vanishing like so many great British fights have in recent years.Reuse content