Leading article: Little and large

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The Independent Online

There is something that intrigues us about a mismatch. The imagery of the little guy vs the big guy appeals to our imaginations. You see it recurring time and again in history and legend: David and Goliath, George and the Dragon, Tom and Jerry.

And tonight we have David Haye and Nikolay Valuev in the Nuremberg Arena, contesting the WBA heavyweight boxing title. Valuev is a foot taller and seven stone heavier than his British opponent. It seems unlikely to be a classic, but many will tune in simply for the spectacle.

Who will win? The smaller fellow always prevails in art. But life is different. Haye argues that he wants it more, saying the hulking Russian isn't a natural, whereas boxing is "something I've wanted to do since I was three and used to punch my father's friends' knees as a party trick".

He'll have to aim considerably higher if he wants to prevail tonight. But then, for the little guy, wasn't it ever thus?