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24th May 2016 - David Haye's Comeback

David Haye has been coming in for quite a lot of stick recently over his comeback fights against De Mori and Gjergiaj. Comparisms have been made with Ali’s comeback by some, who point out what Ali did after being out of the ring for about the same time as was Haye.

Ali returned against the formidable Jerry Quarry (37-4-4 at the time) in October 1970, and stopped him in three rounds. Two months later, he came from behind to stop Oscar Bonavena (46-6-1) in the 15th and last round at Madison Square Garden in one of the toughest fights of his career.

Three months later, he returned to Madison Square Garden, to lose a memorable points decision over 15 rounds against Joe Frazier in what was billed at the time as The Fight Of The Century.

But Haye’s comeback cannot be compared to Mohammed Ali’s comeback. David will be the first person to admit that he is not Mohammed Ali.  Like Ali, Haye had been out of the ring for 3 and a half years . But unlike Ali, Haye had serious injury problems while he was out of the ring.

It would be unreasonable to expect Haye to come back against dangerous opponents in these circumstances. The opponents he has had on his comeback  been probably pitched about right, and the fights have been on free TV. The next fight with Briggs should be interesting, and it’s a fight that Haye should win.

That should set him up for 2017, when he should be in competitive matches, that will show us how much of the old David Haye really remains. If he keeps having easy matches in 2017, then the detractors will have a point....

 

22nd May 2016 - The current Heavyweight Division Scene

It is hard to remember  a time when the heavyweight scene was as vibrant as it is now. Tyson Fury recently dethroned one of the longest reigning heavyweight champions of all time.  Deontay Wider has one of the best  KO records for a heavyweight champion of all time. Wladimir Kiltschko is trying to get his title back, in a rematch with Tyson Fury in July. David Haye is back on the scene with 2 knockout wins, and with a stated ambition of wining another world heavyweight title.

But who, of all these, will emerge as the top heavyweight of his era? It’s worth looking at what the current heavyweight champions were doing at the same stage of their careers.

Anthony Joshua won the IBF world heavyweight title last month in his 16th  fight. In his 16th fight, Tyson Fury fought Nicolai Firtha, a journeyman who has 11 losses in 34 fights, has been knocked out 5 times, and out of his 21 wins has only has 8 ko's, i.e. a ko record of about 24% from his fights. (This was the same guy that Deontay Wider fought in his 30th fight)

In his 16th fight, Deontay Wilder fought a guy with 6 wins, 6 losses, (4 by knockout) and 1 draw, who had only 1 KO win himself, i.e. a knockout ratio of less that 8%.

As such, the people Joshua has faced so far, are far superior to Fury's and Wilder’s opponents at a similar stage in his career. Having said that, most of the great fighters were fighting journeymen in their 16th fight, fighters like George Foreman, Mike Tyson etc.

Joshua's last 3 fights have been against undefeated fighters with big knock out records. He won the world title in his last fight, his 16th fight. His next fight is against another unbeaten fighter with a big knockout record, who stands 6 foot 7 and is even bigger than Joshua.

Time will tell, but Anthony Joshua seems on course to become an all time great , and could well emerge top of the pile of the current heavyweights. Apart from Anthony Joshua, only Joe Frazier has held the World Professional and  Olympic Heavyweight titles at the same time.

Dominic Breazeale, Joshua’s  next opponent in defence of his IBF title has been criticized by some,  but , Joshua can only fight boxers ranked in the top 15 of the IBF. If he wants to fight Stiverne, Jennings, or Malik Scott, he would have to give up his belt because none of them are ranked in the IBF top 15. He has to choose from the only boxers available for him to fight in the IBF top 15.

One thing is for sure though. Boxing is the winner, from all that is currently happening on the heavyweight scene…


8th May 2016 - The Fight in which everyone was right

Amir Khan vs  Canelo Alvarez was a unique fight, a fight in which everyone was right.

Khan was right to think that he could outbox and outspeed Canelo. Canelo was right to think that he had sufficient power to do the job, and when he caught Khan cleanly, the fight would be over.

Both guys deserve praise. Khan for showing the heart to take the fight, and for showing great boxing ability and speed. But timing beats speed, and Canelo showed great timing to deliver the single right hand that knocked Khan out cold....

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