David Haye vs Tyson Fury? Why It's Great for Boxing
Because no one wants to risk a shot at the title-holder and a career setback by losing to an obscure contender.
How many times in boxing is a non-title fight (in any division) worthy of legitimate superbout status and draws widespread mainstream attention?
And sure, heavyweight contenders Chris Arreola and Bermane Stiverne recently fought but the former's popularity has nose-dived since 2009 and no one aside from hardcore fans knows who Stiverne is.
But Haye vs Fury, like Haye vs Chisora a year ago, has enough momentum to be a superfight of sorts in its own right because:
1. They are Britain's best heavyweights so there's a strong rivalry factor
2. Both men are extremely popular - or infamous - depending on who is accessing them
3. Controversy intrigues and both men exude controversy and talk a lot of smack
4. The bout, from a stylistic perspective, is interesting and...
5. They are both legitimate, top flight heavyweights
Superstar vs Superstar for All the Marbles
David Haye is already a burgeoning superstar and, like him or not, Fury's stock is rising quickly.
Moreover, Haye vs Fury would produce that proven, bonifield superstar to challenge a Klitschko in a true heavyweight championship superfight.
Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier were heavyweight superstars who fought each other three times. Will the winner of Haye vs Fury produce a legitimate superstar to challenge one of the superstar Klitschkos?
Muhammad Ali had Joe Frazier, Sonny Liston, George Foreman and Ken Norton... Mike Tyson had Michael Spinks... Joe Louis had Max Schmeling and Lennox Lewis had Evander Holyfield and Mike Tyson. Even Larry Holmes had Gerry Cooney.
But the Klitschkos, as champions, have yet to face a legitimate superstar. Manuel Charr, John Marc Mormeck and Francesco Pianeta just don't cut it. Wins against those opponents, no matter how impressive, wont enhance their credibility nor interest in heavyweight boxing among the masses.
The Ukrainian brothers, since they won't fight one another for obvious reasons, need to fight other stars on the big stage to enhance their credibity today and legacies tomorrow - And the heavyweight division needs superstar vs superstar because all fans have been witnessing for the better part of the last 10 years is superstar vs who?
And sure, Haye lost to Wladimir Klitschko in 2011 but the former insists he was hampered by a broken toe. Regardless of the toe, his knockout win of Dereck Chisora last year was far more decisive than Vitali's unanimous decision win over the Brit several months prior.
David Haye punishes Dereck Chisora in 2012
If Haye can dominate a giant in the 6'9" Tyson Fury as he did Chisora, his in-ring performances would back-up any claims that he's better and healthier than was the case in 2011 when he embarrassed himself - and the sport - against Wladimir Klitschko.
Other Top Contenders Lack Starpower
A strong win over Fury would undoubtedly position him for a superfight against one of the Klitschko brothers which would garner international mainstream attention and, hopefully, put heavyweight boxing back on proverbial sports map again.
Alexander Povetkin, Kubrat Pulev, Deontay Wilder and Bermane Stiverne may be as good or better than Haye and Fury.
But one thing is for certain... They don't, at least at this point in their careers, have the starpower Haye and Fury enjoy. In the end, its all about starpower and those fighters don't garner the mainstream interest or international buzz on levels anywhere near Haye and Fury.
Would you be reading this article if it was entitled Pulev vs Wilder? Some of you would, but most probably wouldn't.
You may not like Haye and/or Fury but you're interested in their bouts. Aside from the Klitschkos and perhaps Evander Holyfield, no other heavyweight generates anywhere near the buzz as Haye and Fury.
Haye vs Fury, if it happens, would be a mainstream, crowd-pleasing "heavyweight event" that would generate a lot of money and elevate the winner to near superstar status. It would be a win for the fans and the fighters.
This fight is great for boxing.