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David Haye – Audley Harrison: How a bout between the ‘Best of Enemies’ has actually exposed the worst of the sport

It’s been billed as another battle of Britain, but the reality is somewhat different. David Haye’s fight with Audley Harrison isn’t a high quality bout worthy of comparison with the greats of history: it’s a soap era that exposes the demise of a once great sport under the particular influences of the modern media:


Has the age of genuine boxing stars died under the spotlight of modern sports media, or has modern sports media effectively ended the age of, or need for, genuine boxing stars?

Either way, the relationship between the two has clearly had a negative impact on a sport that has great traditions and once boasted great sportsman. But Saturday’s bout between David Haye and Audley Harrison has already ably shown the depths to which pugalism has currently fallen., without so much as an eyebrow cut being cauterized after a particularly punishing round.

The simple fact is this: boxers in the modern age do not need to be great in order to become famous and, more significantly, rich.

The media can now do that for them.

Perhaps that’s inevitable, though, when the key moment in any fight’s success doesn’t even happen in the ring. It happens in the minutes and hours before, as the punters at home decide whether to click ‘yes’ when asked whether they want to pay £14.95 for the privilege of watching the scheduled 12 rounds of the evening’s main event.

That’s what the months of pre-bout hype is all about. That’s what the next morning’s anxious discussions — in both camps — will hinge on. If enough people pay to view, the bout will be viewed as a success, regardless of the quality of the contest.

In the end, the result will really only decide whether one or both camps will get to go through the whole tired charade again. Continue reading

November 12, 2010 Posted by | Comment, Sport | , , | 1 Comment