David Haye has spoken out on the current state of boxing’s heavyweight division, voicing his frustration at the lack of top-level fights being made between the sports biggest names.
Despite many fans and pundits viewing the current crop of fighters in boxing’s premier division as somewhat of a golden generation, frustration and anger amongst punters has reached near boiling point in recent weeks, after all three announced disappointing up-coming opponents.
The WBO, IBF, and IBO world champion Anthony Joshua is set to face off against America’s Jarrell ‘Big Baby’ Miller, after having previously been linked with a historical unification bout against the WBC’s champion, Deontay Wilder.
Wilder himself, after his stunning December showdown against Joshua’s domestic rival – and one of the sport’s most controversial and divisive figures – Tyson Fury, has opted to face off against one of Joshua’s former opponents in Dominic Breazeale.
This decision has appeared to come in clear defiance of an order from the WBC to rematch Fury – and infuriated many fans around the globe – although the former IBF, WBO and IBO world champion has drawn criticism of his own after also announcing his next opponent, little-known German fighter Tom Schwarz.
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In the midst of this three-way battle between the sport’s current three true heavyweight names, however, also lies Dillian Whyte, another former opponent of Joshua’s, and a man who looked set to face off against both Wilder and Fury, before seemingly being ducked in favour of a lesser opponent.
Now, in an interview with talkSPORT’s Jim White, former world champion David Haye has spoken out on the state of his former division, and the fighters’ decisions to opt for international reputation-boosting bouts.
“[On Joshua’s decision to face Miller] It will be good to get a big showdown with some of these big names in America, and really start generating the money Stateside.
“Then, hopefully there’s enough money in the pot to start fighting each other, because it’s very frustrating as a boxing fan not to get the best fighting the best. Very frustrating.”
Despite the lure of pastures new, and potential increased international revenues from fighting in America, all three fighter’s have opted to join rival US broadcasters – a point which has led to credible fears amongst fans that the three may never face off, with the situation as it is at present.
When quizzed on who he would most like to see face-off out of the three, however, Haye opted for the fight which would almost certainly prove the biggest, whilst also proposing an interesting new solution for how the division could evolve heading forwards.
“[On Joshua vs Wilder] If that fight got made, I’d be very, very happy. But whoever did win that fight, you would then say ‘well, you’ve got to fight fury now’.
“I don’t mind, I’d like these guys to do a round-robin. Say Fury had got that decision [against Wilder], does that make Wilder any worse?”
“The fight was still a close fight, just because the judges said it was a draw, or said it was one way or the other, that doesn’t mean the person who loses, his career is over.
“I think boxing has a real issue with losses. I lost my eleventh fight, but two years later I was number one in the world. In no other sport are the ramification for one loss so great as in boxing”.
Whilst many are sure to agree with Haye’s views on the obsession with losses, the prospect of three undefeated world champions – former in Fury’s case – going toe-to-toe in a winner takes all series, is certainly one that will have boxing fans all over the world drooling in excitement.
All that remains to be seen however is whether the trio will ever be able to persuade their teams, promoters and broadcasters to see eye-to-eye over such a stunning potential event. But how hard could that be?