11 July 2013

September 28: David Haye vs. Tyson Fury

Haye vs. Fury (Getty Images)
by Billy Ferguson

Months of rumours and speculation were finally put to bed today as David Haye and Tyson Fury came face-to-face for the first time to announce their domestic heavyweight clash later this year.

On September 28, at the M.E.N Arena in Manchester, Tyson Fury will face the biggest challenge of his career when he meets the former unified cruiserweight champion and former heavyweight titlist. 

Tickets are already going fast, and it's likely that by the time the weekend rolls in there won't be a ticket left. That in itself is a mark of how much this fight has captured the imagination of the boxing public. 

Similar to when the Carl Froch vs. Mikkel Kessler rematch was announced, tickets sold out within 48 hours. Why? Because fans knew they were going to get a competitive and action packed fight.

The same applies to Haye vs. Fury. It may not be the most important fight out there - there isn't even a world title at stake - but it's a solid domestic clash between a proven fighter and a fighter aiming to prove himself and, moreover, back up a big mouth. 

In short, it's an intriguing fight. Can Fury, with his superior height and weight, avoid the "Hayemaker's"? For Fury has been dropped by lesser hitters than Haye. 

In essence, the above point is the key to determining the victor. If the answer no, then you know who wins. If the answer is yes, then the winner is not so clear-cut. 

But it's not quite as black-and-white as that. This is more than just a fight; it is also an event. Given that the verbal sparring at press conferences, conference calls and on Twitter is likely going to be filled with crude and cringe-worthy ramblings, some may be pushed to call it a side-show. 

Side-show, event or fight, it doesn't matter; people are interested and that's what matters. 

The fight will be broadcast on Sky Box Office and, as expected, rightly or wrongly, grumbles about forking out more money to see a fight have met that announcement. 

To be blunt, this fight is PPV worthy. 

You can argue that, in purely boxing terms, this fight does not merit being allocated a pay-per-view slot. And that is a valid point given that these two fighters are not even the top two fighters in the heavyweight division and, further, as aforementioned, there is no world title on the line. 

On the flip-side of the coin, though, both Haye and Fury are incredibly well known to sporadic followers of the sport. 

Tyson Fury, who has fought mostly on terrestrial TV (channel 5), has averaged 1.4 million viewers. In addition, the guy has the capacity to say things that can capture negative press around the country. 

Haye, meanwhile, is a known fighter on his achievements. And, like Fury, he can also talk. His stint on I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! will also have increased his "celebrity" status. 

It's not the most important fight out there, probably not even the best fight that can be made in boxing right now, but it's certainly one of the biggest. 

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