‘Boxer makes comeback!’…
Hardly a revelation in the world of boxing is it? Countless boxers have done it; some with blistering success, but many with blistering failure. Good boxers, good athletes, genuine legends in their field have returned to the ring only to be ridiculed, worst still, pitied. Seeing the reputation they fought so hard to build be knocked to the canvas by a young hungry fighter just beginning to write their own story.
Fighters come back for many reasons, money, pride, to settle an old score, because they simply don’t know anything else. We have heard it all; many times over.
David Haye is no different in this regard, coming back to finish a job he started in becoming world champion but faltered when the might of Klitschko proved to much, he still believes he has what it takes to become unified heavyweight world champion. His comeback is not for money, or pride, Haye tells us this is a return to dominate the sport he loves, he still has what it takes, just like all the others did.
But if we look a little closer at this comeback, and put it into the context of a Heavyweight division that is now starting to bubble after years of being stagnant it becomes more exciting than the average comeback.
There is a legitimate spot for the huge personality of Haye in the heavyweight division. He is undeniably box office, although his comeback will be shown on Dave of all channels. If the comeback goes wrong the Comedy channel puns will be rolling fast. It would be a tragedy in reality were Haye to lose this one. But if Haye comes through this one make no mistake he will be back on the giants, pay per view and with opponents to match his profile.
It’s here that things get interesting, make no mistake. A heavyweight division with Fury, Wilder, Joshua, Klitschko (possibly), and Haye all fighting for world titles, US/UK mega fights, Battle of Britain showdowns, big characters, huge grudges, this is a heavyweight division that people will be able to get excited about once again.
The Rebrand would be complete if Haye can step up. He fits the bill perfectly, brash, good looking, big puncher, a quick mouth (who will ever forget those t-shirts!). The thought of Him and Fury re-igniting the old fire is mouthwatering, if Haye wins in style on Saturday he will start stoking that fire within minutes of climbing out of the ropes.
In one sense there is a lot for Haye to do yet to truly be back at the top table with the current crop of talent. If he were to put on a real show on Saturday night it would be a big step towards joining them again. If he were to join them and become another genuine heavyweight world championship contender then the heavyweight division re-brand could be complete. We would be moving into a potentially explosive decade in the division and suddenly those heads that were turned by the increasingly popular UFC, or just turned off by the boring Heavyweight encounters of recent times could quickly be returning to the sport.