Haye vs Fury: Heavy Weight Circus

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Tyson Fury is the poor man's Chael Sonnen, retailing fantastic tales about his own fistic prowess and the relative weakness of every other heavyweight champion in history. His self-regard, fueled by apparent delusion, is virtually unparalleled in a sport known for ego.

In the lead-up to his 2012 contest with Martin Rogan (then 14-2, 7 KO) for the vacant Irish heavyweight title, Fury made the unsupportable claim that victory would be the equivalent of winning Olympic gold.

And in the lead-up to his most important fight to date, a heavyweight clash with David Haye, Fury announced that he feels he could beat any boxing champion in history. This, despite being knocked down in his last bout by Steven Cunningham, an American cruiserweight who had lost three of his previous four fights.

Perhaps he is the greatest of all-time when it comes to talking up a fight? In an age of heavyweight mediocrity, Fury is an exemplar of his era, yet he has been able to generate tremendous interest among fight fans despite near universal derision for his quality as a fighter.

A ten million pound purse on a PPV broadcast seems far out of proportion to Fury's accomplishments, but he's managed to convince both David Haye and British fans that he deserves the shot.

Of course, Haye is motivated by his sense that Tyson is the easiest, largest payday a professional heavyweight could dream of. Haye's reputation has slipped recently, however, and this fight might pay off in terms of public perception as much as it pays in pounds sterling.

David Haye was once the cruiserweight king and his foray into the heavyweight division was coming along nicely until Haye embarrassed himself and his British fans with a non-performance against Wladimir Klitschko. Now Haye finds himself pitted against a more hated fighter than himself; shutting up an upstart Gypsy with a mouth bigger than Haye's own could go a long way to rehabilitating Haye's reputation before he retires.

In the case of Haye vs. Fury, it is the backstory that appeals more than the contest itself. Should Fury win, his attitude of grandiose self-regard will only continue to sell tickets. Having shocked the world will not hurt his cause. Should Haye win, boxing justice will have been served and Haye can begin to put some distance between himself and the memories of his humiliating performance against Klitschko.

David Haye and Tyson Fury will meet September 28th in Manchester Arena, Manchester, Lancashire, UK. The bout will air on HBO in the USA and Sky Sports Box Office in Britain.


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