“The society which has abolished every kind of adventure makes its own abolition the only possible adventure.” Paris, May 1968

Friday, 12 November 2010

You never can tell with the heavyweights.

No division in boxing captures the imagination of the public like the heavyweights. Even people with little or no interest in the sport will be able to name at least one former heavyweight champion and Muhammad Ali was at one time probably the most famous man in the world. The irony is of course that the standard of boxing in the heavyweights is without doubt the lowest in any division and although every era throws up it's great heavyweights, the likes of Johnson, Dempsey, Louis, and Ali are very much the exception in what is, to be honest, a dearth of talent. The reason is not hard to find. How many guys big enough to compete at heavyweight do you know? With such a small pool to draw on it's not surprising that the standard is so much poorer than it is lower down the weight categories. Improvements in diet have resulted in far more big men walking the streets and you might imagine that this would lead to an improvement in the standard of heavyweight boxing but all that has happened is that in order to make it in today's game a fighter has to be huge. The fourteen or fifteen stone heavyweights of the past would struggle to survive in the modern sport.
Whatever the skill limitations of the fighters however, in the heavyweights you just never know. One big punch can upset all the odds and leave the pundits with egg on their faces. This old boxing truth could well be reaffirmed once again tomorrow night when David Haye and Audley Harrison come up to scratch with Haye's WBA belt on the line. Bookies favourite Haye, although light by today's standards, is a class act with fast hands and a knockout punch in his right. Audley Harrison has been a bit of an enigma really. The former Olympic champion just never seemed to settle into the pro game and is expected to be heading for the showers sooner rather than later. But Harrison is a heavy hitter no doubt about it and has that most unpredictable of assets - a punchers chance. With the heavyweights you never can tell.

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