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  “The Standing Eight Count”-
Hapless In Hamburg

By Dave Wilcox - www.BillyCBoxing.com

The Heavyweight Championship of the world used to be the biggest prize in not only our beloved sport of Boxing, but in professional sports, period. The Heavyweight division has had a long line of historical big men throughout the sport’s rich history.

Jack Dempsey fought in front of 120,000 people at outdoor venues. Joe Louis had his bum of the month club and Rocky Marciano retired undefeated. Muhammad Ali proved he was indeed “The Greatest” as he fought legendary battles with Norton, Frazier and Foreman. “The Easton Assassin”, Larry Holmes got us through the post 70’s let down and led us straight to the Tyson dominance of the mid to late 80’s. From there, Evander Holyfield would treat us to many memorable Heavyweight wars, including his trilogy with Riddick Bowe. Their first encounter was by far the best of the three bouts as Bowe emerged from the initial meeting as the next Heavyweight superstar and Holyfield showed a courage in one of the greatest rounds in heavyweight history when he turned the tables on “Big Daddy” Bowe in the tenth round.

Holyfield would continue thrilling the Boxing world even when he appeared to be a shot fighter after his loss in the third Bowe fight. A huge underdog going into a fight with the rejuvenated Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield shocked the world by knocking out “The baddest man on the planet” and followed it up with a victory in the rematch as Tyson mistook Holyfield for a buffet line and was disqualified for biting the ears of Holyfield, not once, but twice.

Lennox Lewis would eventually grab a belt or two and the linear title. Lennox Lewis was regarded as the real Heavyweight Champion and would retire as such after his close call victory over the then untested Vitali Klitschko.

At the time of Lewis’ retirement, who would have known the excitement and historical value of the division would go with him.

Fast forward to July 2nd, 2011 in Hamburg, Germany.

After nearly ten years of being lulled to sleep by the two Klitschko brothers, it seemed that finally we had an exciting and capable opponent in former undisputed cruiserweight champion, David “Hayemaker” Haye. David Haye is not like all the previous challengers to the throne that we had seen on tape delay on a Sunday afternoon on ESPN3 in previous Klitschko title defenses. The Englishman has speed, power and most importantly, he had personality and when he spoke, people wanted to watch.

It was Friday July 1st, the eve of the Wladimir Klitschko-David Haye fight and I couldn’t sleep. I was so excited for this bout and told anyone that would listen that this is the one. “Ding dong the Klits is dead!” became my battle cry. David Haye will be the man to finally bring us to the Promised Land and the Klitschkos will no longer have a stake on this land.

I finally did fall asleep, but not before I warned Mrs. Wilcox and the kids that their father would be unavailable on Saturday the 2nd and if they tried to speak to me, ask me any questions or have a request of any kind I assured them they would be ignored.

The wife knew what this meant. She had seen this look on my face and witnessed this erratic behavior from her dim-witted husband before. She hadn’t experienced this Dave in a while however, because it was stored away waiting for a reason. The reason was Klitschko vs. Haye.

As 1:45 PM PST approached on Saturday afternoon, I set up camp in the man-cave and proceeded to get everything ready. The lights were off the TV was on and got my scorecard ready ,even though I knew I wouldn’t be needing a scorecard for this historical Heavyweight clash. There was no doubt that somebody was going down and they were going down hard. As the fighters started their ring walks, I started getting butterflies in my stomach. Haye hit the ring first and I proceeded to pace the man-cave floor relentlessly. Next in the ring was Wladimir Klitschko and I got the chills.

As the referee gave the instructions, I began yelling at the TV and barking instructions to my new heavyweight hero, David Haye. The men received their instructions and headed back to their corners. It was on! Heavyweight history was about to be made and I was like a kid in a candy store.

And then the bell rang for round one………………………..
Never in my 35 plus years of watching Boxing have I been this disappointed with a single bout as I was on Saturday afternoon. David Haye followed The Klitschko brothers around trying to get the bout for over three years and I followed David Haye like a rock star groupie. I fell for his act, hook, line and sinker. I should have known better but in this case, I think my hope and desperate need to have the Heavyweight division mean something again outweighed my common sense.

David Haye has made me feel dirty. His pathetic excuse for a performance was embarrassing for the sport. I’ve seen guys fight worse, but not from a guy who did so much talking during the promotion of the fight.

The worst part is that he actually did do what nobody else has been able to do post Lennox Lewis. He brought excitement back to the Heavyweight division. Mainstream fans were talking about the fight, Jim Rome was talking about the fight on his nationally syndicated radio show and newspapers were actually giving it ink. It seemed that Boxing might be able to win back some of the many fans lost with this compelling battle of big men.

And then the bell rang for round one……………………………

Shame on me for falling prey to the hype of David Haye and shame on the man himself for his embarrassing effort on Saturday in Hamburg.

For every one step forward boxing takes, they seem to follow that up with two steps backwards.

Your welcome MMA.
Keep punching


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