David Haye says he would relish a fight against reigning World Boxing Council (WBC) champion Vitali Klitschko after beating fellow Briton Dereck Chisora at Upton Park football stadium in London on Saturday.
LONDON -- With six beefy security guards and a steel fence separating the tables, the final press conference for the David Haye-Dereck Chisora heavyweight fight on Wednesday had a decidedly volatile feel. That volatility bubbled over minutes later, when Haye and Chisora took their seats and immediately began verbally sparring.
MUNICH -- The steam poured off Vitali Klitschko's oatmeal, vanishing only after being buried under a pile of fresh fruit and cooled with a splash of skim milk. Eat right, drink right, train right; these are the rules Klitschko has lived by, from his early days as an amateur kickboxer to his current reign as the WBC heavyweight champion. The silver hairs outnumber the dark ones on his head now, but there still isn't an ounce of fat on his 6-foot-7, 243-pound frame.
1. Cruiserweight will become cool. Not heavyweight cool. Maybe not even welterweight cool, either. But there are some interesting talents in the 200-pound weight class. In Europe there is Marco Huck, Yoan Pablo Hernandez and Krzysztof Wlodarczyk. There is talent in Russia (Denis Lebedev), Australia (Danny Green) and Nigeria (Lateef Kayode). And in the U.S. there is Steve Cunningham and a resurgent Antonio Tarver, giving the division a true global flavor. It's the kind of talented-but-anonymous weight class that would make for an interesting tournament. You hear that HBO and Showtime?
HELSINKI -- Robert Helenius stared out an open window, momentarily transfixed by the cold, concrete jungle of his home country and its quickly fading light. After answering questions for nearly 45 minutes in a dimly lit lounge tucked inside the Radisson Hotel, Helenius had one of his own: Why are Americans so down on boxing?
The big show. Those were the words former unified heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis chose to describe a boxer's seminal moment, a fight that defines his career. Lewis says his came in 2002, against Mike Tyson, when Lewis won a one-sided fight that ended with the once feared Tyson lying battered and bruised on the canvas.
Ukrainian politicians don't pull their punches. There have been fist fights in parliament and, as the country deals with aftermath of a turbulent two decades since emerging from Soviet rule, brushes with the law that have threatened to bruise reputations.
It seems simple, really. Fighter A is the best in his weight class. Fighter B is right behind him. To settle the debate over who is No. 1, Fighter A and B square off. Good fights lead to rematches and, in some cases, trilogies.
1. The year of Pacquiao. Already boxing's most exciting fighter, Manny Pacquiao became a global phenomeon in 2010, penetrating the American sporting mainstream like no Asian-born athlete in history. He's won major sanctioning-body titles in eight different weight classes, nearly half of the sport's 17 divisions. He was the subject of a 60 Minutes profile in November, less than 12 months after being named one of Time magazine's 100 most influential people. He was elected to Congress in the Philippines in May and named Fighter of the Decade by the Boxing Writers Association of America in June. He won as many fights at Cowboys Stadium (two) as the full-time tenants won football games during the whole 2010 season. He sings, he acts. He fights Shane Mosley on May 7.
A lack of top talent has made big heavyweight fights a thing of the past. And these days the inability of rival promoters to make big deals with each other has made it impossible to make palatable small ones.
In an interview with SI.com a few days before his heavyweight title fight with Nikolai Valuev, David Haye had many words for his opponent. With a rapid-fire delivery and a thick British accent, Haye spoke of sending "shockwaves around the world" when he would send the 7-foot Valuev "sprawling on the floor." He claimed that he was "as freakishly fast as Valuev is freakishly big" and promised that the punishment he'd deliver to Valuev in the ring would be "more one-sided than the Rodney King beating."
LOS ANGELES -- Mike Tyson was made of iron, Hasim Rahman was known as "The Rock." Chris Arreola? He's a jelly donut with legs. With pectorals that sag to his midsection and a midsection that sags to the floor, Arreola hardly cuts an imposing figure. And he knows it.
When Vitali Klitschko announced his return to boxing in 2008, he told everyone he was coming back for one reason: He wanted to make history. He wanted to join his younger brother, IBF and WBO titleholder Wladimir Klitschko, as a world champion, thereby becoming the first pair of brothers to hold heavyweight titles simultaneously. Vitali accomplished that feat in his first fight back, knocking out Samuel Peter in a one-sided bout that earned him the WBC belt, the same title he relinquished when he retired.
In the five years I have spent covering boxing, I have had a few of what I like to call "cringe moments." I cringed when greedy promoters paraded a battered and broken Mike Tyson into the ring for fight after fight, even though he was little more than a shell of his former self. And he had a history of biting people.
The call came last week, just as I was boarding a plane to Salt Lake City. On the other end of the line was Bernd Boente, the top-flight manager for IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko and his brother, former WBC champion Vitali Klitschko.
NEW YORK -- Patience is a virtue that Samuel Peter is fresh out of. It has been nine long months since the 27-year-old Peter last competed, nine months since the man known as the Nigerian Nightmare beat James Toney for the second time to earn (for the second time) the title of the WBC's number one contender.
Vitali Klitschko wants to make history. More precisely, he wants to make history again. "I have a vision," said Klitschko in a telephone interview from the Ukraine. "It's one I have had for a long time. I want my brother and I to be heavyweight champions at the same time."