By Terence Dooley
As expected, the heavyweight showdown between former WBA titlist David Haye, 26-2 (24), and former British and Commonwealth champion Tyson Fury, 21-0 (10) will be shown live on Sky Sports Box Office on September 28. Mick Hennessy, who promotes Fury, and Hayemaker Promotions have put the fight together and it will take place at the Manchester Arena. Peter Fury, Tyson's uncle and trainer, confirmed Sky's involvement on Monday when telling BoxingScene that Team Fury were waiting on some final documentation from the broadcaster before putting pen to paper.
It is an interesting development as Sky handed all their boxing dates to Eddie Hearn and Matchroom last year. However, Hearn's involvement in this fight is limited to his role as Haye's partner, which opens up the possibility of Hearn acting as an agent or procurer of specific bouts for the network as well as heading up his own promotional venture, but that is another story. The main story, the one everyone has been waiting for, is the news of the unveiling of the fight itself.
“I'm still the best fighter around and have nothing to prove, but Tyson likes to talk a lot and this is my chance to silence him,” said Haye when speaking to www.skysports.com/boxing . “I'm in great shape and ready to go. It's time to put an end to rumours that there's anyone in Britain that can beat me.”
“This event is about me, a world-class boxing star, taking on Haye, a has-been,” said Fury. “Haye has been running scared of me ever since the possibility of the match came about, and now I've earned my shot. I'm going to prove that I'm a future world champion by beating a former one. David Haye is the past.”
The fight is attracting a lot of attention and headlines, especially after both men took to Twitter to fire their opening salvos. They have used the social networking site from the get-go. Both boxers are known for their candour and ability to engage with their many fans using the Internet. Still, it is a double-edged sword; Fury was hit with a £3000 fine in March for his outspoken comments about David Price and Tony Bellew.
Peter Fury is also a regular on Twitter, as is Haye’s trainer Adam booth, and he believes the use of the Internet is an essential tool when it comes to selling a fight, he is also aware of the negatives of social media and has warned his nephew to be vigilant now that his profile is set to skyrocket.
“I get abuse, people say ‘You can’t train a toffee and Tyson’s gone chinny’, but I’m not really affected by it,” said Fury when speaking to BoxingScene. “It’s not nice because you give the fans your time and try to give back to the fans to show them this new side of boxing, where real fans get to see how things are in our daily life. I definitely don’t enjoy some of the comments, but nothing’s going to change my opinion towards the good fans.
“I’m just really fortunate that [his son and heavyweight contender] Hughie and Tyson are exceptional human beings. Tyson is the nicest guy on the planet and does a lot for charity — we’re doing something in Manchester later this year for children’s hospitals. What do people expect from a 25-year-old man who is on Twitter and getting abuse? When Tyson gets a nice Tweet he acknowledges it, when he gets sh*t he fights back with sh*t. I’ve told Tyson to clean up his image, so he’s not responding as much to the bad stuff.”
Today’s official announcement will no doubt send Twitter and the forums into overdrive. The two protagonists will publicise this one with real zeal and enthusiasm. Just look at their online ‘will they, won’t they’ saga over the past few weeks, when pretty much everyone knew that they would. There will be a few more online outbursts in the months leading up to the fight itself, if only to entice people who enjoy talking about what goes on around a contest as much as the bout itself.
Eddie Hearn set the seeds for the contest during a May interview with BoxingScene: http://www.boxingscene.com/eddie-hearn-on-haye-fury-ppv-froch-vs-kessler--65197
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