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Steve Bunce

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Steve Bunce has been ringside in Las Vegas over 50 times, he has been at five Olympics and has been writing about boxing for over 25 years for a variety of national newspapers in Britain, including four which folded! It is possible that his face and voice have appeared on over 60 channels worldwide in a variety of languages - his first novel The Fixer was published in 2010 to no acclaim; amazingly it has been shortlisted for Sports Book of the Year.

  • Steve Bunce

Haye has a cunning plan

Steve Bunce March 26, 2013
David Haye was too strong for Dereck Chisora © PA Photos
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Whenever there is talk about David Haye coming back, half of the chat will be intentional lies and the other half will have some truth in it. I think Haye has been watching Blackadder, because at the moment he has a cunning plan; since his defeat of Dereck Chisora, Haye has been talking boldly about only fighting a Klitschko brother. I now think he has moved the barrier slightly, realising that he may have to get himself into a mandatory position for that to happen. He is looking at the different organisations and the different boxers he could fight and I think he has plotted his route.

We forget how big David Haye is. He has been training hard in various parts of the world, and no one trains as hard as David Haye. He does his best to make out that he doesn't train, to make people think that he is just a playboy floating around and driving fancy cars: that is rubbish. David Haye is one of the best prepared fighters in the world. He is a perfectionist.

Is Carl Froch a better fighter who has been in better fights? Yes. Is Amir Khan as exciting? Yes - but nobody is as big in British boxing right now as David Haye.

Groves looks good

George Groves went out to Germany and defeated Baker Barakat on the undercard of Arthur Abraham-Robert Stieglitz bill and got four and a half million viewers; he did the business and looked very dangerous in the process. Groves looked nasty, he looked motivated; you still have to put it to the fighters who have no chance of winning and there was almost a new look to George Groves on Saturday. As Barry Jones pointed out in the podcast, Groves looked relaxed; his head is on right now.

Groves will get himself in position to fight a Stieglitz or an Abraham, but he will make more money from a fight with Carl Froch. And Froch has already started selling it with his comments this week; that would be a big fight. When Froch comes through the hard fight with Mikkel Kessler, Groves could be there. It would be too soon for Groves then, but one day the fight would be even because that is the way boxing works: nobody is invincible. Kell Brook has done something similar with Amir Khan to what Froch has done with Groves; we would love to see Froch back in the ring with Andre Ward but there are massive domestic fights for him. A fight with Groves or James DeGale next year would be enormous, and it is the same with Khan and Brook.

Khan is saying he wants this guy and that guy, that he wants Lamont Peterson and Lucas Matthysse; they are overseas fights and even though Khan is an attraction in America, they would be hard fights to sell compared to a big domestic dust-up.

Kell Brook and Amir Khan in this country would be a 35,000 people fight. It would be a money generator and that is what it is all about. It is simple; that is why fighters get in the ring. When they are professional and they have had a couple of hard years where things haven't gone right, they are fighting for money. If there is pride attached or a belt for grabs, it is fantastic - but it is all about pound notes.

Fury on fire

One fighter that is carving a specialist niche for himself in America is Tyson Fury - and crazily I believe that he could be just one win away from becoming arguably the fourth biggest boxer in the world behind Floyd Mayweather Jr, Pacquiao and Adrien Broner. He's a heavyweight for starters and that is crucial for profile.

Fury has heavyweight backing in the form of Gerry Cooney and he is creating this clever 'last man standing' image. Fury believes he is the last of the great warrior heavyweight fighters: he is here, he will fight your man, and he is old school. It's not a joke anymore; Tyson Fury is here to stay.

If you are going to go up against it in a title fight, if you are going to go into the unknown then what you want is either an awful lot of money to travel somewhere obscure or a home advantage. Jamie McDonnell, who has been given a shot at the vacant IBF world bantamweight title against unbeaten Mexican Julio Ceja, will have that home advantage in Doncaster in May. Expect snow, why not?

That home advantage turns a 50-50 fight into a 60-40 fight. It can turn a 40-60 fight against you into a 50-50 fight and that is what you want. Congratulations to the veteran of veterans Dennis Hobson for pulling that one off.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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Steve Bunce has been ringside in Las Vegas over 50 times, he has been at five Olympics and has been writing about boxing for over 25 years for a variety of national newspapers in Britain, including four which folded! It is possible that his face and voice have appeared on over 60 channels worldwide in a variety of languages - his first novel The Fixer was published in 2010 to no acclaim; amazingly it has been shortlisted for Sports Book of the Year.