Boxing

/ Features

Steve Bunce

Steve Bunce Steve Bunce RSS FeedFeeds

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

Fury gives Haye Licence to Thrill

Steve Bunce July 16, 2013
David Haye got a front-row seat to the Tyson Fury show in their first press conference together © PA Photos
Enlarge

Now here's a thing. On Monday morning, at 9am, David Haye flew to Monaco to spend a couple of days in Monte Carlo. The Broccoli family, the heirs to the James Bond franchise, are based in Monaco.

Coincidence? Perhaps. But if you ask me, there is more to this than meets the (Golden)eye.

David Haye wants to be in films. That's why he stopped boxing - he's already been out to Bollywood to see if that would work out for him, and it still might, but I think he's meeting with the Broccoli family. I wouldn't be at all surprised if he ends up being in a Bond movie! He's not going to play James Bond. You've got to be a good actor for that, or a good bodybuilder like Sean Connery - who, by the way, is a big fight fan.

But it's typical that Tyson Fury made the connection last week. "I would really like to vote for David to be the next James Bond after Daniel Craig," the unbeaten heavyweight joked. "The guy can talk, he is good-looking and he is charismatic. What more does a Bond need than what David Haye has got?

"I would vote for him but I would vote for myself to be in the movie as well. I can be the new Jaws but I would be a bit better looking. We'll see if he'll be shaken and stirred." Quality stuff from the Big Lad.

It's even more typical of Fury to portray himself as Jaws - the bad guy. Incidentally, actor Jack O'Halloran, who fought Joe Bugner at the Royal Albert Hall in 1969 and George Foreman in 1970, was considered for the role of Jaws in The Spy Who Loved Me. But he didn't get the part - Richard Kiel got the silver teeth, while O'Halloran went on to play Non, the silent henchman from planet Krypton in Superman II. See, there is a boxing connection. Also, Nosher Powell, a pro in the 1950s and 1960s, was a Bond stuntman for over a dozen films.

And it was also typical of the way the first press conference to promote Haye and Fury's September showdown panned out. You see, most people think that David Haye is some kind of terrific character with a quick wit and bags of charm, but they're missing the point. David Haye is a terrific fighter first, a good-looking kid second. He's got plenty of guts: he's grasped every single slender opportunity like it's his last chance at the big time. He discovered the big time, reached the big time and he's still big-time in his own right.

But Tyson Fury is the character in this fight - a genuine enigmatic personality. He's funny, he's witty, he gets emotional, he rages - you're never sure what you're going to get during a conference call or when you meet up with him, because it's not an act.

Haye can act - he wants to be an actor - but Fury is a bona fide boxing eccentric. And at the first head-to-head, I think David Haye realised that for the first time - in addition to realising just how big Tyson Fury is, and how confident. Fury is a big 6.9.

You could see the wheels turning in Haye's head: this guy is sharp, he's funny - and I'm going to have to bring my A-game to future conferences. It was a massacre in favour of Fury, that first press conference - a massacre.

But when they get in the ring? People have been critical of me for saying this, but I'll say it again: let's see what happens between now and that first bell. A lot can happen, will happen and let's see how they respond. What sort of mindset will David Haye bring to the fight? Will it be the Haye who took on Nikolay Valuev, who went in to stay on his feet for 12 rounds and not get hit? If that happens - as Fury noted, it will be a stinker - Haye wins easy.

But if Haye arrives like he did for the John Ruiz fight or the Audley Harrison fight - in terrific condition, knowing he's going to blow Fury out as soon as he can - then that makes it very interesting.

Equally, we are yet to see how Fury handles the real pressure surrounding a big fight. The first press conference was devoid of pressure - everyone was under very strict orders from the BBBoC and the paymasters at Sky for there to be no aggravation, no repeat of the stuff that the two of them have got up to on social networking sites since the fight was first suggested back in April. And the instructions were serious - so much so that I'm convinced that if there had been a problem, if they'd scuffled at that conference, the fight would be dead - and with that would have gone the £6million they're set to split.

How will Tyson act in the last two weeks? It is the great unknown surrounding this fight because he has never been where he is going. It is different, the demands, the requests and the realisation that you are at the centre of a massive event. It will be new for Tyson but that's the carnage that Haye loves. Haye would be in a training camp every day of the year with a big fight coming up; 26 hours a day would suit him if he got to walk out in front of a mad crowd. If this was his life:

Eat an enormous breakfast, Go for a five-mile run, Have a massage, Have a sleep, Spar 12 rounds, Have a massage, Have a sleep, Eat some more, Do weights and pose, Have a massage, Go to sleep and repeat

he'd be happy. That's all David Haye wants to do in life - train, make money, and bash people up in the ring. He revels in the last two or three weeks of camp when the pressure is on and the fight gets closer. That's when it'll be worth looking at Tyson.

But who will win? I'm not saying - because right now I don't know. I want to see how they both look a week before the fight. For some fights I don't make my mind up until the day they step into the ring. Why? Take Enzo Maccarinelli against David Haye. I thought it was a genuine 50-50 fight when it was made, but just a day before I saw that Enzo's head just wasn't there - he was gone with the fairies. On the night, he was not even with us - blank-faced from the outset! That was when I knew the fight, which was meant to have been in the balance, was going to be a one or two-round blowout -and Haye finished the job in the second round.

So the secret agent takes on the henchman for a shot at a super-villain - either one of the Klitschkos could play the part. I haven't read Ian Fleming in some time but I'm going to speed-read his original novels because I'm sure there's the odd giant eastern European figure in the shadows. Whoever it is, they'll have to have very few lines - for everything else those two boys can do, they cannot act to save their lives!

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Feeds Feeds: Steve Bunce

Steve Bunce Close
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.