Once there was a time in boxing where it was managers who prevented fights from happening to protect their fighters from forces greater than their talents. Who could blame them? After all, protecting their fighter was, in theory at least, their job.

Then it became promoters (who for years now have served as de facto managers anyway) who blocked too many of the fights fans most wanted to see for pretty much the same reason, although a touch of greed was always in there somewhere unless they had both sides of the equation, in which case it was two touches of greed.

Television networks, on the other hand, usually were pushing all parties toward the biggest – and hence the most dangerous – matches because, well, they were in the TV business and that’s what made the best television. Well, no more.

The latest and one of the most brazenly obvious, examples of this was the collapse last week of another round of negotiations between Wladimir Klitschko and David Haye. Both have claimed for two years that they want nothing more than to unify their ends of the heavyweight title at the expense of the other yet neither ever seems quite able to reach a lasting agreement or avoid an injury long enough for the fight to actually come off.

But the latest collapse of what was hoped to be an April 30 showdown in Germany between them was not the fault of either man. In fact, both sides agreed to a 50-50 split of the fight’s revenues, neutral officials and one of two stadium venues in Germany. In other words they were sane.

So why isn’t the fight happening? Because today even the TV executives are promoters and what they are promoting is always themselves.

Apparently the fight could not be made on or around April 30 because RTL, the Germany terrestrial TV network that televises Klitschko in Germany, and Sky-TV, which televises Haye on subscription broadcasting and pay-per-view in England, couldn’t agree on a date when the biggest heavyweight fight in years would work for them.

Klitschko’s manager, Bernd Boente, said SKY opposed an April date because it had already scheduled an Amir Khan fight on pay-per-view on April 16 and didn’t want to ask its customers to pay twice in a month for boxing, even though Khan doesn’t even have an opponent yet and Klitschko-Haye would be a far more significant fight in a division that has been insignificant since Lennox Lewis retired. With the division in the doldrums for years now, Lewis’ retirement seems like it was as long ago as when Joe Louis retired.

Both sides insist they can’t delay the fight into May or June because there are stadium issues due to conflicts with soccer’s schedules so the fight now won’t happen before July. But with Klitschko’s injury history and his plan to fight in April regardless that is wishful thinking in a division that hasn’t seen many of its fans’ wishes granted in a long time.

Haye is already hollering he won’t fight Klitschko this summer if he takes a tune-up fight (and why not you might ask since Klitschko has already said its fine with him if Haye does the same). Truth be told, if Klitschko fights Dereck Chisora (yes the next appropriate word is “who?’’) in April there’s no way he comes back to fight again eight weeks later. Judging by his track record if he fights eight months later it will only be because of Divine Intervention.

Haye, of course, could agree to the July fight and end the matter but word is he is now angling to face mandatory challenger Ruslan Chagaev (good seats available) sometime in late May, which means he won’t be available in July anyway. So instead of a relevant and interesting heavyweight matchup for the first time in years between probably the two best heavyweights in the world (excluding Klitschko’s brother, Vitali, who might well beat them both if the opportunity arose – which it won’t) we get Wladimir Klitschko against a Brit with 14 wins, nine knockouts and no chance and Haye against someone like boringly shopworn Ruslan Chagaev.

Chisora (14-0) actually said, “I’ve earned my opportunity’’ after the Klitschko-Haye fight fell through. Obviously he’s no matchmaker and no boxing historian.

How’d he earn it? Was it the stoppage of Zurah Noniashvili that did it? Or when he wiped the floor with Danill Peretyatko? Or maybe it was his two big wins over Sam Sexton that earned him this sparring session with Klitschko?

No wonder even HBO has stopped writing checks to the Klitschko brothers and Haye, who was last seen in the ring with Audley Harrison but only if you lived in England, which is a reminder that we here in the States do have something to be thankful for.

But you can’t rightfully blame the 34-year-old Klitschko (55-3, 49 KO) or Haye this time, even though Haye has now agreed to fight a Klitschko three times without yet getting into anything but a verbal sparring session with them.

Can’t even blame HBO, SHOWTIME, Don King or Bob Arum because none of them were involved either. Just blame some television executives in England and Germany and you’ll have it about right…which is why heavyweight boxing once again got it all wrong.

Comment on this article


-Radam G :

YUP! We in the Philippines, China [Hong Kong] and Guam are also "thankful" for the Haye-Harrison fight not coming close to any Pacific island. No more "On The Water Front" in heavyweight boxing for certain. Cowardly, greedy promoters have indeed replaced all forms of managers. "Why [did] you protect me? I coulda had class!" I coulda been a true fightin' heavyweight champion. Instead of an alphabet-sanctioning organization bum in the weakest era of all times for the heavyweight division, and can only do PPV in the WHOLE WILD WORLD of Germany, of England. I said it from the JUMP! The Hayemaker and Dr. Iron Fist would never stand in that squared jungle across from one another. The corrupted promoters are protecting those China chins. Holla!

-Joe :

I can't figure this one out. Both camps are talking trash and sound like they want to fight but for some reason they can't make it happen. This one is worse than, dare I say it, Money and Pac. As for the Execs, I wouldn't want to put on two PPV's on back to back in the same month - the REGULAR working people that sponsor these events can only shell out so many 49.99's during a year let alone in one month. The Haymaker will get his beating sooner or later.

-Robert Curtis :

I couldn't care less if Mortcola's favorite fighter and a nothing poser don't meet. What about this facocta format here? I've had easier times at the DMV or at post 9/11 airports than I have posting on what I thought was the world's best boxing website.

-Isaiah :

This article is labeled with Wlad-Haye, but I'm pretty sure the man staring THE DUCK down is big brother Vitali who knows a big mouth, full of hot air joke, who hasn't done jack as a heavyweight when he sees one. Ya'all want a laugh? There's a video on youtube where Vitali walks up to David, takes his hat off his head, wears it for a few seconds and David just stands there like a scared little puppy not daring to speak up... Shoot! You try to take a hat off of Mike Tyson's head and no matter who you are, you'd be eating a right in about 2 seconds. What's David Haye do? He stands there frozen in fear with a "I'm sorry sir. Did I offend you?" Look. LOL! You can tell in that picture that David is using every ounce of her courage not to crawl up in a fetal position standing next to the beast that is Vitali Klitschko. Can we say, cluck, cluck, cluck? @Robert Curtis. Your're right big time that this new site was a terrible idea. Yeah, the old site had a few problems, but it also had it's charm and what everyone was used to! If it ain't broke, don't fix it! What a crock of crap and yet... here I am still posting on THIS site! @Editor Mike. I'm just saying... thanks to this redesign, which has NOTHING on the old site, most of the old members decided not to show back up unless I just missed their posts. The Saint aside, (whom I know you kicked off on the old site, but still didn't do anything that bad man.) (Couple of HYPERSENSITIVE FEMALES in here.... I'm just saying...) Where the F is SALTLOVER, AMAY,#1PACFAN,FE'ROZ,YUVIE,SMILEY C and everyone else?! There's only a fraction of us left! If that's the price it took to change the site, it was NOT worth it! The old site was great! Why mess with what works?! Come back team!

-Editor Mike :

There will always be a time period to get used to something new, and you will use some folks who don't care for change. I sincerely hope as we move forward, the plusses of the new site will outweigh the minuses.

-MisterLee :

the new site is clearly better. we can trust that when someone says something, it really is them. also we have moderator, where before, anyone can get around and say racial slurs while the writers and editors were too busy making the publication. it all takes time. all things will work out in time.

-Radam G :

Ditto, MisterLee! You HEARD! WORD! Dat jive racial slurring, cloning and stalking are DEAD! Enough said! Holla!

-brownsugar :

I'm getting an Avatar ready now... surely we can customize the look by adding a graphic to our profiles.

-brownsugar :

They'll be back Isaiah... I can sense them hovering just outside the TSS,.. Yep the "Force" is strong with those guys.

-Smoke :

I like the new site as well and will be posting more now that I had my heart worked on and everything is ticking along the way it should. I have been doing a lot of rehab type stuff and have not had the time to do much computering. I have some more time now so here I be.

-Editor Mike :

You gotta love the upbeat MisterLee! You just gotta...And I'm figuring it out as I go...You can put up a quickie poll for each thread, that'll come in handy.