It’s the time of year that fight fans around the world dread – the boxing ‘dead zone’ from Christmas to mid-January.
As if the start of the year wasn’t bad enough with the inevitable post-festive comedown, the misery of going back to work, and the bleak winter weather, we’re also robbed of our weekly boxing fix! Thankfully, the end is in sight (in a good way). Boxing is back in our lives and on our screens and there is much to look forward to. So let’s take a look at what the rest of January has to offer fans of the sweet science.
Danny Garcia, Robert Guerrero, David Haye, George Groves, and Deontay Wilder, are all in action this over the next couple of weeks. This Saturday, the ‘Hayemaker’, David Haye, returns to the heavyweight scene after a three-year hiatus against unheralded challenger Mark de Mori. It will be very interesting to see what the future holds for the charismatic Londoner. Now trained by Shane McGuigan, Haye has always been talented, fast, and explosive, but he’s been plagued with injuries in recent years and has been out a long time by any athlete’s standards.
It’ll be great to see Haye back in the ring, but surely nothing less than a spectacular knockout of de Mori will silence the critics. A good win will put Haye back in contention for high-profile fights against the top heavyweights. He could potentially walk straight into a title fight against Deontay Wilder or the winner of this weekend’s IBF title fight between Charles Martin and Vyacheslav Glazkov, later in the year, if Haye was to string a couple of solid wins together. There’s also a potential UK super fight with Anthony Joshua which almost seems inevitable. Recently crowned heavyweight No.1 Tyson Fury could even change his mind to fight Haye if the money was right although I suspect the ‘Gypsy King’ will stay true to his word not to give Haye a shot at his titles. There’s also Haye’s old nemesis Dereck Chisora who was in action in Germany recently. While a rematch between Haye and Chisora would seem like a long shot, stranger things have happened and the first fight was a cracker for five rounds with a stunning finish!
(Haye vs de Mori face off via The Sport Bible):
One of the biggest intangibles about Saturday’s fight will be how Haye performs without the guidance of former trainer Adam Booth. George Groves, who recently reunited with Haye at McGuigan’s gym, has never looked the same since his split with Booth (barring his first fight against Froch) and is on the comeback trail himself with a confidence builder at London’s Copper Box at the end of the month. I would love to see Groves recapture his previous form to set up exciting showdowns with old foe James DeGale, Callum Smith, Martin Murray and others at the weight, but only time will tell. Groves and Haye are very different animals of course, but the question remains: will Haye suffer the same loss of form that plagued Groves after leaving Booth or will the Hayemaker do what he does best on Saturday night? Personally, I expect Haye to take out de Mori inside four rounds. He’s a world-class fighter and de Mori has never been in with someone of Haye’s calibre. It could even be a one or two round blowout and I expect Haye to close the show in style by detonating one of his trademark Hayemaker’s on de Mori’s chin.
On the same night in the US, expect two things – Deontay Wilder will retain his heavyweight title within the distance while I expect Martin-Glazkov to be an old-school war!
Look out for previews of the Garcia-Guerrero and Groves-Di Luisa cards in the coming weeks as well as a look ahead to February’s big fights including the long-awaited grudge match between Carl Frampton and Scott Quigg and Terry Flanagan’s lightweight title defence against ‘Dirty’ Derry Matthews.
The deadzone has been counted out. Ding Ding! Boxing is back!
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