Former heavyweight boxing champion David Haye has been advised to retire from the sport by surgeons following an operation on his right shoulder on Thursday – here are five reasons why that could be for the greater good…
1) Attitude to boxing
I usually write about football – boxing is not my area of expertise whatsoever – but I do have respect for the discipline and the philosophy of the sport.
Fighting outside of the ring used to be a serious faux pas of the sport; it wasn’t fashionable to beat up your opponent prior to the actual fight. A professional who respects the discipline and the philosophy does not use their fists outside of the ring.
Boxing at it’s best is an art – it takes discipline, skill, technique, theory and application. Fighting is a mark of indiscipline, a lack of respect for others, a lack of self-control and a lack of respect for oneself.
These days press conferences seem to be used to promote the fight like trailers or sneak previews in order to get people to buy the fight on pay per view but it’s degrading to the sport to undermine its philosophy and principles for ratings. Those, like Haye, who engage in fighting outside of the ring damage the reputation of the sport and demean the whole concept of it as a gentleman's sport.
2) Comments on boxing
Meanwhile, fighting is one thing – if David Haye wants to beat up people and get beaten up as his vocation in life that’s fine by me but don’t embarrass and degrade your profession with your mouth as well as your illegal behaviour.
Considering the stereotypes of women and men that men settle arguments with fists and women with words, some boxers do seem to bitch about each other an awful lot. I mean, come on, calling your opponent ugly? Really?
'He is the ugliest thing I have ever seen. I have watched Lord of the Rings and films with strange looking people, but for a human being to look like he does is pretty shocking,' said Haye on Nikolai Valuev.
That’s something a 12-year-old high school student would be too embarrassed to say in the playground.
3) Comments on rape
'This will be so one-sided it will be like a gang rape,' is how Haye imagined his fight with Audley Harrison. I am not even going to begin to dissect or analyse this statement. It speaks for itself: David Haye likes to imagine himself as ‘like’ a rapist.
4) Comments on women
As if the comment above wasn’t enough to alienate most of the human population and ensure that no man or woman with any shred of self-respect wanted to be anywhere near him, he also, (surprise surprise) had some more sexist comments to unleash on humanity – not content with portraying himself as a rapist in his fantasies with Audley Harrison, he also revealed his fantasies of conversations he has with imaginary girls in his head:
'I abstain from any kind of release for six weeks before a fight, no self-pleasure, nothing. Even in my dreams, I’ll be about to have sex with a beautiful girl and I’ll say, ‘Sorry darling, I’m fighting in a few weeks.’ That’s control, bro, when you’re turning down a hot chick in your subconscious.'
Control is obviously a word Mr Haye has not understood the definition of. Perhaps if you learned to control your mouth first, your brain would follow suit, bro.
5) Comments to women
Finally, I’ll conclude with a personal anecdote – at a nightclub in London at the end of the night my friend and I were waiting for our taxi home, minding our own business and up walks David Haye and a French companion of his to accost us in the street. My friend had absolutely no idea who he was. I recognised him as that boxer who makes ignorant comments. He was very disrespectful, and it confirmed the very negative view I had of him already.
Thanks and enjoy your retirement.
image: © AtilaTheHun