Boxing promoters are (in)famous for their extreme hyperbole and exaggerations, but Golden Boy's Richard Schaefer has gone nuclear with this one. From the Mirror:
New world heavyweight king David Haye has been hailed as the greatest boxer since the legendary Muhammad Ali.
Golden Boy boss Richard Schaefer declared: "David is a boxing superstar. There are a lot of champions - but to be a superstar is another thing. For that you need that other ingredient - charisma.
"Lennox Lewis was a great champion, but he was not as charismatic as David Haye. Evander Holyfield was a great champion, but not as charismatic as David. Mike Tyson was a great champion, but he was a crazy guy. People watched because of the freak factor. So if you sit back and think when was the last champion like him, it really was Ali."
- David Haye is not the king of the heavyweight division. The real world champion is Wladimir Klitschko. Haye is drastically behind Wladimir and brother Vitali in terms of resume and career achievements. A win over a paper "champion" like Valuev is not even close to enough. I know most media just throw the word "champion" around to every hump who gets hold of one of these trinkets, but come on. To believe Haye is the best heavyweight in the world is to be dangerously delusional.
- Lennox Lewis was a great champion. Evander Holyfield was a great champion. Mike Tyson was a great champion. David Haye has not proven to be a great champion at all. Again, not a shot at Haye -- it's just that he's not there yet, even if you believe he will be.
- Tyson was not simply a great champion and "a crazy guy." People were not buying Tyson as a freak show during his truly best years, they bought him because he was a ferocious specimen and a brilliant fighter; charismatic, exciting, vicious, and ultra talented.
- Furthermore, with this claim, Richard Schaefer shouldn't be calling anyone crazy.
It's not that I don't understand why Schaefer said it, it's that it really isn't going to make Haye any more marketable. "He's the most alluring champion since Ali!" just reeks of a desperate attempt to market the fighter more than it does actually sell anyone on him. Schaefer might as well be ambling around the thoroughfare of Deadwood offering us soap with a prize inside with this bit of promoting. It's ludicrous, dishonest and will probably make more people dislike Haye. If there's one thing I know boxing fans get their underoos in a twist over, it's the blatant hype jobs like this one.
The Mirror continued the unintentional comedy with this comment:
Modest WBA champ Haye was embarrassed by Schaefer's Ali comparison, but claims he can reign for years.
Ah, yes. Modest ol' David Haye. Haye would actually rank among the least modest major fighters in the sport today, probably, alongside Floyd Mayweather Jr., Zab Judah and Vic Darchinyan. But hey, at least he knows he's probably not Ali.