Chris Mannix checks in today on cnnsi.com with a piece about the Klitschko/Haye/Chagaev situation. I'm willing to ignore the fact that he seems to argue that he is more excited to see Chagaev than David Haye, a stance which would be hard pressed to find anyone outside of the Chagaev family to agree with. I'm willing to ignore the fact that the article has a ridiculous format in which he argues that Chagaev is both "absolutely the right opponent" and "absolutely the wrong opponent." What I can't ignore is this absurd paragraph at the end of the article:
I think American boxing fans feel the same. Does Haye's mouth, and the likelihood that Klitschko would dramatically and emphatically shut it, have the possibility of exciting the average fan more than Chagaev's technical skills? Absolutely. But by promoting the fight as a battle of champions and emphasizing what is at stake, HBO would still have drawn a healthy audience. Or at least as many as they did when Klitschko demolished Tony Thompson in two rounds using just his left hand last July.
1. How many average American fight fans are going to give half a rat's ass that Ruslan Chagaev is a "champion in recess" for one of the like 11 sanctioning bodies. The Ring Magazine implications may draw some interest, but the trinket that Chagaev holds does not.
2. I'm pretty sure everyone that reads this site knows off the top of their head that last summer's fight between Klitschko and Tony Thompson did not go only two rounds. I'm pretty sure none of us get paid to write for the most popular sports magazine in the world. Now, even if we didn't know how long the fight went, I think most of us know how to dial up www.boxrec.com and see this sort of simple information. Apparently, this is too much work for Chris Mannix and his editors. Tony Thompson was not demolished in two rounds. He lasted 11 rounds and was even semi-competitive at least in the early going. Also, I feel like Wlad used the right hand in that particular fight more than he has in many of his recent fights. He lived off the jab, but I thought he did unleash the right hand against Thompson.
Can SI please hire someone who at least watches boxing? Is that too much to ask?