Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

British Heavy Mob Boast Power to Rule Sport's Big Beasts

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

British Heavy Mob Boast Power to Rule Sport's Big Beasts

Article excerpt

Byline: 53 Dan Jones

FEW of us had heard of Mark de Mori before he turned up at the O2 to present his face for a short, sharp flattening on Saturday night. I don't suppose we will ever hear of him again.

There's a chance, of course, that the Australian boxer could parlay his unusually inert approach to ringcraft into financial gain, by lending his name to a line of heavy punch-bags. But that is a faint hope at best.

More likely, De Mori hilariously nicknamed The Dominator will go down in boxing history as a footnote. He is, or was, the lunk who turned up to fight a returning David Haye, took one look at Haye, decided that actually he didn't fancy fighting him in the slightest, basically threw one punch, missed by a clear foot, and resigned himself to being knocked out and paid with the least possible fuss. The whole thing was over in less time than you'd need to soft boil an egg: 131 seconds, to be precise. Plainly De Mori is a decisive man, if not a proud one.

This being said, we still need to tip our caps to Haye. He has returned to the ring at 35 years old, looking more like a proper heavyweight than at any time before. In many ways he is recognisable as the man who unified the cruiserweight division in 2008 by doing largely the same thing (in the same ring) to Enzo Maccarinelli as he did to De Mori. The distinctive lowslung, hanging jab is still there; so too the permanently wound-up overhand right; so too the instinct to finish a hurt opponent in the corner with nasty swarms of looping, bar-brawler punches.

But on the brief evidence of Saturday's mismatch, there finally appears to be an authentic heavyweight heft to Haye. He still looks athletic and fast but the extra stone-and-a-bit he's put on fits him well. He is also working with British boxing's most promising young trainer, Shane McGuigan. I doubt there will be many more De Moris lining up to be clubbed into dreamland, no matter how swift the ordeal appears to be.

More importantly, the return of Haye confirms that the heavyweight division is finally, genuinely interesting again. We have a reactivated, remodelled Haye, capable of putting 16,000 fans in seats for a tune-up fight, out to prove he can mix it with more than just resigned journeymen. …

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