REMEMBER the video of David Haye sparring Deontay Wilder in a boxing ring beneath a railway arch in Vauxhall? It was released five years ago, just before Haye’s ill-fated bout with Tyson Fury, and was designed to work on a couple of levels.
It was used, first and foremost, to spook Fury, show him ‘The Hayemaker’ was serious and that, in going toe-to-toe with a contender of Wilder’s calibre, he would be too quick and too good for Fury (then an unproven domestic heavyweight) when the pair met at the Manchester Arena. It was also released to create some interest and hype ahead of what was going to be a Sky Sports Box Office pay-per-view fight.
Wilder, yet to become WBC champion, was the necessary fall guy. He was the barometer used to measure Haye’s progress and his head, encased in a head-guard, was the one people watched Haye punch with left hooks and right crosses.