The Indigo O2 played host to Hayemaker Ringstar’s opening show on Friday night, as David Haye and Richard Schaefer’s joint venture started in explosive fashion. With three debutants stealing the headlines, we look at the future of the fighters, Dave as a channel and promotional politics within the sport.
1 Joyce is on a fast-track to heavyweight glory
Turning professional at the age of 32, father-time is the biggest obstacle standing in the way of Joe "Juggernaut" Joyce. After a successful amateur career culminating in winning a silver medal at the Rio 2016 Olympics, the 6ft 6" heavyweight has made a seemless transition to the paid ranks, making his mark on the division within one fight.
After turning pro, most fighters tend to follow the carefully well-trodden path consisting of fighting journeymen and well-matched opponents until their time, and more importantly profile, is ready to challenge for domestic honours. However, after putting on a boxing clinic against Ian Lewison (12-4-1) in an eighth round stoppage at the O2, thoughts are already veering towards the British title.
David Haye has made no secret about the need to 'fast-track' Joe Joyce to heavyweight stardom, and with Sam Sexton recently landing the British heavyweight title, Joyce may make his return on December 17 as he bids for a title in his second outing. The Bellew vs Haye card will prove a perfect springboard for Joyce to display his talents to a wider audience on the undercard, with big pay-per-view numbers expected again.
2 MVP's power can't be ignored
As crossovers from MMA to boxing go, you won't see a more explosive debut to life in the squared circle than that of Michael "Venom" Page. Granted, his opponent Jonathan Castano (2-11-1, 2KO) was no Andre Ward, but with the Spaniard struggling to land a glove on the flashy, sharp and braggadocios Londoner, the 175lb division will certainly take note of further opportunities involving MVP.
After stalking Castano around the ring for the opening two rounds, MVP connected with a huge right hand 45 seconds into the third round crashing the Spaniard to the floor with a heavy fall. Clambering back to his feet, the referee waved off the fight despite the challenger looking fairly stable at the nine count.
Holding an MMA record of 12-0, Page has built a career on his unorthodox and flashy style inside the octagon, with the 30-year-old dropping his hands through periods of Friday's fight showcasing his confidence within a new discipline.
Under the promotion of David Haye, MVP won't be short of opportunities in the coming months to return to the squared circle, however it is believed that "Venom" will split his time between Bellator MMA events as well as his new career in boxing.
Speaking after the fight MVP described his boxing debut and a desire to continue with his new craft -
“I felt absolutely amazing and that’s a good tester to see where I want to go with it. His chin went back a little bit. It was just good timing. I was looking for that throughout the fight."
3 Willy Hutchinson begins his professional journey in style
One of Scotland's most promising boxers, Willy Hutchinson, made short work of his Bulgarian challenger Attila Tibor on the undercard in London as the youngster went to 1-0 after a perfect debut.
Hutchinson stopped Tibor in just over a minute of the opening round after the Bulgarian failed to protect himself after a barrage of punches from the Scot.
With the mantle of becoming Scotland's first ever world youth boxing gold medallist at the age of 18, Hutchinson is under no illusions of the work he has to put in to emulate some of the country's finest boxers. In an interview with The Sun, "Braveheart" expressed his targets within the sport -
"Of course I want to emulate the likes of Ricky Burns and what Josh Taylor is doing now. But I also want to do even more. I want to be even better than them. They’re fantastic. Josh right now is unbelievable. For me he is one of Scotland’s best pros now and has ever been. But I want to be the best Scotland has produced. I’ve done it in the amateurs."
4 Dave - the home of free boxing?
With ITV Box Office launching, BT Sport twinning with BoxNation and SKY Sports continuing to charge for pay-per-view bouts on a regular basis, the free-to-air channel Dave has a chance to lead the race in offering free boxing to the British public.
With a three-year deal being struck between Dave, David Haye and Richard Schaefer, Hayemaker Ringstar will provide five fight nights a year, free-of-charge, with a growing stable able to showcase their talents.
5 David Haye - the promoter. It works!
With an intriguing blend of talent mainly focused toward the heavier weight divisions, David Haye's promotional venture is a breath of fresh air to the often stagnating and frustrating side of the sport.
With Eddie Hearn and Frank Warren monopolising the sport within the UK over recent years, break-out ventures with a free-to-air platform to showcase on should be nourished in the battle for boxing attention.
With Haye's career inside the ring expected to come to an official halt within the next 12 months, the "Hayemaker" can apply his savvy business brain to further the success he and Richard Schaefer have already had in different aspects of the sport.
With Haye's obvious hunger to promote and nurture the future stars of British boxing, it's no longer a simple case of choice A vs choice B when deciding who to promote your career.
What did you think of Friday's show? Comment below...
- check out MVP's boxing debut in full!
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