The majority of boxing fans worldwide became engaged with the sport due to its colourful characters, powerful knockouts or the blood, sweat and tears of an underdog story. Competitive, 50-50 matchups are the lifeblood of boxing’s existence. The promise of the best fighting the best keeps us coming back.
Intense competition is not always on display. Sometimes, despite the best intentions of the matchmaker, one fighter is just streets ahead of the other. Here are some recent boxing mismatches:
Daniel Dubois vs. Ricardo Snijders
A couple of weekends ago UK fight fans were treated to another glimpse of heavyweight prospect-come-contender Daniel Dubois as he continued his ascent towards world honours. Shedding the rust in anticipation of a late October assignment against domestic rival Joe Joyce, Dubois’ main job was to get through his fight with Dutchman Ricardo Snijders unscathed.
While Snijders was no world beater, it was difficult to realise just how uncompetitive he would be. Arriving with an 18-1 record, Snijders at least appeared on paper to be something of a reasonable test. That was not the case. Outgunned, outsized and simply inferior in every department, the visitor was blasted away without barely throwing a punch in anger.
Chris Eubank Jr vs. Tony Jeter
Acting as chief support to Gavin McDonnell’s European title fight against Jeremy Parodi, Chris Eubank Jr was never expected to be tested by Maryland’s Tony Jeter. Arriving off the back of four straight wins, Jeter’s record looked OK but he had never beaten a known opponent. Eubank smashed him away in two rounds to defend the farcical interim WBA middleweight title.
Scott Harrison vs. Samuel Kebede
After regaining his WBO featherweight title by rematch knockout over Manuel Medina, Scottish hero Scott Harrison was presented with mandatory challenger Samuel Kebede. An Ethiopian based in Sweden, little-known Kebede was 24-0 on paper.
In reality he had built his record feeding on seriously substandard opponents. Harrison blasted him away inside two minutes. “That’s the power of Scott Harrison,” said a slightly embarrassed promoter Frank Maloney afterwards.
David Haye vs. Audley Harrison
In the build-up to his fight with Audley Harrison, David Haye made some unsavoury comments about how one-sided the contest would turn out to be. Distasteful or not he was 100 percent correct. Former Olympic gold medallist Harrison had made good money off the sport but, rightly or wrongly, his career petered out into something of a laughing stock.
Haye blasted “A Force” aside in one of the weakest events of recent years. It even made Sky Sports reconsider their Pay-Per-View strategy.
Herbie Hide vs. Damon Reed
A big puncher with a suspect chin, Herbie Hide aka “Dancing Destroyer” had picked the WBO crown back up after his capitulation at the hammer fists of Riddick Bowe in Las Vegas. Hide knocked out Tony Tucker in his native Norwich to reclaim the vacant strap.
To say his first defence was a soft one would be an understatement. Boxing as part of the supporting cast to Naseem Hamed and Chris Eubank, Herbie was served up 23-1 American Damon Reed. “Dangerous” Damien was anything but. Herbie spent around two minutes sending him back to the backwaters of Kansas.
Vitali Klitschko vs. Danny Williams – probably a harsh call as Danny was a capable fighter at British level. Klitschko battered him mercilessly.
Danny Garcia vs. Rod Salka – everyone, including the genial Salka himself, knew the challenger had no chance. Handpicked fights for the following few years became known as “doing a Salka” such was the widespread criticism of this blowout.