I never really took to Lennox Lewis as a Brit. One reason was the boxing gold medal he won for Canada at the 1988 Olympic Games but mainly it was the strange halfway across the Atlantic accent he had. Canadian at heart and a Brit for convenience was the much used term thrown at him.
Now, Britain has a proper Heavyweight Champion of the World in David Haye as he beat Nikolay Valuev at the weekend. How he won and if he deserved the verdict i have no idea because i, along with most of the country, didn't see it.
Haye is on a Sky TV contract and was on 5% of the sales from the £15 pay to view fee so he undoubtedly made a stack of money from it although only 700,000, or just over 1%, of the country saw him do it.
Good luck to him i say, if he wants to put money before the acclaim of the nation then that is up to him but i didn't meet anyone today who watched the fight and there was no excitement over his achievement.
This must be a consideration as the Government reviews the major sporting events which must be broadcast on free to air television.
The English Cricket Board have already commented that while they may be reaping a huge financial benefit from its deal with Sky, cricket has been deprived of a vast audience that potentially includes a future generation of players. Advertisers can't be best pleased either that the millions they spend is shown to such a tiny audience.
Every sport has the right to sell their 'product' to whomsoever they wish, but don't then complain that no-one watches and there pot of emerging talent dries up.
I expect David Haye to go on and make more money than he can count but to 99% of the country he will always be a poor second to boxers who may have a quarter of his talent and never win any belts but are household names whose fights people talk about the next day.