-- AL STEVENSON
story by Stuart Young
- David Haye does battle with mandatory challenger John Ruiz this Saturday night at Manchester's MEN Arena, England. It will be Haye's first defence of the WBA heavyweight crown he won when outpointing Russian giant Nikolai Valuev in Nuremberg, Germany, in November of last year.
Here in England the fight has been dubbed "Lord of the Ring" by Sky Sports TV, who are promoting the bout on PPV TV as the first Heavyweight title fight to be held on British soil since Lennox Lewis stopped Frans Botha in double-quick time in a two round demolition job back in 2000.
The challenger, Ruiz 38, is seen as a durable heavyweight with a career record of W44 (30 KO's) L8 D1, he can boast he is a former two-time WBA heavyweight world champion, but perhaps is best known on this side of the Atlantic for being the opponent of Roy Jones when he was to make history in becoming the first former-middleweight champion to win a version of the heavyweight title in more than 100 years when he put on a virtuoso performance to outsmart, outclass and outpoint Ruiz on a historic night back in 2003..
On a more positive note, and somewhat surprisingly for a continent laden with such a talent rich fight history, Ruiz is the first American of Latin American descent to reign as heavyweight champion.