Cruiserweight – David Haye vs. Tomasz Adamek
Best time to make this fight: February of 2009
Reasons: Neither man stayed at cruiserweight for long but there was a brief window when they could have met. In March of 2008 Haye stopped Enzo Maccarinelli to add the WBO strap to his WBA and WBC titles while Adamek captured the one belt Haye didn’t have – the IBF bauble – by beating Steve Cunningham via thrilling split decision in December of 2008. In real life Haye bolted from the cruiserweights and re-emerged as a 215-pounder that November while Adamek made his first defense against Jonathan Banks in February of 2009. If Haye had wanted to leave the cruiserweights as the undisputed champion, he could have substituted himself for Banks and sweated off the weight one final time for all the marbles.
Why this fight made the list: In terms of sheer talent, both guys rank near the top of the cruiserweight heap. Each boxed well but punched better and the mix of styles would have been a volatile one. For most of its three-decade existence, the cruiserweight division has been star-crossed as well as star-starved. Haye-Adamek would have given this weight class a much-needed infusion of positive recognition.
What might have happened: Adamek was athletic, talented and hard-hitting but Haye was more so on all counts. Adamek’s courage would have enabled him to give “The Hayemaker” quite a tussle but the battling Brit would have come out on top.
Honorable mentions: Vassiliy Jirov vs. Jean Marc Mormeck, Juan Carlos Gomez vs. Vassiliy Jirov, Carl Thompson vs. Juan Carlos Gomez