By Peter Owen Nelson
By noon, Friday, in old town Hamburg, the red carpet was out along with droves of rowdy Britons and polite Germans elbowing one another in anticipation of two men weighing themselves inside a sporting goods store. Security had to inform many attendees that beer would not be allowed into the sporting goods store, even when transferred to water bottles or, as one ambitious Brit attempted to do, a plastic bag.
Due to the limitless of the division, having a scale at a weigh-in for heavyweights is a bit like having a speed gun on the Autobahn for Bugattis. It makes little sense, but then again, neither does braving the odds in a fight against a man nearly four inches taller and 30 pounds heavier than you — and yet David Haye will do exactly this on Saturday against Wladimir Klitschko.
After the undercard weigh-in ended, ring announcer Michael Buffer took to the podium to announce the fighters. Haye was up first and the crowd, overwhelming British, erupted in song. England currently has 2.43 million people unemployed, and all of them appeared to be present at the weigh-in. They chanted for Haye, heckled Klitschko, and were in general awe of Buffer’s impeccable tan.
Haye came in at 212 3/4 lbs to Klitschko’s 242 1/2. As the math became clear to crowd, the Britons quieted, until they spotted Lennox Lewis, and were reminded of brighter days. Perhaps the brightest yet will come for them on Saturday night.