Things are getting heavy

MURRAY GREIG, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:27 AM ET

Circle June 20 on your calendar if you believe in the Big Bang theory.

That's the quaint supposition that the future of boxing as we know it - both locally and globally - is inexorably linked to the ebbs and flows of the heavyweight division.

If that's true, the last day of spring might also herald a summer of revived interest in the big men, the likes of which we haven't seen for the better part of a decade.

June 20 will be the touchstone, with the spotlight on two cards on opposite sides of the planet:

- At the River Cree Resort & Casino, six-foot-eight, 280-pound southpaw Tye (Big Sky) Fields (41-2, 37 KOs) will be unveiled as Edmonton's newest heavyweight hope when he headlines against an as-yet-unsigned opponent on a card featuring the long-awaited rematch between local junior middleweights Anthony Lessard and Trevor Moyah. There's a strong possibility WBA FedeCaribe junior middleweight champ Kris Andrews of Edmonton will also be showcased on the promotion, which will be officially announced next week.

- At the Veltins soccer stadium in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, six-foot-six, 250-pound WBO, IBF and IBO heavyweight champ Wladimir Klitschko (52-3, 46 KOs) will put his titles on the line against Britain's David (Hayemaker) Haye (22-1, 21 KOs), a converted cruiserweight who's already irked the usually unflappable Ukrainian champ by posing for a magazine cover photo that shows the brash Brit holding Klitschko's severed head.

In his last fight, Haye KO'd world-ranked contender Monte Barrett in five rounds. That was in November - three months after Barrett stopped Fields in one round in Las Vegas.

"I have declared war on the Klitschko family - first Wladimir and then (WBC champ) Vitali, and on June 20 the war will begin," the 28-year-old Haye said at a press conference in Gelsenirchen yesterday.

"I'm in my prime, my resume speaks for itself. I'm not coming here to pick up a paycheque like the rest of his opponents. June 20 will be the beginning of a legend. I am going to take boxing to a whole new stratosphere."

That's pretty big talk - especially from a guy who only has one heavyweight bout under his belt and was knocked out by 40-year-old Carl Thompson in their showdown for the IBO cruiserweight title five years ago.

Still, there's a lot of hype around Haye - mostly because of his exciting, unorthodox style. While he clearly lacks the raw power of either of the Klitschkos, he punches so quickly and accurately with both fists that he doesn't need to nail opponents cleanly to put them on the deck.

His downside has always been his stamina and his chin, which is usually wide open when he unloads those big guns. Barrett dropped him with a left hook just before being knocked out, but Haye dismissed that as "a lucky punch."

Like Haye, the 34-year-old Fields, who's trained by two-time Canadian heavyweight champ Ken Lakusta, will be gunning to take his career to the next level when he climbs into The Venue ring at River Cree on June 20.

"Tye is only one or two more wins away from being a world Top 10 contender, and once he gets that ranking anything can happen," Lakusta said of the Montana-born Fields, who recently relocated to Edmonton from Las Vegas.

"He's got 37 knockouts in 43 fights, including stopping (former WBA champ) Bruce Seldon in two rounds. He's right there on the doorstep of fighting for the world championship. Against Barrett, he got caught, that's all. It can happen to any heavyweight ... but he learned from it. He's an unbelievable athlete and I'd put his punching power on a par with anyone out there -- including the Klitschkos.

"Mark my words: after this fight, people are going to be raving about Tye Fields. He's going to put Edmonton right in the middle of the heavyweight picture internationally."

We'll see. Like I said, circle June 20 on your calendar.


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