It's been a while but suddenly boxing's heavyweight division is looking interesting again.
For David Haye, the sun is shining again and he looks on the way to illuminating the division once more after he mowed down Aussie opponent Mark de Mori, who resembled a kangaroo caught in the headlights over the weekend. Haye downed de Mori with much of his old speed and power in the most significant of all the performances on a big night of boxing on both sides of the Atlantic.
American giants Deontay Wilder and Charles Martin duly won their respective world title fights in New York but it was Haye in London who made the boldest statement. It was more emphatic in its destructive way than the characteristic rant at Wilder with which Tyson Fury gate-crashed the ring at the Barclays Centre.
Fury, the WBA, WBO, IBO and Ring magazine champion, and Wilder, holder of the WBC title, are charting course for a lucrative unification fight.
Wilder played his part by knocking out Polish challenger Artur Spzilka and then, while his victim was being carried away still semi-conscious, allowed himself to be dragged into an exchange of insults with Fury.
"You're a bum," screamed Fury as he flung down his jacket.
"You're a phoney," retorted the Bronze Bomber.
While they appear destined to meet inside the ropes again, each has another commitment to fulfi.
Fury is heading for a rematch with Wladimir Klitschko, whose long reign as world champion he terminated so cleverly. Wilder is obliged to make a mandatory title defence against Alexander Povetkin.
Wilder did eventually dispatch Spzilka to hospital with that sledgehammer right which has crushed most of his opponents. Yet, through most of the preceding eight-and-a-half rounds, he had struggled to cope with the movement of Spzilka, in much the same way Klitschko laboured against Fury.
After three-and-a-half years in the dark labyrinth of injury, surgery and recovery Haye re-emerged heavier but as quick and explosive as ever. He will need to validate his credentials as a re-born contender against foes less fearful than the apprehensive de Mori, who lasted just two minutes and 11 seconds before subsiding under the first real Hayemaker.
After a couple more bouts, Haye's camp would like to lay hands on Anthony Joshua. Not that Britain's much younger heavyweight hope needs to rush into that one and the changing odds at the bookies suggest Joshua may be wise to be wary. Ladbrokes still quote Joshua as their 4-6 on favourite but Haye has closed sharply overnight to 5-4.
As Lennox Lewis said at the Brooklyn ringside: "The heavyweight division is wide open."
To which Haye announced: "I'm back. No heavyweight now out there can take the power of my punches." He could be right.
- Daily Mail