“The Man’s Clearly A D*ckhead”: The Best Moments From Wladimir Klitschko And David Haye’s HBO Face Off
If there's one thing HBO has proven itself to be very adept at, it's dramatizing the dying sport of boxing.
It's likely that you're already familiar with their 24/7 series, wherein they follow the training camps of two fighters and package it with lots of drums and lots of deep-voiced narration. It's very good television. But their other, newer boxing show, Face Off, is even more emotionally gripping.
Essentially, HBO takes two fighters who are weeks away from trying to beat each other up in front of millions of people, has them sit in backwards chairs facing each other, and then has Max Kellerman ask them questions like, "So when your opponent called you a bitch and your mother a whore... how did that make you feel?" It's like a televised couples therapy session between two very scary men, and there is no other show on TV (well, besides Lockup) where the threat of actual violence is more real.
The latest Face Off features a star turn from gigantic heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko, who up until now was best known in the U.S. for having very boring fights and going out with the cheerleader from Heroes. Klitschko presents a heretofore-unknown ability to impersonate every Russian bad guy from a James Bond film ever, and a one-liner about jewelry, which he refers to as "flashy-flash," had us wondering where this man has been all along.
But without a good foil, the show wouldn't work. Luckily, Klitschko's undersized opponent, David Haye, is a suitably good shit-talker. When Kellerman asks Haye why he hates Klitschko, his response is, "He's clearly a dickhead." As Grantland points out, it's like listening to Ali G, if Ali G were a heavyweight boxer.
Klitschko and Haye will face off on HBO this Saturday, and their bout (which is a big, big deal in Europe) may in fact be the most important sporting event on an otherwise barren sports weekend. If their face off in the ring is half as good as their Face Off in these backwards chairs, it will be worth watching.
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