Haye v Harrison makes perfect sense
There are those who think a boxer's primary consideration is to appear credible in the eyes of the public, whereas in fact a boxer's primary consideration is to make as much money as possible before getting out, hopefully with all their faculties intact.
That's a boxer's prerogative - they're the ones putting their lives on the line in the ring.
It just so happens the big-money fights are usually the big-risk fights - and therefore the fights the fans want to see. But, occasionally, a boxer will be offered the chance to make a stack of cash at what he deems to be a reduced risk. And, frankly, he would be mad not to take it, regardless of what some of the fans might think.
Which is why David Haye's decision to defend his WBA heavyweight crown against Audley Harrison made perfect sense. There is little point fighting top-10 but little-known fighters such as Ruslan Chagaev or Alexander Povetkin when you know you can pack out a 20,000-seat arena and make millions via pay-per-view instead.
"It won't do anything for my credibility but it will bring a lot of people on board," Haye, who is making the second defence of his title on Saturday, told BBC Sport. Added Harrison: "We're both high-profile fighters, it's two British guys fighting for the heavyweight world championship, the biggest fight in Britain since Frank Bruno-Lennox Lewis."
Haye realises he is not everybody's cup of tea. There are those who think he is a cocky so-and-so and there are those who feel betrayed he is fighting Harrison instead of Vitali or Wladimir Klitschko, although Haye claims the Klitschkos are to blame. Still, he is savvy enough to embrace - and make a mint from - the negativity.
"I actually like it [the criticism from fans], it makes me laugh," said the 30-year-old Haye. "I'd rather there are people out there who hate me than don't care at all. If someone doesn't care either way, they're not going to watch you fight. People used to pay to see Chris Eubank lose and he was laughing all the way to the bank.
"Some people hate Audley and some people like him but people want to see him fight one way or the other. People will pay hard-earned money to see either one of us get a beating."
Harrison, just turned 39, is not so self-aware, claiming he is winning the British public over, that his story is "building to a crescendo" and that it "resonates with the people". A cursory glance at various boxing messageboards reveals this to be wishful thinking: 'Fraudley' or 'Audrey' or 'A-Farce' - or whatever his detractors are calling him on any given day - may have landed a world title shot but he remains a figure of fun to many.
While it is sad to see a former Olympic champion lampooned in this way, it is understandable. There have been too many unfulfilled promises, too many false dawns. Witness his boast after beating Danny Williams in 2006: "In 2007, I will win the world title, In 2008, I will be undisputed. I have definitely got the skills." Two months later, he was knocked out by Reading's Michael Sprott. When Harrison says he will "school Haye in the art of boxing", it is no wonder people don't believe him.
Harrison, who has lost four of his 31 fights, is also fond of contrasting what he perceives to be his hard-won humility with the ego of Haye. "I've got compassion for David Haye," said Harrison, "because his ego is way out there like mine was back in the day." Yet there is nothing humble about turning up an hour late for a media engagement, as Harrison did last week, particularly when you turn up with a six-man entourage in tow.
And there is nothing humble in claiming, as he frequently does, he has God in his corner, that everything that has happened in his career to date - the four devastating defeats, his career-salvaging victory in last year's Prizefighter tournament - was pre-ordained by some higher force. "I don't think God gets too involved in boxing matches," sniffs Haye, "not unless he's got a bet on it."
What Harrison forgets is that, whether fans find it edifying or not, Haye has reason to be bombastic. He is, after all, the owner of the WBA belt and a former undisputed cruiserweight champion. Harrison, in contrast, took nine years to secure his first pro title of any value, the European belt he won with a last-gasp knockout of Sprott in a rematch in April, having been behind on all three judges' scorecards.
All of which helps explain why Haye is hated by some and Harrison is pitied by many - that's the difference between perceived arrogance and delusion.
Add the hate and pity to plenty of genuine respect for anyone who climbs into a ring and it all amounts to a fight an awful lot of people will pay to see - and that's the bottom line.