David Haye to fight Dereck Chisora. Photo credit: AtilaTheHun http://www.flickr.com/photos/austinosuide/4492402796/
Boxing has been plunged into controversy following the announcement that David Haye and Dereck Chisora will fight on 14 July – a heavyweight bout that is not sanctioned by the British Boxing Board of Control (BBBC).
The two British boxers clashed at a press conference in Munich in February, following Chisora’s defeat by Vitali Klitschko. Footage of the ensuring violent brawl was broadcast around the world. The summer fight is being billed as a grudge match, with tensions between Haye and Chisora apparently still running high. At the official announcement of the fight, the two men were separated by a metal fence.
The BBBC has refused to sanction the fight as neither boxer currently holds a British boxing licence: Haye gave up his license after his retirement in October 2011, while Chisora is currently appealing an indefinite suspension. Instead, the Luxembourg Boxing Federation is set to sanction the contest.
Need a reminder of the Munich brawl? The Periscope Post has the full background.
Fight is a consequence not a cause of Munich clash
“It needs to be pointed out that, contrary to lazy myth, Chisora and Haye were not in Munich to start hyping their fight,” wrote Steve Bunce in The Independent. “However, once the first flashbulb caught the first punch their fate was sealed and July’s fight went from inconsequential to essential.” Whatever the rights and wrongs, this fight will be “the biggest in British boxing history”.
Fight will undermine the BBBC
“What would be the point of the BBBC punishing a fighter for any transgression if they simply run up a flag of convenience and fight under the auspices of another country?” asked David Anderson in The Mirror. Anderson argued that Haye and Chisora had brought boxing into disrepute with their Munich antics, and shouldn’t be allowed to gain financially from the incident.
“This fight is about eradicating boxing of an idiot. I will give him a nice, slow, concussive beating,” said David Haye at the press conference announcing the July fight, reported the BBC.
Haye showing his true colours and boxing suffers
By agreeing to the fight, Haye has demonstrated that his motivation is purely financial, suggested Jeff Powell in The Daily Mail: “Never mind honour, glory and world titles, let’s have a freak show.” Powell said that boxing is already suffering a public image problem, and this “monstrosity” of a fight will inflict more damage on the sport: “Boxing will be left to pick up the pieces while the public reflect on whether this pair of bruisers should be richly rewarded for behaving like rats in a gutter.”
At least the fight will be entertaining
“Given the uninspiring boredom of the Klitschko era, secessionist spectacles were always going to emerge,” wrote Marina Hyde in The Guardian. And after all, what’s wrong with the odd bit of novelty in sport? The real challenge for boxing in the long term, said Hyde, is “to come up with something more entertaining, as opposed to trying to make an art form of fights not happening”.