According to former world champion Barry McGuigan: “After the way Haye and Chisora behaved in Germany, they should have served a reasonably lengthy ban. The fight should not be allowed to happen.”
Readers will recall that after the Zimbabwean-born Dereck Chisora had lost his title fight against Vitali Klitschko in Munich last year, he received a ban from the British Boxing Board of Control (BBBC) for slapping the heavyweight world champion before the fight and for spitting a mouthful of water in brother Wladimir Klitschko’s face.
Meanwhile David ‘The Hayemaker’ Haye sported a T-shirt showing the Klitschko brothers with severed heads, a sick sartorial display which hardly endeared him to most boxing fans.
Yet this display of petulance and stupidity, unbecoming of men who consider themselves prize fighters, paled into insignificance when the pair decided to ‘get it on’ in Munich’s post-fight press conference, Haye brandishing a beer bottle in one fist as Chisora threatened the use of a firearm should they renew acquaintances in the near future.
However, the ferocity of their thuggish brawl, though it resulted in Chisora being stripped of his BBBC boxing licence (Haye had not renewed his, having officially retired in October 2011), will, it seems, reap considerable commercial benefits.
After saying last week that a fight between the disgraced duo was one which he felt that fight fans would want to watch, boxing promoter Frank Warren announced plans to put his man, Chisora, up against Haye at West Ham’s Upton Park on July 14, whereupon 17,000 tickets for the bout sold in a single day.
Neither boxer holds a British licence, and so bizarrely, the fight will be staged under the auspices of the Luxembourg Boxing Federation which has hastily licensed it.
In a sport hardly renowned for its ethics, money has once again been the decisive factor in persuading the managers of two average fighters to get their charges into an east London football ground where they will presumably be instructed to knock lumps off each other.
Each fighter will reportedly receive a minimum of £2 million as a reward for violent behaviour in Munich more suited to a vomit-strewn pavement outside of a city centre nightclub.
There is little likelihood that a ground of West Ham’s capacity would have needed to stage the contest had Haye and Chisora not suffered the opprobrium of Britain’s sporting public, although one of the principal beneficiaries of their rematch is likely to be Frank Warren’s Box Nation boxing channel.
Launched last September with the assistance of investors such as Zoom Communications, south east Asia’s largest provider of broadcast facilities, Box Nation’s business model emulates that of several other specialist broadcasters.
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