David Haye and Dereck Chisora's performance last night was an embarrassment to British boxing, and the pair need to realise it and fast. (Photos by Alexandra Beier/Bongarts/Getty Images and Scott Heavey/Getty Images)
After another long night watching the boxing yesterday, I called it a night pretty impressed with Dereck Chisora's performance, yet less than 12 hours later I've awoken to a story which should make most boxing fans cringe.
Through the night we covered the unfolding story of David Haye and Dereck Chisora going to war at the post-fight press conference. This morning I've had time to take it all in and read all of the thoughts of the readers here at Bad Left Hook.
Before I ramble on about the disgraceful behaviour of all parties, I'd to make a point about the performance of Chisora. Despite having little experience and very little practice against the world elite he did himself proud. He never gave in and constantly came forward. Yes he got beat and deservedly so, but at least he stood there and basically said, "Let's have it." I'd much rather see people like Chisora than the likes of Samuel Peter, Tomasz Adamek and Shannon Briggs.
As for the aftermath, pre-fight and anything not in the ring, well that's a totally different ball game.
Dereck Chisora's antics outside the ring overshadow his efforts in the ring. In six months time what are the general public going to remember? That lad from Finckley who did himself proud against a world champion? Or a mad man threatening to shoot people? We know the answer there.
I didn't want to look at the past problems these two have had, but how can I not, as it adds to the argument that these two clearly have issues. In the past Chisora has kissed and bitten opponents, this weekend he's reached a whole new level with slapping and spitting. Haye himself hasn't had problems in the past similar to last night, but he's always running his mouth off and in his last fight got silenced well and truly.
People will tell me to lighten up and that it's all about creating some hype for the sport, but there is a line and the pair plus their teams crossed the line last night. David Haye for some reason was allowed into the post-fight press conference, and his sole aim was to goad a fight with Vitali Klitschko, after Haye claimed they've agreed to a deal but Bernd Boente is the reason for it stalling. Then after yet again running his mouth off he managed to enrage Chisora to come to the floor, where the pair exchanged words before Haye threw the first punch.
The claim is that Haye glassed Chisora, but according to Ron Lewis of the Times newspaper this was not the case as he tweeted after the fiasco.
"Haye throws first punch with hand holding a bottle of lemonade (although he did not glass him as Chisora claimed) Brawl starts..."
I don't want to bore you with the minor details as I'm sure you know the story and if not you can see the video I linked earlier. But the actions of Chisora were nothing short of disgraceful. Threatening to 'shoot a man' or even 'burn him' if he doesn't get a fight is pure thuggery and sets a shocking example to the future of the sport. As a fan of football and rugby league over in the UK, I appreciate the sport of boxing and love the fact it's a sport with respect running through its core.
As usual Frank Warren was trying to use the situation to set-up a new fight but I think the two will be lucky to escape punishment. With the world focusing on the UK for the Olympics it sets a bad example for the country, but mainly it gives boxing a bad name. It reminded me of WWE, a fake sport with absurd story-lines and constant drama. I'll agree with those saying it increases the popularity of the sport and there will be more attention...but not for the right reasons. The incident has left British boxing trying to put a hand over its face.
As for the future, they'll probably get it on in the ring, if Haye gets that far after Chisora's threats. The public will demand the fight and it will get British boxing talking again, but I can see the Board of Control having something to say about all of this. They're the ones who need to dish the punishments (and maybe the German police) and it'll be interesting to see if they grant Haye a licence to box again (don't forget he will need a new one after letting his old licence lapse).
Chisora needs help. You can't go around threatening to kill people, and in stepping up the boxing ladder he seems to be disgracing himself at every opportunity. Some boxing experts and fans are demanding the pair never get the chance to fight again, but we know that won't happen. The heavyweight division needs a kick up the arse once more and last night it got more than it needed to kick it into life.
The whole thing takes the attention off the fight itself. Dereck Chisora did himself proud. The boxing world could be talking about him in a positive light this morning if he'd have shown respect after losing, and told David Haye what he thought and left it at that. Haye had his chance and was a shambles in July and should deal with it. He's not a leading British icon like he once was (or thought he was). The country put faith in him and he let everyone down. His failure to deal with his loss is laughable. Why should he fight Vitali? And this isn't a personal attack on Haye, I guess, but more a fan who was just devastated by his performance in Germany.
The real question, though, is who came out of this with any respect? Well who else but the Klitschkos? They're classed as boring and sometimes they are, but their attitude and actions epitomise what boxing is all about. As the action unfolded they stood there smiling, laughing and most of all stunned at the performance. They looked professional and as surprised as everyone else.
I know the general boxing fans aren't going to agree with me, they're going to read this and tell me to lighten up and shut up moaning. I love a tear-up, a brawl, and I appreciate it, in the ring. The American fight fans will probably take to Chisora a little more now, he's brash and could be dubbed as the British version of Mike Tyson. But as a British boxing fan I was ashamed, and you can call me boring all you like. It was pure thuggery, classless and a shocking example to the kids of the future, for a sport which has respect as one of its main principles.