Dereck Chisora's WBC ban doesn't really mean anything, but does give Jose Sulaiman a chance to get on his soapbox. (Photo by Christof Koepsel/Bongarts/Getty Images)
You have perhaps already heard that British heavyweight bad boy Dereck Chisora has been banned indefinitely by the WBC, one of the four major sanctioning bodies in boxing, and you may have already read that his promoter Frank Warren is wondering exactly how or why they would do that without any sort of hearing.
So let's break down what this really means, but we'll start with what it does not mean.
Chisora is not banned from boxing. He won't be ranked by the WBC, cannot fight for their title, which he did in a losing effort against Vitali Klitschko on February 18.
Here's what WBC dictator Jose Sulaiman said about the suspension in his letter to BoxingScene.com:
Derek Chisora is not going to tarnish the sport for those born in the humblest beds, who become sports heroes of the world to live a life of dignity and pride. Chisora, however, as a human being that he is, is going to be strongly invited to enter an anger management rehabilitating program that hopefully will act in his benefit.
Chisora hasn't even had his hearing yet with the British Boxing Board of Control. That's scheduled for March 14.
But the WBC does what the WBC wants, same as the other sanctioning bodies, but with, it would seem, more contradictory, self-serving, melodramatic nonsense like this than most of them bother with. Who can forget when the WBC suspended Chris Arreola for cursing on TV after a win?
That from the same folks who didn't bat an eye when Floyd Mayweather Jr -- their current welterweight titlist and a multi-time WBC titleholder who is held in the highest esteem by the organization -- went on a profanity-laced tirade against his father on HBO's "24/7" last year, and then defended Mayweather's post-fight tantrum directed at Larry Merchant, during which Mayweather cursed for all to hear on live TV, same as Arreola had.
Speaking of dignity and pride, did the WBC suspend Julio Cesar Chavez Jr following his positive drug test in Nevada in 2009? No, of course not. Chavez, like Mayweather, is a favored WBC fighter. So he was sheltered by Uncle Jose and the rest of the organization, as they moaned to the public about the dangers of Chavez's poor conditioning (which required the diuretic/masking agent that popped his test), setting him up with specialists to help determine his optimum fighting weight.
So in short, this is all a bunch of bullshit. Sulaiman and the WBC pick and choose people to make an example of because they can, basically, and because if they later change their mind when there's money to be made from those guys in sanctioning fees, they'll just lift their punishment. Arreola, for instance, has since fought for two WBC sanctioned minor titles.
Chisora's actions -- his slapping of Vitali at the weigh-in, spitting in Wladimir Klitschko's face, brawling with David Haye -- were ridiculous, over the top, and didn't speak well of him at all. And given that we're a whole 11 days removed from these momentous events and nobody is much talking about any of it anymore, just like every other thing that happens in the shortest-sighted sport on the planet, I dare say it wasn't "good for boxing" and didn't really have any legitimate impact on anything, good or bad.
But the WBC's self-congratulating nonsense means nothing. They're patting themselves on the back and giving their general impression that they're here for the good of the sport, and sometimes they do some things that are to the benefit of boxing's well-being, sure, but for the most part they are money-grubbing middlemen whose role in the sport does nothing to legitimize it or lend it any help.
Chisora most likely will receive some type of suspension from the BBBofC, which will actually mean something since his license will be held up for an amount of time, perhaps six months, perhaps a year, maybe "indefinitely" but probably not (and if it is "indefinite," what that will probably mean is he comes back in a year to reapply). The WBC can't stop Chisora from fighting because they have no real say or licensing or anything of that nature. They can only say that they'll not let him fight for a WBC title again, and that's about as likely to hold up as the next aging boxer's retirement.