Frank Warren will be promoting a July 14 heavyweight grudge match between UK motormouths David Haye and Dereck Chisora at Upton Park, and the veteran promoter has dismissed beliefs that the British Boxing Board of Control should somehow block the fight from happening, saying essentially that any promoter in his shoes would be doing the same thing.
Technically, it sounds like Warren will not be promoting the fight, but rather his friends at Sauerland, with Warren's struggling (in subscription numbers, not in quality) BoxNation network getting its name plastered all over the marketing, too.
The fight is going to be sanctioned and the fighters licensed by the Luxembourg Boxing Federation, which rival promoters and truthfully some fans, too, see as a slap in the face to the BBBofC, and something that shouldn't be allowed to happen. But Warren tells BoxingScene.com that one of the most vocal critics, Barry Hearn, needs only look at his own history before he throws stones:
"This is the same guy, I remember years ago him winning a purse bid between Julian Jackson and Herol Graham. And the board wouldn't allow Jackson to box in this country because Jackson was blind in one eye and he took it to Spain. The main thing here, is this is a fight that the fans want to see."
This is, indeed, a fight it seems the fans will want to see. Nothing -- and I mean nothing -- sells better or influences interest by itself in any combat sport than two fighters with a personal issue and bad blood. And there is definitely some bad blood between Haye and Chisora.
Though I said yesterday that I want to see the fight, and I stand by that, I can understand those who aren't objecting for any licensing reason but rather just because they don't want to see these two goons -- and really, given their most recent public behavior, I think that's a fair thing to call the two of them. Haye had some bizarre tantrum while working as BoxNation media for the Chisora, and then Chisora took the fight to him, and Haye swung, and then all hell and a tripod broke loose, but all that really happened was poor Adam Booth getting a cut on his noggin.
Kind of grade school-ish, when you look at it that way.
Still, the two of them can fight, and given the recent solid run the heavyweight division has been on with good fights (knock on wood), this figures to be another good fight. Chisora has never beaten anyone as good as Haye, but frankly I wonder if Haye has beaten anyone at heavyweight as good as a focused, in-shape Chisora, either, and I really don't think he has. Chisora's not pretty, but he's a bull in a China shop at his best, and while Haye will have the speed advantage and the advantage in boxing skill, his chin is questionable and there is some concern that he really doesn't like mixing it up with the big boys at heavyweight. When he sees a chance to use his speed, though, he can be a lightning bold, all sudden impact that the slower opponents just can't avoid -- ask John Ruiz, Audley Harrison, and Monte Barrett.
Personally, I really like the fight as a fight, as a good matchup. Maybe my general loathing and distrust of sanctioning bodies and commissions in boxing eliminates any issues I'd have with the fight happening against the wishes of the BBBofC, but I just don't share those concerns.
I'm on board. I'm ready for this one. But what about you? Thumbs up or down on the fight happening under these circumstances?