More than a fence is keeping David Haye and Dereck Chisora apart at this point. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)
The schedule July 14 fight between David Haye and Dereck Chisora still has plenty of questions surrounding the event set for West Ham's Upton Park, as the EBU has voted 94% for suspending the Luxembourg Federation that was to sanction the bout, with expulsion following if they actually go through with it.
The Daily Mail says that promoter Frank Warren is currently "vowing legal action to defend himself and his associates, the boxers included, from any repercussions," and there's even talk of this running as some sort of unsanctioned outlaw fight, except not in some barn somewhere in the sticks, but in front of 30-40,000 fans at a major venue.
A later report says that the LBF is still going to sanction the fight, but they will have a meeting on Tuesday night, at which point a lot of this should clear up.
Warren is saying the fight will go on. The British board are standing their ground and threatening action against basically anyone involved. It's all quite a disaster, really -- a drama that nobody wants, for a fight that it seems a lot of boxing fans do want.
All things considered, I truly cannot find a good reason for this fight to not happen, other than, "Well, they're both jerks and I don't like them." I don't like a lot of guys, but there are people a lot worse -- physically, mentally, whatever -- than David Haye and Dereck Chisora who are licensed to fight all over the world.
Now, I know that with the BBBofC not licensing either fighter right now, that gives them some right to be upset about the idea of the fight taking place on British soil, with their express disapproval. What I'm saying is this: The BBBofC should license the fighters, sanction the fight, and stop all of this. It's a fight the public is interested in seeing. I'm not saying we should give in to every whim the public wants -- they'd probably also be glad to see Mike Tyson fight a rhinoceros, at least in some depraved circles -- but I'm just not seeing the major issue with this fight.
When Dereck Chisora was found guilty of assault against a woman, the board did not ban him or suspend or do much at all, really. They were all set to let him head on down to Germany the next month to face Wladimir Klitschko. That fight was called off and rescheduled, the BBBofC still did nothing.
A few months after that, they gladly allowed Chisora to face Tyson Fury at Wembley Arena.
Turns out that a slap, a water spit, and a half-assed brawl are enough to give the Board the vapors, turning them into the morality police. None of Chisora's actual troubles with the law seemed to give them any real pause, but this nonsense apparently embarrassed the great and noble business of boxing so much that they needed to make a big statement.
And Haye? All he did was get into the brawl, so I guess really that itself must have been enough, forget the insults to the brothers Klitschko. Other than being annoying and an egotistical braggart, is David Haye really all that big of a deal that he has to be banned from British boxing?
The whole thing is a mess, and there's no guarantee this fight happens. I think that's a shame. Warren says 28,000 tickets have been sold, which could well be an exaggeration, but also could well be true. Personal issues sell tickets. Personally, I believe the fight should happen, and bottom line is I believe it should happen the "right" way, with the BBBofC behind it. But that doesn't appear likely.
If it gets called off, with no one willing to sanction the bout and face the wrath of the EBU, I won't lose any sleep about it or start an online petition or a Facebook campaign.
I'll just wonder what, exactly, was so grotesque about these two, at this moment, that they're not allowed to fight. I am no great fan of either fighter. I just don't believe not being a fan is a strong reason to keep them from their work.