[ Related: Chisora Interview / Haye Interview ]
Adam, first of all let's talk about the event itself. And so much has been said about it. Is it good for boxing? Should it be happening in the way in which it is? Should the British Boxing Board of Control be involved? Should they have gone against the British Boxing Board of Control and gone their own way? Is this good for boxing? Should it be happening?
"Well, two professional fighters having a fight in a boxing ring, which is the environment that they train, where they're disciplined to fight, is where it should happen. The fact that a dust-up happened in Munich beforehand, was the wrong place for it to happen. So now once that's happened, two professional fighters, should fight in a boxing ring, or two professional boxers should fight in a boxing ring. Now everybody's saying, no they shouldn't. How else are they going to sort out their differences?"
I know for a fact, from the reaction of my friends who have been in touch with me, as soon as they heard that this fight is going to be on, that this is big.
"I'm fed up with hearing about it, you know? It's every day, every day I get emails, calls, and texts, and people stopping me, asking me, 'When is David going to fight Chisora?' The interest in this fight is greater than the interest in the Wladimir fight at this stage. It's phenomenal. It's bizarre. For something that at the time, to me, didn't seem that serious. Because we're used to being in a fight -- you get worse in nearly every pub, or most pubs around the country, on a Friday and Saturday night when people have had a drink, more than two punches get thrown there. But there was a few words, a couple of punches, a bit of a scuffle, people pulled it apart, a camera tripod at one point, and then that was it. And the reaction by the media, and the disproportionate criticisms, and sort of public hanging of two fighters who had a fight is ridiculous. And now, there's a chance to actually get rid of all that, and do it where they should have done it in the first place."
So let's talk about the fight. How good a fight do you think it can be? Because it strikes me that the styles of the two guys, potentially, makes for a very good fight indeed.
"That's bang on the money. Dereck comes to fight, and Dereck comes to pressure, and he looks to get in your face and be at a distance where he likes to work. He's a solid fellow, 17 stone, with a granite chin. He proved that against Vitali. Something else that he proved against Vitali, at the time I made comment on radio, and that was that mentally, not once did he seem to crack. If anything, he grew through the fight with Vitali. Wasn't fazed, and there was a lot of pressure on him that night, as well. He's proved that mentally he can step up to the plate, he's proved that physically he can step up to the plate. Because by the end of the fight, he was actually chasing Vitali down. Vitali wanted the fight to be over, Dereck didn't. So during the fight, mentally and physically he grew, and he became a better fighter because of that fight. He always looks to be in range and in your face, he doesn't want to sit on the outside. David's always a fighter that always looks to let big shots go. And as soon as someone's in that distance where he can engage, his first thought is to throw a power shot. You combine those two things, you've got a pressure fighter and a puncher who can box. And you've got an exciting fight, because the stars are gonna gel."
David's saying he's gonna knock him out, and he's gonna teach him a lesson and all the rest of it, which of course he's got to say. It's all part of the build-up and it's the psychological ploy. But in your heart, you're the coach and you've got to get him in the right place for it. Do you sort of recognize that this in some ways is inevitably gonna be tough, it's gonna be hard?
"Of course, yeah. The reason David says he wants to knock him out is because he does, he wants to knock him out. My job is to make sure that he does it in the right way, and that he's prepared to keep trying. That he's prepared to throw hard shots for the duration of the fight, and that he prepares himself, and we prepare for the style that he's going to come across."
He needs to be educated.
"Listen, David's an educated fighter. He's got grade from way back when he was an amateur, and he won a World Championships silver medal, so all of his knowledge and his experience, all of a sudden he's not gonna forget it and just go out and swing like a novice. Of course he's not gonna do that. In answer to your original question about the styles gelling. Yeah. David wants to knock him out, the styles are gonna gel, and it's gonna be one hell of a fight."
I was gonna say, finally, when you look at this, you look at the number of media who are around the place, and here we are in Upton Park, big football stadium, gonna be 30, 35 thousand here, it sets the old pulse racing a bit, doesn't it? There's a buzz.
"Yeah, and it was just under a year ago, we had the same type of event in Hamburg. And you look at the stadium now and it's empty, but the atmosphere in Hamburg, and the electricity in the arena that night, I think is gonna be multipled here. Because you've got two English guys, both from London, in a London football stadium. It's gonna be one to remember."