Former world heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis stands by the British Boxing Board of Control in their attempts to ban the scheduled July 14 fight between David Haye and Dereck Chisora.
Neither Haye nor Chisora has a license from the Board at this time, as Haye's lapsed in 2011 and Chisora had his suspended following a run of misbehavior in Germany before and after his loss to Vitali Klitschko in February -- which started with his slapping Vitali in the face at the weigh-in, followed by him spitting in Wladimir Klitschko's face in the ring, and ended of course with a press conference brawl with Haye.
From the Mirror:
"Chisora did a couple of bad things which, in football terms, brought the game into disrepute, and although he has apologised, that is not enough. Maybe he needs anger management therapy, some outside help, to draw a line under what happened in Germany."
... "Slapping your opponent at the weigh-in, spitting in another champion’s face in the ring, throwing a punch while holding a bottle and threatening to shoot a fellow boxer was all way over the top.
"It left a bad taste and I’m glad the British Boxing Board of Control stepped in and took the action they did. I make them a billion per cent right for doing that."
Lewis' backing of the BBBofC's stance here is not surprising or anything, but it does beg one to recall a couple of issues Lewis had in his own career, going abroad and becoming involved in some pre-fight scuffles with Mike Tyson and Hasim Rahman:
To be fair to Lennox, Tyson approached him with ill intent, but that's also what Haye says happened with Chisora in Munich, so what's the difference? And to be fair to Lennox with the Rahman case...eh, nothing really -- they were equally determined to have some weird push-and-pull there.
Today, though, having matured and retired and all that, Lewis seems to cherish his stature as a heavyweight we wish we still had around, because it's not like during his prime years he was always accepted as special. In many ways, he met the same criticisms the Klitschkos meet today. A real case of "don't know what you've got 'til it's gone" with Lewis, and he was for sure a great fighter, and he should cherish his status as a respected voice in the fight game, but I'm choosing to take it with a grain of salt and all that. Lewis wasn't quite the proper gentleman he may wish to be remembered as. There are good reasons to think this fight shouldn't happen, but the moral high ground argument just doesn't cut it for me.
Over 20,000 tickets have also reportedly been sold for the fight at Upton Park, which confirms the great interest in the bout, whether it's genuine interest in the fight, genuine interest in a fight, novelty interest, or just curiosity about two head-cases clashing.