Sunday 22 April 2018

Boxing: BBBC to discuss Haye claims

The fall-out from David Haye's apparent assertion on Saturday night that he had bet on himself to beat Audley Harrison in the third round of their WBA heavyweight championship bout may not be over yet after the British Boxing Board of Control confirmed they would discuss the fighter's remarks at their board meeting next month.

Haye boasted that he and his friends and family had made money from gambling in the immediate aftermath of the destruction of hapless Harrison in Manchester at the weekend.

He has subsequently denied placing a bet on the outcome of the fight, either directly or indirectly, and while BBBC board secretary Robert Smith stated earlier today that the denial had been accepted, he said tonight that Haye's post-fight comments would be looked at by the board.

Smith told Sky Sports News: "The board will consider the comments in their next meeting, we're not going to call an immediate inquiry, we're just going to carry on as normal.

"We will meet up in December as the board always does, every month. We look at the pitfalls of every show and David's comments will be looked at and we'll take it from there.

"I was at the show and I didn't hear (the initial comments) at the time, I heard it last night and it's disappointing because first and foremost it is a breach of the board's rules and regulations.

"Just like any other sport, we are being looked at very closely with regard to betting at this present time, and we don't need (anyone else) saying he has definitely done this and definitely done that.

"I think (Haye) did just get caught up in the heat of the moment after the fight, but we will have to consider it further."

Smith had also earlier played down the suggestion Haye deliberately did not try fully in the first two rounds in order to match his prediction.

"I don't think so,'' he said. "I was at the fight and to be honest with you, both of them were scared to get beaten, I think, in the first round.

"It's a bit like a football match. I was at Cardiff City v Swansea last week and they were (both) petrified of losing. It was a poor game. And I think in the fight David was wary of walking straight in on a big man like that, and Audley was wary of getting hit by a smaller bloke.

"I watched it again last night and although it wasn't the best first round I've ever seen, I can understand where they were coming from. But I think you have to say when David did open up, the man was hurt. He didn't fall down, he was hurt, and he got up to fight again.

"I was there, I didn't think anything of it at the time. Obviously with all the hullabaloo you think about these things but no, I'm satisfied there was nothing untoward going on.''

Smith confirmed the board will scrutinise Harrison's pathetic performance but believes it would be "extremely harsh" to deny him his purse.

"We'll consider the reports,'' said Smith, himself a former fighter.

"We have powers to withhold the money of any boxer we do not think has given 100pc.

"I think it would be extremely harsh to withhold money from him. However, the board will look at it when all the reports come in. But I wouldn't have thought so.''

For Harrison's part, he has released a statement admitting he does not know where he goes from here in boxing, but wished Haye well in his bid to take on the Klitschko brothers Wladimir and Vitali over the next year.

He said: "To my family, my team and the fans who got behind me on this journey to overthrow David Haye and become heavyweight champion, I'm sorry I was unable to walk through the door and fulfil my destiny. I can promise I cut no corners in training and did all I could do in getting myself ready both physically and mentally for Saturday's fight.

"Ultimately, I didn't get going and my game plan to take over the fight in the later rounds was extinguished by the power and speed of David Haye who caught me clean around my guard.

"If I wanted an easy way out, I would have stayed down from the knockdown, but I rose and the referee's intervention saved me from a potentially bad knockout as David is a good finisher, but I would have gladly left the ring on a stretcher as I wanted to work my way through it.

"I make no excuses and I'm not sure where I go from here in boxing, but I'll lick my wounds, take some time out with my family and see what I want to do."

Press Association

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