Haye promises speedy end to feud with Chisora
David Haye faces a route to redemption or oblivion tonight in a fight he had never contemplated until an impromptu brawl with Dereck Chisora at a press conference in Munich in February. Boxing creates strange paths for men who learn to trade punches inside and, in this case, outside the ring.
The fight, at Upton Park, will be attended by more than 30,000 spectators and watched by an estimated 500,000 on fight channel BoxNation. It has been criticised by some as a nadir for boxing, stretching moral boundaries and the loopholes of European free trade to bypass the British Boxing Board of Control (BBBC) and be sanctioned by the Luxembourg Federation.
Yet it remains a super-fight -- which could gross upwards of £10m -- charged by enmity and hatred. In the contest, it is about bragging rights to London, to something dark in the mind of the fighters and a route back to fighting the Klitschko brothers, holders of the four heavyweight belts, for either Haye or Chisora, or maybe both.
Frank Warren, stepping aside as a promoter for this event, but acting as Chisora's manager, revealed that he already had a contract for his charge to fight Wladimir Klitschko later this year if he can spring an upset and defeat Haye in the 10-round fight.
Haye, meanwhile, has said that this contest is a yardstick to measure his performance against Chisora with the points victory Vitali Klitschko had against his London foe on that night of post-fight hubris in Munich in February.
"I'm looking forward to it," said Haye. "It ain't going to go 10 rounds. He ain't gonna go the distance."
For all the antipathy, it is being seen as a genuine fight, based on their last performances. Chisora emerged with credit, in the ring, against Vitali Klitschko. Haye was denigrated after his poor showing against Wladimir, the younger Klitschko brother. Both look in great shape.
On paper, Haye has by far the better pedigree, but Chisora has doggedness in him. The key will be Haye's handspeed and the impact his punches have on his enemy early in the fight.
Will they be friends afterwards? Unlikely. But let's hope the enmity stays purely between the ropes. (© Daily Telegraph, London)
David Haye v Dereck Chisora,
Live, BoxNation, 7.0