So a certain promoter has got his way and proved that where British boxing is concerned words such as 'intergrity', 'ethics', and 'honour' do not exist. The debacle of a 'press conference' which followed the announcement that Dereck 'Del Boy' Chisora is to fight David Haye at West Ham's Upton Park on 14 July bore all the hallmarks of a freak show rather than an upcoming boxing bout, with promoter Frank Warren appearing about as dignified as a man in a top hat getting under a snake's belly.
To recap, Chisora's license was withdrawn by the British Boxing Board of Control after a series of disgraceful incidents before, during, and after his 18 February fight with Vital Klitschko in Germany. This consisted of him slapping his opponent at the weigh-in preceding the fight, spitting water into the face of Vitali's brother Wladimir Klitschko in the ring during the pre-fight introductions, and then at the post fight press conference engaging in a war of words with David Haye before getting out of his seat and walking the length of the room to go face to face with him. The result was a brawl involving multiple persons, after which Chisora threatened to shoot Haye.
The question needs to be asked: Just what would it take for a professional boxer to be banned from the sport? More pertinently: What kind of sport is it in which one man's greed is able to circumvent his home nation's governing body to promote a fight which drags that sport into the mud, reducing it to just one step above an organised street brawl?
Chisora and his ilk have no place in professional boxing. He is clearly a man who is out of control. David Haye it has to be said is no saint either. At the circus event, held at Upton Park to officially announce the event, the rhetoric between both men, separated by a wire fence and a posse of security guards, was akin to a very bad Sopranos script, with threat and counter threat passing back and forth. The noble art it most definitely wasn't.
No sincere apology, no contrition for his outrageous antics in February have been heard from Chisora, yet here he is just four months later being paraded at a press conference promoting a fight out of which he will be rewarded with a substantial paycheque. The example this sets to kids in boxing gyms up and down the country is a rotten one, promoting as it does boxing not as a sport but apparently as organised thuggery disguised as one.
Make no mistake this is a sad moment in the history of British boxing, dragging it back to the days when it was inextricably linked with the dregs of society. In a sport which exalts courage, tenacity, and skill, the danger of it lapsing into the glorification of brutality and criminality is why it must be protected from itself with rules governed by a sense of ethics. Yes, this fight will undoubtedly generate a lot of interest, but the ugliness surrounding it denigrates boxing in the long term, providing succour to those who maintain it should be banned.
Professional British boxing has become the personal possession and plaything of a certain promoter, with this development the unwelcome result. Yes, money talks. Sadly in this case it is saying, "Hello gutter".
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