By Ciarán Herlihy
Upton Park in the East End of London became a territory of Luxembourg this 14th of July 2012 as the Luxembourg Boxing Federation reached beyond the geographical confines of the Grand Duchy to sanction the final act of the David Haye / Dereck Chisora pantomime. As it turned out, it was the less objectionable of this villainous twosome who triumphed.
The theatrical build up to the fight came to its conclusion during the week when Haye and Chisora, separated by the customary steel fence, converged on Leicester square for the weigh in. Chisora has always looked impressively brutish pre fight but there was a fleshiness to his physique that suggested his conditioning work hadn’t been approached with same gusto he employed for his trashtalking. Haye on the other hand looked lean and chiselled, deservedly entering the contest as favourite.
The first round wasn’t exactly a tentative affair, but neither was it one in which any significant blow was landed. It was the second bell that signalled the commencement of battle in earnest with Haye landing some big right hits. Chisora seemed unfazed and even smiled in the face of the onslaught but his broad smirks offered little defence to Haye’s superior firepower and speed.
The third and fourth rounds brought much entertainment in the sense that an after school smack fest did when we were kids. Chisora swung wildly at every opportunity but it was Haye who was landing the stouter strikes. That said at the end of the third, Chisora managed to get a sturdy left in on Haye which left the “Hayemaker” wobble back to his corner.
The fifth bell beckoned the beginning of the end for this one. Chisora continued his suicidal tactic of recklessly advancing into Haye, chasing the knockout, probably cognizant of the fact he had been outscored in each previous round. Haye hit back with some solid counter punching and then landed the key punch of the night, a massive left hook that saw Chisora’s backside make acquaintance with the canvas. Del Boy staggered to his feet too quickly and was quickly dispatched to the floor for a second time and so concluded this sorry episode for boxing.
So what’s next for these two? Chisora’s career so far has been sustained by public intrigue rather than talent. He’s unpredictable and unstable and while his animalistic antics disgust the boxing faithful it arouses the curiosity of the wider public. Expect him to continue doing the rounds as the stern test for genuine pretenders looking to usurp the Klitschkos.
And what can you say about Haye? After the fight he opined that Vitali Klitschko would be unwilling to face him because he was “scary” in what appeared to be an effort to goad and taunt the elder half of the Klitschko couplet. It’s a fight that’s unlikely to materialize but Haye’s re-emergence might at least offer us some interesting duels down the line.
One final point. The furor and fanfare surrounding this glorified pub brawl diverted attention away from the two real heavyweight prospects operating out of the UK, Tyson Fury and Sam Sexton. The Klitschko’s may currently be lords of all, vast in isolated supremacy but they’re aging titans. Fury and Sexton, at 23 and 27 respectively, are genuine prospects and how tonight’s rucking has intrigued the wider public more than Fury’s and Sexton’s progression is beyond me.