By Johnny Walker
The moralists have rather predictably emerged, enraged that UK heavyweights Dereck “Del Boy” Chisora and David Haye are now set to square off for a second time – and the first in a boxing ring – this July 14 in Britain.
Supposedly the ring meeting of Haye and Chisora is going to shake the moral foundations of the Western world, and threaten the very existence of boxing as we know it.
What a load of bollocks, as the Brits like to say.
A closer look reveals some of the people squawking the loudest, like Barry Hearn, to be professional rivals of Chisora’s matchmaking man Frank Warren, who is looking for an event to put his fledging BoxNation TV channel on the map.
And as for the British Boxing Board of Control (BBBoC)– this is the organization that didn’t do a damned thing when David Haye admitted betting on himself for third-round knockout against Audley Harrison (Haye proceeded to carry the terrified “Fraudley” until the third round, throwing almost no punches in rounds one and two and then knocking him out), and we’re supposed to take them seriously as some kind of moral conscience of British boxing now?
Some boxing media moralists are also crying about the sport losing “credibility” if Haye versus Chisora takes place, which may be the most hypocritical of all the rhetorical posturing going on.
Due to the allergy in some quarters of the mainstream sports media in North America and the UK to the classy and non-controversial reign of the Klitschko brothers, the heavyweight division actually got more press attention when Haye and Chisora acted up in Germany following Chisora’s loss to Vitali than it has since the bad boy days of Mike Tyson.
The MSM claims it doesn’t like naughty behavior, yet it ignores anything else.
Therefore, what has no credibility to me are the media types who thrive on sensationalism, and who loved publicizing the “He glassed me!” brawl, now turning around and pompously tut-tutting about Haye and Chisora getting in the ring. But if heavyweight boxers don’t act up and act out, the media most often isn’t interested.
And that brings me to my next point.
Boxing losing more credibility?
Don’t make me laugh.
Mike Tyson bit someone’s ear off in the ring and the sport survived that. Lennox Lewis and Hasim Rahman brawled in the studio on national TV, the same Lewis and Tyson brawled at a pre-fight presser, and so on and so forth.
Boxing is nevertheless still around, and David Haye was just named the richest athlete in the UK.
The point being, professional boxing doesn’t really have any moral “credibility” to lose anyway. From the days of the mob and Sonny Liston to the present, it has never had any moral credibility. These are guys who earn their money hitting each other in the face, fer crissake.
This is boxing: Haye and Chisora aren’t running for office and don’t have to pretend to be pure and innocent.
Additionally, the age we’re now in has become so politically correct, so precious and sensitive, that the little punch-up in Germany has now become magnified far beyond what it really was — an entertaining small fracas. The people salivating the most when the scrap occurred are some of the same people now acting as if the notion of Haye and Chisora getting it on, this time with boxing gloves in a proper venue for fighting, somehow offends them. Yeah, right.
So I say this re Chisora versus Haye: screw the naysayers who have their panties in a knot and BRING IT ON!
This promises to be a helluva grudge fight, with some real fireworks between two evenly-matched, hard-hitting heavyweights. Who cares if neither Haye nor Chisora can beat the Klitschko brothers? If that is the new criterion for making heavyweight fights, we might as well forget the whole thing and watch tennis.
So I applaud Frank Warren for having the stones to circumvent the BBBoC and for giving true fight fans what they want.
And if the posturing but ineffective BBBoC goes down in flames because of it, no great loss, really.