By Johnny Walker
Fresh controversy has arisen regarding the upcoming heavyweight grudge match between David “Hayemaker” Haye and Dereck “Del Boy” Chisora, scheduled for July 14 at Upton Park in London, England.
As shown in the BoxNation documentary Behind The Ropes, last week’s training camp dust-up between the temperamental Chisora and his trainer, Don Charles, made the Haye camp look tranquil and happy by comparison.
But that calm has now been shattered by a dispute between old enemies Adam Booth, Haye’s manager and trainer, and Chisora’s promoter and BoxNation head honcho Frank Warren, over the choice of the referee for the bout.
The Luxembourg Boxing Federation–which licensed the bout after the British Boxing Board of Control balked–had selected 68-year-old veteran referee Mickey Vann to officiate what promises to be an intense pugilistic affair, but the Haye camp—specifically Adam Booth—isn’t having it.
“There’s no way I am allowing Mickey Vann to be the referee,” Booth tells The Sun.
“Frank Warren knows full well I will kick and scream like a petulant child on this matter.
“The fact that the Luxembourg Boxing Federation would nominate a 68-year-old featherweight to be in charge of a bout between two aggressive heavyweights, with a known grudge, in a fight that is certain to get physical and ugly, beggars belief.”
After both witnessing and becoming involved in Chisora’s now infamous reckless antics before and after his last fight–with WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko in Munich—as well as being aware of his unruly actions in past (Del Boy has both bitten and kissed hapless opponents, and has been convicted of assaulting his girlfriend), the Haye camp is feeling increasingly apprehensive about the possibility of Chisora melting down and going out of control once again.
“I have always been a model pro in the ring, but he hasn’t,” says Haye of his next opponent.
“We need a strong ref.”
Warren—who Booth says has “a long history” with Mickey Vann—contends that he doesn’t know what all the fuss is about.
“I have every faith in Mickey but the other camp has to agree,” says the promoter.
But Adam Booth remains adamant.
“Make no mistake, this fight is going to be wild. And we need to be 100 per cent confident of the third man in the ring.”