By Johnny Walker
Flamboyant UK Heavyweight Dereck “Del Boy” Chisora rubbed the noses of the protesting BBBoC (British Boxing Board of Control), WBC, BDB (German Boxing Board)–and who knows, maybe a few more other acronyms as well–in it Monday as he travelled to Luxembourg to pick up his boxing license for his July 14 grudge showdown in London with his countryman David Haye.
Meanwhile, the world heavyweight champion Klitschko brothers, Wladimir and Vitali, took to the British airwaves and opened rhetorical fire on both Chisora and Haye—their two most loathed rivals–as they visited the UK to promote their excellent film documentary, simply entitled Klitschko.
A relaxed Del Boy even hung out at a Luxembourg boxing gym, kibitzing with the local fighters.
“I had plenty of opportunities to be licensed by other countries, but I chose Luxembourg because they were very respectful towards me, very accommodating and friendly people and I look forward to making them proud,” the eccentric Brit said at a press conference where he was presented with his license, in a dig at the aforementioned organizations seeking to prevent the fight from happening at all.
Adding insult to the BBBoC’s injury, Tony Tiberi, General Secretary of the Luxembourg Boxing Federation, said, “Dereck Chisora is a great champion and become a hero in Luxembourg when he visited a boxing gym today and made a lot of boxers day by helping with some coaching. We are sure he will not let the people of Luxembourg down. He will now go into the ring know as the Red Lion of Luxembourg.”
Earlier in the day, the German BDB had sided with the BBBoC and WBC against promoter Frank Warren, the WBO and the WBA, and demanded that the fight not take place.
Tipping his hand, BDB president Thomas Putz said: “I was surprised, disappointed, upset and shocked when I heard [about the] fight between Dereck Chisora and David Haye.
“Neither Chisora or Haye hold a valid licence with the BBBofC.
“For obvious and good reasons Dereck Chisora has lost his license with the BBBoC, is under suspension from the BDB, and has been suspended indefinitely by the WBC. This fact alone justifies Wladimir Klitschko’s comment that we should not talk about a boxing fight but about a ‘freak show’. I have to say that, even though I would choose a different wording, I totally agree with our world heavyweight champion in this point.”
Ahhh, the Klitschkos.
Can it really be a surprise that the Klitschko brothers, who rule the German boxing scene, are pressuring the BDB to put the whammy on the fight between the two men they most loathe?
Haye, you will remember, was the Klitschkos’ sworn enemy, the man who featured their two severed heads on a T-shirt and who trash-talked them like no one before.
Then along came Dereck Chisora, who slapped WBC champion Vitali’s face hard at the weigh-in before their fight, and spit water in Wladimir’s face in the ring.
After Chisora got in the act, David Haye almost seemed like an OK guy to the Ukrainian brothers.
Visiting various British media outlets on Monday to promote the opening of their documentary, the brothers took verbal aim at both Chisora and Haye.
“It is not right to sanction this fight,” Wladimir argued.
“That is my opinion. I am totally against it. People have compared Mike Tyson to Chisora and said he has done some bad things too. Let’s not compare Mike Tyson to Dereck Chisora. Mike Tyson has been the youngest heavyweight champion of the world and he has been an exciting fighter.
“Haye-Chisora is a fight between two losers,” Vitali chimed in.
“Haye lost to Wladimir, Chisora lost to me. I offered Haye a fight for September, but he obviously does not want to fight me. He ducked out to face Chisora instead. The fight between them has no meaning in the sport.
“It’s two losers against each other.”
Perhaps. But given the fact that the boxing public has been polled as being roughly 75% in favor of Haye and Chisora getting together, some of this complaining from the Klitschko camp comes across as sour grapes.
Put simply, Haye versus Chisora is a heavyweight fight the public wants to see.
The Klitschkos can’t really say the same about the Wladimir’s upcoming mandatory title defence against Tony Thompson, a man he’s already knocked out. And it seems that fact rankles them.
Sometimes always following the rules has its drawbacks, and occasionally breaking them pays off.
It has to hurt to see boxing fans so excited about a fight between the two men the brothers dislike so much.