Boxing wins after all.
Prior to this controversial fight between two highly charismatic heavyweight boxers, Frank Warren, promoter of Dereck Chisora promised us two things on fight night. The first was that Saturday night in Upton Park would be warm and sultry. The second, was that Chisora’s granite chin would be enough to win him the fight.
Both predictions however, were well off the margin as on a typically rainy July night, David Haye ferociously knocked Chisora out in the fifth round.
After claiming to have retired, David Haye came back to put on a scintillating performance of speed, power and boxing skill to easily beat his man in a packed out Upton Park.
A fight that was originally panned by the media and banned by the BBBC (British Board of Boxing Control), both boxers left their dignities in tatters as they brawled in Munich after Chisora’s bout with Vitali Klitshkho.
Rather than taking the moral decision and punish both fighters for their ethic, boxing being boxing saw a big event arise.
An opportunity for a classic and huge domestic heavyweight bout, with a taste of genuine resentment laced as a backdrop, it was something too tasty to pass up on for the promoters.
It proved to be a genius stroke from Frank Warren who managed to sell an incredible 30,000 tickets.
An electric night, despite the false weather forecast from Warren, the stage was set for the two to sort their grudges out in the ring. The fight started with Haye always looking on top. His sharp movements, and strong combinations put Chisora on the back foot, despite him charging in like a bull.
And by the fifth round, Haye’s superior skill set and top conditioning showed through as Chisora was victim to a viscous combination. Dereck lay flat on his back and there was no way back for him. The Hayemaker delivered.
After this brilliant performance all eyes will be on Haye’s next move. A bout with Vitali Kltitshkho would be the hottest fight in the heavyweight division right now, whilst there are also strong contenders in Thomasz Adamek and Alexander Povetkin.
Dereck Chisora on the other hand, took defeat with grace and dignity. He shook David’s hand and congratulated him, despite the bad blood that flowed coming into the fight.
Both fighters entered the bout with the reputation of two hot heads with a personal grudge, they ended the bout with respect and compassion. Embracing each other and sharing kind words, they displayed a fighter’s respect. The contest was over. And so was the grudge.
It was a good night for boxing and it was an event that put the sport back into the mainstream. Haye and Chisora could have made it an ugly night but they both had the courage and humility to keep the contest clean and entertaining. Let’s just hope they don’t all start in the same way.
By Michael Lam