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Haye v Chisora: Forget the nonsense, enjoy the fight

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Ben Dirs | 07:30 UK time, Friday, 13 July 2012

The most startling claim made at the final news conference before Saturday's bout between David Haye and Dereck Chisora came from the latter's trainer Don Charles: "I would go as far as to say the kid [Chisora] is a genius."

While I am aware that geniuses are not always immediately obvious - just ask the poor prostitute Van Gogh gave his ear to - I am equally certain that losing three of your last four fights, slapping a rival at a weigh-in, spitting at his brother and collecting parking meters does not a genius make.

Having headed for the news conference almost directly from the rather more buttoned-up environment of Wimbledon, the nonsense piled up so fast I needed wings to stay above it: playground insults traded by hard men through a metal fence that would have struggled to keep apart a couple of warring toddlers. How much more bonkers could this be? The answer is 'none': none more bonkers.

David Haye and Dereck Chisora

David Haye and Dereck Chisora ahead of their clash at Upton Park. Photo: Getty

And yet. And yet. My claim is this: that no activity in the sporting canon evokes in its audience such a wide range of emotions as boxing. Fear, anger, sadness, joy, admiration, disgust, shame, pity, all are there, with amusement gelling the whole thing together like a generous slathering of jam in a cake.

If one person embodied the sport's emotional incontinence it was two-weight world champion Chris Eubank: a man who wore a monocle and jodhpurs (anger, amusement, take your pick), fought with the heart of a lion (fear, joy, admiration) and was involved in his fair share of tragedy (disgust, shame, pity).

As much as I was filled with admiration for the talent on display at SW19, while I sucked up a few tears on seeing Andy Murray losing and laughed on seeing Jo-Wilfried Tsonga wear a forehand in his unmentionables, tennis is not a game that evokes emotional extremes. Because it is just that: a game.

So while sections of the media have condemned Saturday's fight at Upton Park, a lot of punters have bought into it: 30,000 are expected, which is 5,000 more than watched Lennox Lewis beat Frank Bruno in Cardiff in 1993.

Sub-consciously or not, these will include people for whom the undeniable silliness of professional boxing obscures, and perhaps makes more palatable, the seriousness of the activity. Boxing, when all the fripperies and all the supposed rights and wrongs are stripped away, is two men putting their lives and manhood on the line. And so it will be when David Haye fights Dereck Chisora this weekend.

So it is time to put behind us whether this fight should ever have taken place - something I discussed at length when it was announced - and concentrate on the here and now: it is legal, the punters clearly want it and it is an intriguing stylistic match-up that has the makings of a domestic classic.

At its heart the fight is a tale of redemption. But perhaps only for one man. While his trainer thinks his kid is a genius, most of the rest of Britain thinks Chisora is unhinged, someone who flits between biting and kissing opponents. Win with honour and a few people might change their minds.

When it was put to Haye that he is in danger of being remembered for all the wrong reasons, he didn't seem to mind: "It doesn't bother me. As long as the people I care about and boxing people know what I've achieved, I'm happy."

But to be remembered for his 'fight' against Audley Harrison (Harrison threw one punch in three rounds), his 'fight' against Wladimir Klitschko (Haye talked it up before blaming defeat on his toe) and his 'fight' against Chisora (February's glass-shattering brawl in Munich) would be a shame.

For Haye is a former undisputed cruiserweight champion, who climbed off the canvas in Paris to beat Jean-Marc Mormeck for the WBA and WBC crowns before blitzing Welshman Enzo Maccarinelli in two rounds. And let's not forget his win over Nikolay Valuev, to whom he gave away 10 inches and six stone.

While Haye will tell anyone who cares to listen that he will get Chisora out of the way in one or two rounds, others are not convinced it will be quite so easy. And Haye knows he needs an eye-catching performance to keep Vitali Klitschko, who Chisora performed so creditably against, from retirement.

In a battle between a ponderous, come-forward pressure-fighter (Chisora) and a speedy, back-foot counter-puncher (Haye), the outcomes are numerous, especially when punching power, chins and stamina are chucked into the equation.

Haye starts the favourite because most people believe he will be too quick and too explosive. But Chisora will be banking on his durability - he won the last round against Vitali - looking to make his rival fight three minutes of every round and hoping Haye blows himself out down the stretch.

"He gets blasted out real fast," is how Haye sees it. Chisora's response: "He's got speed for one round. By round four, he'll be blowing out of his backside."

"Whatever happens," said Chisora's manager Frank Warren, "you can guarantee the winner's next fight will be against one of the Klitschkos. So much for all that nonsense they said about this being a freak show." Intelligent blokes, the Klitschkos, which is why they know nonsense is just part of this very dangerous game.


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  • Comment number 1.

    Yawn!!! The most boring piece of writing I ever read. Ben it is a boxing match and yet you talk of tennis in the same blog. Tennis and Boxing are two entirely different sports!!!

    I disagree with Frank Warren's assumption that the winner will fight the Klitschkos. Should David Haye win, and I believe he will, that is him retired.

  • Comment number 2.

    These two clowns perfectly sum up everthing wrong with professional boxing.

  • Comment number 3.

    Alun, I thought it was a witty piece and a far-cry from every other "this fight is a disgrace" article written. Boxing and Tennis are different sports. Well done. He merely stating the stark contrast between the two sports.

    I do agree with Ben's sentiment though. It's bloody nonsense this fight, but take away all the smoke and it should be a decent fight to watch. What more could you hope for in the heavyweight division?

    People seem to forget that this nonsense was part and parcel of boxing back in the golden days. Don't really care who wins, just looking forward to an absolute mental fight!

  • Comment number 4.

    There is a reason why boxing is struggling to keep any interest (certainly compared to the 90s), and these two clowns epitomise why. They have no honour or respect for each other and are a disgrace to what was once a noble sport.

    I honestly hope it turns out to be the farce we all know it probably will be. Then they'll hopefully go the way of the dodo and we'll never hear from either of them again.

  • Comment number 5.

    I also thought Chisora fought very well vs Helenius and Vitali. Will that stand him in good stead vs Haye? I find it hard to imagine either man will stick to his plan in a disciplined manner. Most likely the match will resemble a gloved sequel to the Munich tumble.

  • Comment number 6.

    What a load of tosh about a couple of idiots. These 2 are an embarrassment to the country. What is worse is the coverage the BBC is giving them. Just ignore them and they may go away.

  • Comment number 7.

    Disagree with #1, people compare different sports all the time, how does that make the blog boring?

    I love boxing, the courage of two guys getting in the ring to basically try and knock the others head off astounds me. However this fight really doesn't interest me. THe showmanship and mock drama involved in the pre-fight build up I normally find funny but this just seems ridiculous. It may well end up being a classic, I hope for those watching it turns out to be just that but I've heard Haye talk up too many of his fights lately to think this will turn into that. Chisora had the fight of his life against Klitschko, I don't think he can muster the same here.

    I know people will say boxing's always been like this and it has, but in the past I get the feeling the people spouting rubbish would back it up in the ring with the skills (not my era so I wouldn't know). This time around Haye is a decent Heavyweight for his time but he's no more than that, and looking at the others in his division it doesn't seem that difficult to get to that level. And all Chisora's done is create enough controversy to earn himself some decent paydays. Other than pushing Klitschko the distance he doesn't appear to have done much else.

    Personally I'm a lot more excited about the Khan fight. After what happened in his last bout I'm expecting an incredibly focussed and determined Khan this time and I think he'll take Garcia out in the 6th.

  • Comment number 8.

    As the old saying goes there's no such thing as bad publicity. Ali nigh on invented it, and while he is remembered fondly for his boxing he was no stranger to promotional controversy as his treatment of Smoking Joe is testament to. This is nothing new to boxing, and personally i can't wait to see this fight and neither can 29,999 others, its more exciting than any Klitschko fight of recent years that's for sure; as they continue to roll out old never was' and victims of yesteryear

  • Comment number 9.

    Totally agree with some of the thoughts of fellow posters. Shame on the BBC for giving these two clowns any publicity at all. They are a disgrace to the noble sport.

  • Comment number 10.

    The reason it's getting coverage is because like it or not there has been a public appetite for this fight. I think the 'brawl' in Munich was a publicity stunt which went wrong, when the 'genius' Chisora fluffed his lines but Warren got the outcome he wanted. I am a boxing fan always will be so I am biased but as per the blog, forget the why's, it's happening and it has the makings of a good heavyweight fight. Chisora is no mug in the ring, he looked very poor against Fury but his last few fights he's done better than I expected, but Haye on top form wins this unless Chisora's chin is more granite than we think. Either way with the exception of the Povetkin vs Huck fight (which was decent) could be one of the better HW fights this year. As for boxing being a disgrace, boxing is in a catch 22. Do you have a 2 weight world champion, and great boxer, in Ricky Burns who until very recently can't sell out a big arena (which is a crying shame because his improvement has been huge), and a geniune decent guy or do you have a Bellew vs Cleverly or a Chisora vs Haye which has half of what we despise but sells out? Boxing fans will go whatever, but not enough hardcore fans to make the numbers, so it's the casual boxing fans this engages, like it or not.

  • Comment number 11.

    A discredited fight in a discredited sport the BBC should not be covering this, what next Ali vs Frazier rematch sanctioned by the Isle of Wight Boxing Board of control?

    Until boxing gets it act together 1 world champion in each weight and neutral competant judges the whole sport is a farce

  • Comment number 12.

    I remember when boxing was a sport.
    Now it's WWE with gloves.

  • Comment number 13.

    I can't even see why the BBC should be promoting this charade of a boxing match. What have they got to gain from it ? I think the beeb originally denounced these two plums as an embarrassment to the sport, now it's the biggest fight of the year ?
    Go away BBC and sort yourself out. You get more like the News of the World every day.

  • Comment number 14.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 15.

    I think I agree with other posters that the BBC helping generate interest in this muck is wrong, especially given the number of creditable fights by proper boxers that do not get such promotion. The only ring these two clowns should be in is a circus.

  • Comment number 16.

    Comment 14 is beyond belief - lumping Katie Taylor, a great female boxer, into this argument claiming she lacks intelligence and beauty and hence "excellence"- come out of the Stone Age, Ido.

  • Comment number 17.

    I have to disagree with the posters on here, I actually do feel there is some honour and lessons in this boxing match. The behaviour shown in Munich was clearly unacceptable however I think the lead up to this fight has recognised that they were out of order and a bit more respect for the public has been shown. Two guys who (real or staged) had a fight are now sorting this out in a fair, organised and controlled manner. There are a lot of lessons in that for the youth and adults of today.

    In terms of the BBC giving them column inches, there are a lot of clowns in sport that prehaps shouldn't get column time, however it was never reported then people cannot make their own minds up about what is/isn't morally right.

  • Comment number 18.

    How about a blog about the world title fight that's happening tonight? Rather than this freak show.

  • Comment number 19.

    30,000 fans willing to buy a ticket and many more on PPV say otherwise, the public want this fight, the shape the heavyweight division is in at the moment, this is a welcome distraction. Will be a proper rumble for a change

  • Comment number 20.

    Van Gogh presented his ear with a prostitute? The other way around, surely. Unless it's a Dutch thing best not talked about.

  • Comment number 21.

    Im betting on chisora to win.

    On a side note i think ben dirs should do a blog on the fact that wladimir and vitali have to go down as the greatest heavyweights. i got their movie dvd which is excellent btw.

    WLadimir especially is incredible, he not far from joe louis most title defences. And hes already surpassed his kncoked ration of 51 knockouts.

    I think david price could fight the winner out of these guys...

  • Comment number 22.

    This once noble sport? The one where Ali chucked unpleasant insults at Frazier and Foreman? The one that made Roberto Duran (at least as eccentric as Chisora) a legend? The one in which Mike Tyson gnawed on Holyfields ear?

    Dont get me wrong, I can't much be bothered with the way these two have carried on (which saddens me a bit in Haye's case, as I think hes a really good fighter) but let's not pretend any of this is new.

    Rose-tinted historical revisionism.

    It also isn't unique to these two now. Did Victor Ortiz not take a swipe at Mayweather pre-fight before the farcical end to that one?

    Anyway, I was more interested in last weeks matches, and will be more interested in Khan v Garcia and Mitchell v Burns as well.

  • Comment number 23.

    #21 - Klitchko's as the greatest heavyweights? That comment is about as crazy as this fight! The very reason that this is getting press is that there has not been a decent World Champion since Larry Holmes (possible exception of Evander Holyfield). Nothing since, including the K's, would rank in the top 20 of all time.
    Heavyweight boxing is a sad shadow of what it was - hence interest in this sideshow tomorrow :-)

  • Comment number 24.

    @ 21 you know the K brothers will never get the recognition they deserve by the British boxing public. Their excellence seems to be an affront to all countries who struggle to produce decent heavyweights.

  • Comment number 25.

    'sporting cannon' ??? 'canon', surely?.....

  • Comment number 26.

    @ #15, #13, #11 etc

    But isn't that the whole point of the article - that despite this being a pretty sordid affair, and despite it lacking pure sporting appeal, or technical excellence of the participants, or any global significance, in terms of World titles etc - somehow it has the ability to eclipse other fights and generate a bizarre and complex interest (hence a 30,000 crowd...)

  • Comment number 27.

    @23 - I hate to say it, but the Klitshko's should be in the top 10 hw's of all time. I find them dull, but the fact they have been too good for anyone else in the division over the last 10 years shouldn't count against them.

    What most people don't seem to understand is that this is a blog from BBC's boxing expert. It is not intended to promote the fight, but instead provoke discussion. I would hate your job Ben - it seems whatever you write, there will always be enough people on here to have a dig (I love the "I pay my TV licence, you have to listen to me" argument! I must say I enjoy your light-hearted pieces, a cut above the generic football blogs!

  • Comment number 28.

    Does anyone actually subscribe to 'Boxnation'?

  • Comment number 29.

    The Klitschkos are the best of their generation by some distance. Comparing across generations is difficult, even if fun.

    For me, Holyfield was among the greats (top 20, dunno, there have been a LOT of great heavyweights) and I rated Lewis - I think he was better than the Klitschkos, although naturally I can't prove it. (I believe he was always going to win the fight with Vitali even past his prime as he was. He took the best Vitali could give in the first 5 and was starting to get through with his shots and the cut was not a coincidence. Again, just an opinion but I don't hold that because he was behind - slightly - on the cards after 6 rounds he would have lost)

    However, Lewis had the same problem the Klitschkos have - to cement a legacy you need rivals. We'll never really know how good Vitali and Wlad are, because all we know is that they're too good for everyone else at the moment. Great technicians, nice fellas but I fear their careers may be too easily forgotten without a defining fight. Since they understandably won't fight each other, its hard to see where that will come from. For me there's nothing else left for either to do and they may as well call it a day.

  • Comment number 30.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 31.

    #29 - your last sentence is probably very fair. There is nothing out there and sadly, therefore nothing to prove.
    For me, Lewis was a very average heavyweight - to have been easily beaten by Rahman and McCall puts him way down the list of 'greats'. IMO 'greats' do not lose easily to journeymen.
    Always interesting to see others 'take' on these things and you are quite right, across generations is very difficult. Cheers and enjoy the weekend, whichever fight you watch :-)

  • Comment number 32.

    @ 30 I think you're getting things confused. The pay in the NFL and the rise of MMA are the primary factors for the downfall of the American heavyweight division. From there onwards it's hard to maintain the public's interest with such a large body of Eastern European boxers that have little to no connection with those residing in the western hemisphere. You might think American wrestling is something to laugh at but those guys are trained athletes that put in incredible hours of work to perfect their routines. I'd laugh at the person comparing different sports rather than at the professionals who make these sports their lives.

  • Comment number 33.

    Nothing against this article or the chap who wrote it, haven't actually read it and I don't intend to.

    But these two are a sorry joke and just an embarrassment to Britain.
    When we've got a summer of sport to be proud of and a year to be proud of, and then you have these two mugs keep cropping up in the news.

    If they really dont like either other that much, dont go to all the hassle and money of staging a fight no one really cares about. Take them down the local, give them a few pints, then let them have a brawl outside.

    Haye is best known for having his backside handed to him by Klitschko, and the other one (who ever he actually is) is best known for what exactly?

    No one cares about them or this fight, and didnt Haye retire???

  • Comment number 34.

    Ben, let's get real. Nothing to do with this "affair" should appear in the Sports section. By all means include an article under Gossip or even Entertainment. This is about as far from sport as you can get, and I believe it is disrepectful to write about these people alongside genuine sports men and women.

  • Comment number 35.

    #23 - Klitchko's as the greatest heavyweights? That comment is about as crazy as this fight! The very reason that this is getting press is that there has not been a decent World Champion since Larry Holmes (possible exception of Evander Holyfield). Nothing since, including the K's, would rank in the top 20 of all time.
    Heavyweight boxing is a sad shadow of what it was - hence interest in this sideshow tomorrow :-)

    Have to disagree about - since Larry Holmes and arguably Evander Holyfield being the only decent ones going back.

    Larry Holmes was a heck of a good heavyweight champion, so was a 'young' Evander Holyfield as an awesome cruiserweight and decent heavyweight champion - but I would have to put a 'young' 20-23 year old Mike Tyson into that equation - he came along as was the most intimidating and decent skilled champion since Sonny Liston - forget about Tyson after jail.

  • Comment number 36.

    That's entertainment and proof that you can sprinkle glitter - millions watch the X factor as well. Doesn't mean it's good or valid.

    Haye is at the top end of good, but he's not big enough in this era and conversly Klitschkos are good fighters, not great, just bigger than everyone else.

    But boxing is lots of opinion.

    As for the quote about Lewis, 'greats' do not lose easily to journeymen - that Tyson bloke wasn't bad. I seem to remember he did just that as well?

    Buster Douglas?

  • Comment number 37.

    When this fight was announced I was disappointed that Haye had come out of his "retirement", for someone who has a poor record and should beat fairly easily. However as the fight has got closer it has wet my whistle a bit more and I am actually looking forward to the fight, although I still think it will be very one-sided.
    All the whingers banging on about the noble sport etc need to turn it in. It's 2012, the build-up is all part of the promotion.

  • Comment number 38.

    Lets get off our high horses a bit, as much as i love boxing, ultimately its about two men going toe-to-toe to cause enough truama to the opponent so that he can't continue to fight.

    Unlike your typical street fight, we have people standing around in black ties, medics on hand and paying punters.

    Boxing if the two competitors aren't highly skilled boxers at they peak (as in this case) need to sell, (yes, sell the fight) to the masses, as they or their entourages don't do this for free. Hence all the bravado before hand and then they'll kiss and make up at the end (unless its a draw or spurious decision).

    Its predictable but adds a bit of interest to the lives of the type of punter who is interested until the next such fight or football season begins.

  • Comment number 39.

    Kenzo, thanks for the response.
    For me, Tyson was a breath of fresh air as he put 'bums on seats', however, he was very carefully managed and never really fought anyone of real note. Sadly, we cannot forget about Tyson after jail, as to be a great you surely have to look at the whole career. His loss to Douglas was somewhat a man playing with a boy and it was from there, not jail, that he went donwhill.
    As for Sonny Liston, there was an 'animal' and if it wasn't for Ali, I feel that he would have been champion up to the time of Frazier, maybe beyond - you are right about that warrior!

  • Comment number 40.

    I can't understand all you posters who come on here crying out of moral outrage when the names of Haye and Chisora are mentioned.

    Newsflash: YOU HAVE BEEN PROVEN WRONG! A 30,000 crowd plus millions of viewers could not care less about your sensitive nature and are looking forward to a good dust-up.

    "The BBC shouldn't be covering it"...what??!!! See above! The BBC has responded to public interest - what did you want them to do? Bury their head in the sand like the BBBoC? There's plenty of other content on the BBC website if you are so offended by this fight - why don't you go and read about tennis?! Or just go back to watching videos of the mythical 'good ole days' when boxers were, apparently, gentlemen and men held doors open for women blah blah yawn.


  • Comment number 41.

    #36, see my comments re Tyson above

  • Comment number 42.

    All carefully scripted and choreographed in order to make some cash.

  • Comment number 43.

    Good advice, being as this fight is 100% nonsense I will forget it is on

  • Comment number 44.

    If you can manage to put all the nonsense to one side and take the two boxers for what they are and see if it will be a good contest.....

    On paper Haye is leagues ahead of Dereck, he's a two weight WORLD CHAMPION and as much as Warren will cry about the Helenius decision, the fact of the matter is that he should have never let it go to points, he was never going to win on points in that match

    Chisora does have great stamina considering his bulk, he does have a good chin, but look at his performances against drab opponents like Fury, not near the class required to beat David Haye.

    However, if Haye has under-prepared (it doesn't look as though he has), and if David comes out swinging hoping to finish it early and tire, then Chisora could hold on for the latter rounds.

    But seriously, this should be a walk in the park for Haye if he has prepared properly. The Klitchko's fight and despatch these type of opponents with ease all the time, people are giving Dereck credit for winning the last round against Vitali....well that's brilliant for him but in no way does that mean he is at the class requried to beat David.

  • Comment number 45.

    firstly vitali imo is and was alot better than lennox. He was up on all 3 score cards in the fight and lennox did alot of illegal holding and hitting in that fight. EVEN WHEN vitali had one eye he was holding his own...Lennox was a very lucky boy.

    Which heavyweight would beat vitali or this current wladimir?? Tyson???nooo. Who was his career defining fight??he beat a guy who beat a washed up0 ali, and beat spinks whom wa a blown up cruiser. The his career went down hill.

    aLI??Ali coulda have and imo should have lost to henry cooper. Ai better than cooper, but facts are he got brooked by him in the first fight with the hook. Henry cooper would be deemed a midget against adamek, let slone vitali or wladimir klitscko.

  • Comment number 46.


    Plus ken norton, whom would get destroyed by the k bros, was robbed by ali at least twice in their 3 fights.

    I think its because the k bros are not trash talking fighters from America or the UK, HENCE why its a taboo to admit they are the greatest.

    Certainly the stats back them up, and they have beaten excellent opponents, haye being one of them...

  • Comment number 47.

    As for the moral argument:

    those who are that appalled and shocked and terribly upset can simply not watcht the fight and not read the papers or the news about the result - but even if people don't watch the fight they will of course check the result.

    The rest of us will hopefully see a good fight.

    Fans have to be selfish like the boxers. Lets not kid ourselves, Haye & chisora are not getting in the ring for the fans or for the good name of boxing, they are doing it to settle a score and get a good pay day

    as a boxing fan, im not going to watch the fight because I particularly like either boxer (I thought Haye was great until his pathetic performance against Wlad), but because I want to watch an exciting boxing match. Okay I will have paid for the privilege which will help line their pockets but that is my choice and my decision to do so. I will gather with a few lads, have a curry and a few beers and hope for some warm-up entertainment before we see Khan destroy Garcia!

  • Comment number 48.

    This is truly an appalling outlook for humanity as a species. That this fight is even going ahead after it had its roots buried thick in plain and basic thuggery, is a mystery to me. Now the media appear to be glorifying it after initially dubbing it "heinous". What a disappointing spectacle. May the best fool win.

  • Comment number 49.

    # 48 and various other people who are crying into their computer screens

    If you are so appalled at the "outlook for humanity" and so disgusted and the media glorifying it, then one must ask why you have taken the time to click on the link to this blog, read all or part of it to get the jist of the tone of the blog, sign in to the BBC and then take your precious and moral time to actually comment on it????????????

    I am bemused why you would bother doing such a thing if you look so scronfully on the entire episode?

  • Comment number 50.

    Honestly, my teenage children are more mature than these two idiots.

    If people like this represent any form of professionalism in any kind of sport then it is a very sad state of affairs. Doesn't say much for the people who look up to them either.

    Professional sports people are supposed to be role models for the up and coming generation. At the moment we have these two brawling prats and the John Terry racism case filling the back pages. Great advert for British sports.

  • Comment number 51.

    this fight should be a good old tear up, but boxing in general is dead, mma has over taken boxing on all fronts, saying that with the HW division devoid of anyone half decent (once the K bros are retired) there are 3 or 4 British HW boxers who might be able to grab a few belts, i bet the British public will be in love with boxing again if that happens!

    but for me its mma all the way, so much more skill, technique and dedication from those guys than in boxing, 1 belts for each weight and a lot of respect from each fighter for the next ..

  • Comment number 52.

    Can someone ban these two from wearing attire brandishing the Union flag. They are both an embarresment in comparison to the legendary and Graceful Klitschcos

  • Comment number 53.

    "Kenzo, thanks for the response.
    For me, Tyson was a breath of fresh air as he put 'bums on seats', however, he was very carefully managed and never really fought anyone of real note. Sadly, we cannot forget about Tyson after jail, as to be a great you surely have to look at the whole career. His loss to Douglas was somewhat a man playing with a boy and it was from there, not jail, that he went donwhill.
    As for Sonny Liston, there was an 'animal' and if it wasn't for Ali, I feel that he would have been champion up to the time of Frazier, maybe beyond - you are right about that warrior!"

    There is partial truths in what you say...

    I do believe we talk about 'decent' champions rather than saying 'great' here as that word wasn't actually used by you :)

    Tyson had a lot of potential to be great when he burst on the scene - definitely he did. So, I still kind of agree to disagree with you on Tyson's standing in history....his brief time in the limelight of when he was considered a fighter.

    Can't agree about being carefully managed either. 80s heavyweights were used to fighting 15 rounders just before Tyson arrived - Pinklon Thomas, Tony Tucker, James 'Bonecrusher' Smith, James 'Quick' Tillis - I would hardly call them carefully managed, they were all decent tough-chinned heavweights in their prime who were a good crop of fighters occupying the scene. To unify the belts and become undisputed - can't really knock Tyson for beating Tucker and Smith when they were very good champions back then.

    If you look at Tyson as a whole on his career - you are right, but that is to dismiss what he briefly had, and to overlook that. He was flawed, yes, he was mentally frail of course. But he will always deserve a mention amongst champions.

    Which is obviously what you can't say about Haye or Chisora - or even the Klitschkos in terms of quality.

  • Comment number 54.


    I am in the same camp and think this is a total sham.

    Thing is though, it's necessary to read both positive and negative comment to understand both sides of an arguement. Something that more people need to do.

    To just dismiss negative comments in this way confirms a lack of appreciation for others viewpoints.

  • Comment number 55.

    oh and people saying the K Bros are the best ever? hmmm no, in the top 20 but no no and no, they have size and power and a good jab but that is it, Ali, Tyson, Frazier, Holyfield, Foreman, in their prime would have beaten the Ks, just a shame we cant prove it

  • Comment number 56.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 57.

    @53 you have to remember also that Tyson in his early career was fighting every 3 or 4 weeks, nowadays they fights every 3 or 4 months!!

  • Comment number 58.

    This isn't boxing it's pure prize fighting one step above bare knuckle fighting and one step below Queensbury rules.
    Because of the animosity between the two it will be compulsive viewing for more people than either would have attracted in a title fight.

  • Comment number 59.

    Alun Rees (1) - Apologies, I forgot that old journalistic addage: "Boxing and tennis shall never mix, unless there is mention of Graham Rix."

    darkvalleysboy1978 (4) - "There is a reason why boxing is struggling to retain any interest..." But that completely contradicts the reality: 30,000 people are due at Upton Park to watch this fight. This blog has been up a couple of hours an it's got 50 comments already. How is that a sport "struggling to retain any interest"?

    fatClyde (13) - I don't recall anyone at the BBC calling this fight "an embarrassment to the sport". And can you imagine the stick we would get for not covering it? "BBC allowing their left-wing morals and sensibilities to get in the way... this fight is something the public are clearly interested in etc etc..." Can't really win...

  • Comment number 60.

    Haye and Chisora need each other - there's nothing else for them to prove - because they have nothing worth proving it's as simple as that.

  • Comment number 61.

    Kudos for interacting with the posters!
    Cover the F1 blog instead of Benson?

  • Comment number 62.

    Phil (17) - Agreed: there are lots of people who behave badly in sport, they are an integral part of it. Forgive me if I have imagined it, but the biggest sports news story at the moment is the John Terry 'racial abuse' case, no-one is complaining about us covering that. Fact is, if - and I stress 'if' - Lance Armstrong goes down, it will be one of the biggest sports stories ever. What would people like us to do, ignore it because he brings shame on sport?

    jskham (18) - That's the beauty of it, I don't have to do a blog about Khan-Garcia because Paulie Malignaggi is there on behalf of the BBC an has already written a very nice story about what he thinks will happen.

    misterjackswan - You're right, apologies, got my cannons an canons mixed up (again), we've got someone on it...

    Typical_English_No8 (33) - "Nothing against this article or the chap who wrote it, haven't actually read it and I don't intend to." Well done, funniest thing on here.

  • Comment number 63.

    Tyson - Jailed for rape, various awful comments, started the fight at the Lewis press conference
    Hopkins - Nearly started a riot by throwing a puerto rican flag at a press conference with Trinidad, Racist comments towards Calzaghe
    Mayweather - Jailed for hitting a woman
    Morales v Barrera - Brawling at a press conference

    All these fighters are remembered as all time greats and their actions were at least as bad as haye and chisoras..... Why the hate for these two when the others are so fondly thought of?

    As ben says, forget the nonsense, enjoy the fight. And this has got the makings of a very good fight

  • Comment number 64.

    I think the fight itself will do a lot to either worsen or redeem the characters and reputations of both fighters. IF they have a jolly good scrap and shake hands and show respect at the end - like I expect they will - then it will help them be shown in a better light

    worse scenario is haye to give dereck a beating and move a notch up on his perch in shouting out Vitali - though I would love to see that fight!!

    however - do you think Vitali would want to fight haye if he KO's chisora quick? surely Vitali will want to see Haye do worse than he did against Dereck?

  • Comment number 65.

    # 56

    what sport doesn't have the purpose of making money as a goal for the sportsmen concerned???

  • Comment number 66.

    I'm sick and tired of watching footballers scream at referees and officials and each other, and hearing of all their personal life blunders so if two boxers want to call each other names and maybe have a punch up outside the ring then I have no problem, this is a physical, sometimes ugly sport, get over it.

  • Comment number 67.

    Guess it's just me then who's really looking forward to this fight?

  • Comment number 68.

    Great stuff, the Jam paragraph exceptional... maybe a couple more positives in there would even it up though ;)

  • Comment number 69.

    Ahhh sigh!

    Nice blog Ben! Thanks

    You know, I used to love coming to a BBC blog and debating the topics of a thread or particular event. I am unsure now whether it is because I have aged or moved out of the UK and this subjected less to the daily bombardment of social engineering but I read the comments people post here and there is so much drivel.

    Pull you hear out your backsides people!!!! You ate like a bunch of whiney little kids or old women.

    "oh it's a disgrace"

    "noble sport"

    Whine whine nag nag

    It's pathetic.

    End of the day, and as per Bens blog, no one cares whether this does not sit easy with your moral judgement. No one cares whether you think Haye is pants and Chisora a waste of space. No one cares if you think it's a disgrace because you have been told in some quartets it is.

    The two had a scrap and are now having a proper scrap and it should make a good fight. I and many others are thoroughly looking forward to it! 30,000 and many more to be precise.

    So get over it and either watch it or ignore it and move on.

    As for the fight, it should be interesting.

    The first round should tell us what we are too expect. We likely know neither will adjust their styles which in itself is what makes this fight exciting and competitive. Haye can bang Chisora can take a bang.

    I think theres a lot of relevance to the fact Haye is not fighting a beast this time but someone comparatively similar in size. His power will be at its best at this leverage. I acknowledge Chisora took Vitali's shots well, but feel with his tiring shoulder and weak knee he is not punching as hard as he used too. Likewise, there is a fine difference between heavy hands and explosive hands.

    Haye has the ability to land explosive punches at speed and angles his opponent doesn't see coming. Chisora has yet to be taken down and brings a pressured approach Haye has yet to face since Mormeck who gave him problems

    What makes this exciting for me is Haye could blast him out in couple rounds but could equally be dragged into 10 round brawl.

    I for one cant wait!!

  • Comment number 70.

    # 54

    I have no problem with people having an opinion or expressing an alternative to mine - as you say it creates better debate than everyone coming on here saying its excellent

    what I cannot abide however is those who are on some sort of moral cloud as if they lead a life akin to mother theresa!! people who are at work who should be working to earn their wage when they are say commenting on ablog instead, have the cheek to complain about two guys getting paid a lot of money to do something that not many others can do.

    and you get people like Patrick the plonker the sports writer for sunday mail, who was on 5live this morning, saying the only type of people who will enjoy this fight are those who would attend a public hanging. just hysterical journalism.

  • Comment number 71.

    This Panto is completely contrived. 2 blokes with no where to go after been found out by the best, have a staged 'punch up'. Warren claims 'no way, it's not a set up, i'll have nothing to do with it if they wanted to flight', then as if by magic he's tells us 'it'll be a classic, an elliminator for a Klitschko'. Warren is the only man more desparate to saty relevant than these 2. Eddie Hearn is wiping the floor with him.

  • Comment number 72.

    Haha, it's hilarious reading all the comments from "boxing fans", aka accountants and bankers who are labeling it a disgrace and scandalous! Average boxing fan cant wait for it and box office sales speaks volumes, also notice how swathes of ex and current boxers or commentators aren't coming out and slating it, just the BBBofC and other suited "witty boxing bloggers" who love to read their own egotistical drivel. Ben - You have really dangled the carrot here and they have all bitten...

  • Comment number 73.

    Why do people like 48 exist!

    Probably a tea boy who lives with his mum preaching to the masses. Jog on son

  • Comment number 74.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 75.


    Oi I'm an accountant you cheeky beggar!

    But in truth you are prob right.

    Maybe I'm the exception!

    What's your prediction by the way????

  • Comment number 76.

    Some stupid people on here...they're fighters...they're paid to try rip other peoples heads off. (Just watch one round with the volume on mute and youl know what I'm on about) and theses stupid people say things they're not the greatest because the greatest had class and were gentlemen. Well they both know they're not the greatest anyway...thyre just 2 british heavyweights (prop the best in britain at the moment) who just wanna kill each other.

    Fighters are hardly gentlemen...take the crowd and referee away and fighters are facing prison. So the british public...get a grip!! Coz I can't wait for this fight tonite..come on chisora!!! But I expect haye to win and get another chance on klitchko and hopefully this time do him!! Let's av ittt!

  • Comment number 77.

    @ 71

    Yeah definitely :rolls eyes:

    Only valid point was about hearns.

    You think two guys would risk being arrested overseas, brawl in a press conference, breaking someone's jaw and smashing tripods over heads just how they practiced in rehearsals.

    I have an interest in many conspiracy theories from ancient alien theory to new world order to black projects. But I can't see the "script" for that incident.

  • Comment number 78.


    Haha, I was generalising somewhat, you know the type though! High horse prawn sandwich fans...

    I think Haye will win on points, Chisora has shown he has a chin and Haye isn't a huge puncher, but is much more skilled over the distance. Whilst lots of hatred in there, don't think they will go hell for leather tear up as will both be nervous and desperate not too lose.

  • Comment number 79.

    This maybe a sham fight, but it's caught the eye of British fight fans.
    If you could choose only 1 fight which would you choose - Haye / Chisora or Tyson Fury vs the next bum of the month ?
    At least these 2 are putting their necks on the line taking the fight on. Fury just hand-picks the next bin man to (almost) knock out and bank some easy money.
    For me, nobodys like Fury are everything that is wrong with boxing (especially Bristish) - build up a decent win/loss record against clowns then lose as soon as anybody decent comes along.
    Bruno, Hatton, Khan, Hamed, Fury, Brooke, etc.
    Give me MMA any day of the week. Nobody ducks anybody........

  • Comment number 80.

    I’d also like to say that (notwisthstanding the possibility that some of you negative posters are - in fact - former world boxing champions or sportsmen of pedigree) it is NOT ok for you to sit there at your computer on your rrss - which may or may not be fat - and call Haye 'clown', 'idiot', 'disgrace', 'embarrassment' etc.

    YOU might not like the way Haye conducts himself outside the ring (although I'm sure the man himself would argue that his antics reap commercial reward, and as boxing is his profession they are therefore justifiable), but INSIDE the ring this is a man who unified the cruiserweight division and could justifiably be spoken of as the best cruiser since Holyfield. Since then - despite clearly not being a natural heavy - he has shown the balls to step up against bigger men, won a world heavyweight title against an actual living giant (away from home too - a modern 'Jack and the beanstalk' story!) and only lost to the current best heavyweight in the world and future Hall-of-Famer Wlad Klitschko, to whom he gave away significant advantages in physical stature. He ALWAYS comes into his fights in shape, and apart from his fights against Valuev and Wlad (where he was giving away height and reach and admittedly got on his bike) he ALWAYS comes to fight and entertains with knockout power (people who deny this have embarrassingly short memories!).

    So whilst you morally outraged whingers are sitting there calling Haye a ‘clown’ and a ‘joke’ and a ‘disgrace’, all the while ironically berating Haye for his ‘lack of respect’, you should bear in mind that he has achieved more in boxing than most pros, and almost certainly more in life than any of us casual bloggers ever will. He would also beat up your there!

  • Comment number 81.


    Prob smartest place to put your money.

    I have a sneaky suspicion Haye will be looking at this in a cruiser weight fashion though.

    Sure he has come in light and HW history for him has shown a cautious back peddling counter punch style. But surely he takes confidence from fact he can move better than Chisora and unlikely to be phased by his punching power.

    I expect it will be a tear up to begin with, and how Chisora reacts, or Haye mind, to the first meaningful dig will determine the pattern.

    I'm going for Haye in 6

  • Comment number 82.


    People like #48 exist for exactly the same reason that people like you exist.

    Without disagreement, life would be so dull.

  • Comment number 83.

    There would be no such thing as an adverse opinion if everybody who disliked something just didn't bother to read what it is they dislike.....otherwise how would you decide if you disagree with something? I'm not against boxing as a sport and was reading about the Khan fight when I saw this and gave it a glance....these two clowns grab all the headlines so it would be difficult not to hear about it.

  • Comment number 84.

    I remember about two years ago when Haye was a genuine contender with an international following. Now he's a freak. Next top: WWF Wretling!

  • Comment number 85.


    It's not about disagreement it's about living in la la land!

  • Comment number 86.

    Re the guys who are talking up the capable but immobile and fairly limited Klitschkos, I honestly believe you are confusing size with quality. And if you measure greatness by the standard of the opposition you have overcome, they are definitely lacking.

  • Comment number 87.

    Fact of the matter is, its not getting on your high horse to say that this is the stuff of common denominator. I'm of the opinion that real boxing, the art of boxing, the sweet science of it, does'nt appeal to the mainstream. Thats why you need garbage can boxing to reel in the mass appeal.

    This fight honestly, honestly does not appeal to the purist in me. And its nothing to do with being more holier than thou, its do to with the fact that Haye's fights usually turn out to dissapoint. I'm not going on morals here, I'm going on past form and past experiences, and past dissapointments.

    The only thing that has really sold this fight is hype, and not surprisingly, a lot of people are now cueing up for a classic brawl that they're not going to get. It needed to be lowest common denominator stuff to get people's interest and fire their imaginations. But thats the only thing about this fight that is going to be fiery. Sorry, I've watched too many Haye fights and become too savvy to get drawn in on this. He drew me in many times before only to make me think "is that it?".

    Far too many people have fallen for the hype - AGAIN. From a technical point of view, this is going to be like watching paint dry.

    I'd much rather spend my time following people like Kell Brook, Carl Froch - even the battling bin-man from Leicester has made a fan out of me. What do these people all have in common? All grounded individuals who respect themselves and the sport.

    These two clowns are a sideshow, needed sideshow antics to sell their fight, and what people dont realise is that styles make fights, not hype, and as far as styles go, get your time lapse glasses on because like I said, this is going to be like watching paint dry.

    But I understand that a lot of people have bought into the hype, so I'm standing by to have my opinion ripped apart by those who will feel bad by reading this message. I wont be reading the replies, I know the type of replies and the type of people who will respond negatively to my opinions: The same type of people who have just been conned - I dont need to hear their retorts, they'll have plenty to say after they realise they've been conned - again.

    This is Haye vs Harrison 2. It's just that people dont have the foresight to realise it.

  • Comment number 88.

    @ Ben Dirs.
    My reason for not reading the article, as i'm sure is painfully clear, i'm not a boxing fan in the slightest, therefore i'm not going to read something I have no real interest in. Sure i've watched the odd fight over the years, but if boxing was to end tomorrow, I would not care one iota. I could've taken the lead of some people in here and criticised you for covering it, but I didn't, the fight needs to be covered of course. Unlike some of the major sporting events around the world the BBC either haven't got a clue about or simply can't be bothered reporting on. Dario's win in the Indy500 was a prime example of this. Something only appeared on here when a few posters mentioned it one of Benson's blogs. The same recently was seen about the injury to Marussia test driver. Despite it happening a week before the British GP, other news agencies were well ahead of the BBC with information.

    Back to the topic, I am a British sports fan, and I feel a comment about how these two have conducting themselves recently is fair game. You could've wrote a glowing report on these two boxers, got interviews from their old school teachers saying what nice boys they were. Fact is, i'd say a good chunk of people who come on here to comment don't actually read the article anyway, like me they just want their 2 pences worth. People's minds are made up before they read your article. My mind was made up on these two when I saw the SSN coverage (again the bbc weren't there live) of the initial brawl which sparked all this off.

    My comments are about how these two appalling excuses for sportsmen conduct themselves, not about the sport as a whole, nor the content of your article.

  • Comment number 89.

    TOM @57 ..interesting comment about Tyson fighting every 3 or 4 weeks in his earlier career versus the every 3 or 4 months of current boxers.... But I suspect your memory is letting you down there is no way that MT fought every 3- 4 weeks even back in those days.

    So I checked.

    His first 27 fights before the Berbick world title bout took place between 6th March 85 and 6th September 86 - that is a fight rate of every 20 days !!

    Including 3 fights in 21 days during November of 1985 ..Ok he only actually boxed 4 rounds (less if you consider that 3 of the rounds were cut short) .. still an amzing rate of fights.

    I'm with the "íf you don't like it, don't watch or read about it" group.

  • Comment number 90.

    I think I'll watch the Challenge Cup semi finals frankly.
    Some REAL tough blokes going at it for 80 minutes.
    Not these two jessies acting like auld maids fighting over a bag of tatties!

  • Comment number 91.

    watch David Haye vs Dereck Chisora live fight here

  • Comment number 92.

    # 87

    some interesting points, even though you are not going to read this I thought I would reply anyway.

    I agree that Haye's performances against Wlad and Valuev were not too pleasing on the eye - but in Haye's mind he needed a game plan to beat these two monsters. Firstly Valuev, he was never going to bully him or over power him, so he had to stay on the outside and try and pick him off and look like he was landing better quicker shots. Though it was a tight decision he was victorious, and in theory you can't blame him for trying to do the same thing against Wlad, only problem being Valuev is not techincally a good boxer, but Wlad has a world class jab and his speed is very under-rated. I can see however after Haye came out with his large mouth that people might have been left disappointed by his seeming lack of effort - but I just don't think he could get near Wlad because he wasn't skillful enough

    He is not a heavyweight by build, so he is always going to have to rely on his strengths which are his excellent footwork, speed and punching power which is increased with the speed and variance of the angles he throws at.

    As for this fight, I agree it might not be the barn stormer a lot of people are believing the hype about, but as you have said styles make fights. Against Vitali Chisora kept moving forward, and Haye likes to stay on the back foot and pick the heavier guys off if he can get through the jab.

    It will be intense to watch and that will make it enjoyable, I suppose it depends what you are expecting and wanting from the match. Not every fight can be a bellew vs cleverly, but it is still enjoyable to watch cagey and tactical fights.

    You have to remember it takes a lot of courage to step into a ring, never mind against a bloke whi is 37lbs heavier than you - no matter how hard haye has trained in the back of his mind he will not want to get whalloped by dereck, which will make him cagey. If it gets to the latter rounds then we might see them both open up a little bit more - but bad blood often creates a desire not to lose rather than a desire to win. When you see two lads who have no bad blood get in a ring they have a desire to win - and that creates more of a spectacle of a fight.

  • Comment number 93.

    Once again the BBC like to disparage a former decent champion in Enzo. Enzo was outjabbing Haye before being caught so it wasn't the humbling the English Broadcasting Corporation like to make out. Haye briefly dominated a poor cruiserweight division and beat the weakest haevyweight champ before being embarrassed against the real champ so his record is not as special as he and his fans make out. I hope Chisora does it and have a feeling he may wear Haye down. Haye is not a proper heayweight and his unnatural muscle mass causes him to blow down the strecth. As long as Chisora sees through the first four rounds he'll tire Haye out and stop him late.

  • Comment number 94.

    For me, I am interested in the boxing and all the garbage that has gone on pre-fight has only served to lessen my interest. Cheap, festival-type metal barriers separating two 6 foot plus heavyweights...its ridiculous. I am surprised they have not gone as far as to stick Chisora in a Hannibal Lecter stlye outfit and wheel him out on a trolley. The promotion of the fight is wrong. It should be about two men, as you say, putting their lives and manhood on the line, rather than two hyped up clowns trading daft jibes behing flimsy metal barriers.

    Ricky Hatton and Joe Calzaghe filled stadiums for the right reasons. Upton Park will be full but how many are there for the boxing? The attendance for the undercard fights will be interesting.

    Good blog Ben. Always a good read. No objection with the BBC covering this.

  • Comment number 95.

    This fight is a complete load of nonsense and an embarrassment to the sport. These two so called ex-pro's should just accept their shame and retire for good. How anybody can sanction this farce i'll never know.

  • Comment number 96.

    @89 so i was right then? ive got all of Tysons fights on dvd and im going through them one by one, at about 20 now and the dates and commentators confirm he fought about once a month, there was no nurturing an undefeated record back then, he fought some real hard fights and rocketed his way up the rankings,

    now ala Fury hes had a few fights, knocked out some bums, one semi hard fight against Chisora and hes 'taking a break for a few months to plan' my god! get on with it, fight every month, if your as good as u think and say u are ul knock everyone out and meet a K next year, hate how boxing is run these days ..

  • Comment number 97.

    All the negative comments about the fight being a joke are ridiculous, I bet everyone who has commented here will watch it. And to be fair reckon it will be a great, entertaining fight with a few schennanigans thrown in! x

  • Comment number 98.

    can anyone tell me where i can see the fight i live in holland and all the previous fights were shown on dutch terrestrial tv but i am currently in scotland on holliday is it on bbc or sky?

  • Comment number 99.

    After all the furore over the events at the Chisora fight press conference, the BBC was indignant (quite rightly) and 99.9% of all boxing fans wanted nothing more to do with either fighter. Especially the Brits ! I never said this fight was an embarrassment (although it is), I said the 2 fighters were an embarrassment to the sport. It's nice to be quoted but please get the facts right.
    BBC are now generating the interest by hyping up the fight when you could easily be doing something about Khan or the Olympics or the TdF or any number of other sports that we are actually excelling in atm.

  • Comment number 100.


    Boxnation, Sky Channel 456 I think. Requires subscription.


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