Haye-Chisora: More than 20,000 tickets sold - Frank Warren

By Frank KeoghBBC Sport

Dereck Chisora's manager Frank Warren says more than 20,000 tickets have been sold for his fighter's bout with David Haye at Upton Park on 14 July.

Neither boxer holds a British licence and Chisora was suspended in February following a brawl between the pair.

"We've sold more than 20,000 since they went on sale on Tuesday. The capacity is 40,000," he told BBC Sport.

"I'm sure there's more interest than there would have been if there hadn't been a fracas."

The summer bout is being licensed by the Luxembourg Boxing Federation, and the British Boxing Board of Control (BBBofC) has threatened sanctions against all involved.

Chisora had his boxing licence withdrawn after the brawl in Munich, although he has appealed against the decision, while Haye opted not to renew his own licence, having announced his retirement in October 2011.

Warren added: "I always felt it was a fight the fans would want to watch.

"The [British Boxing] board's blessing is not required. Chisora was not banned from boxing, and everyone is missing that point.

"They [BBBofC] made it clear when they withdrew Chisora's licence he was free to go to any other federation. The door was left open for him to re-apply for a licence. His appeal, for some reason, got delayed until July.

"He did what was suggested by them. Not just him, but also David Haye."

The BBBofC issued a strongly worded statement on Wednesday which threatened to terminate the licence of anyone involved in the bout.

The statement said: "Any member who participates in such a promotion would bring the sport of boxing into disrepute and would wholly undermine the authority of the British Boxing Board of Control.

"For the avoidance of doubt, any member of the British Boxing Board of Control who participates in any way in such a promotion will be deemed to have terminated his/her membership of the British Boxing Board of Control and his/her licence therewith, for the reasons stated above."

Robert Smith, the board's general secretary, said he was disappointed the bout had been sanctioned.

"We certainly wouldn't go to Luxembourg to run a show, and we don't expect them to come here and run a show," he told BBC Sport.

"We run professional boxing in this country, we are the recognised governing body and we don't feel it's right that someone else from Europe should come in and do this. And certainly not licence someone who had their licence taken away on a disciplinary matter.

"We are not daft, we know that the fight will have interest but it's not good for the sport. We understand the type of people who are attracted to boxing, it is a tough sport and we have to deal with some tough people. But there is a limit, and this has crossed the limit."

But Warren - who holds a licence as a promoter - does not believe he is at risk from the threat of a ban.

"If they think I'm going to just roll over and let that happen then they're sorely mistaken," he said.

"I'm disappointed. I don't understand why they're taking this stance.

"The problem is with the board, not with Dereck Chisora. It's just that the fight is happening in the UK. The BBBofC have been involved and licensed fights in Dubai, Egypt and Portugal in the past."

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