By George Ogier
Yesterday saw another round of a media circus encompassing the impending David Haye v. Dereck Chisora fight at Upton Park in July. What did we learn from the latest press conference? In all honesty, very little.
Once again the two men were separated by a metal fence. This time thought it was slightly shorter than the one used when they fight was initially announced. As a result we were left with a bizarre situation in which Haye and Chisora peered at each other over the top like two fractious neighbours disputing boundary lines.
The event itself was hosted by BoxNation commentator, John Rawling. Rawling started by saying that the event would be donating a sizeable sum of money to the music therapy charity Nordoff Robbins.
On the face of it this is a noble gesture. However, the cynics amongst us might consider it a shrewd PR move as well. If the BBBofC gets its wish and the fight is cancelled then Frank Warren will be able to claim that the Board is seriously harming a charity’s finances.
With little more than a month until fight night ticket sales appear to be brisk. Warren claimed that upwards of 30,000 tickets have already been sold. Whether or not the announced undercard increases these sales remains to be seen.
The WBA heavyweight clash between Alexander Povetkin and Hasim Rahman was confirmed. I can only imagine that the winner of that fight will face the winner of Haye and Chisora. Also confirmed were appearances for Matthew Hall, Liam Walsh and most intriguingly of all, former amateur star Frankie Gavin.
Despite not making the cut for the 2008 Olympics due to weight issues Frankie Gavin turned pro in the same explosion of publicity that caught the likes of James DeGale and Billy Joe Saunders. Since then though it’s been a catalogue of problems for the former amateur world champion.
Gavin won his amateur title at lightweight and has since had trouble with the scales. This seems to have continued with his Upton Park fight being made at a catch weight of 148lbs. It is beginning to look as though Gavin is running out of chances to make it as a professional fighter. Far and away the most talented boxer of that generation it would be a shame if Gavin didn’t make that successful switch to the paid ranks.
As for the main protagonists there was an inescapable feeling of having seen it all before. Dereck Chisora was his usual louche self while David Haye predicted himself into a corner once more.
On the face of it there is no way that these two men should be in the centre of media frenzy. Dereck Chisora is an exhibitionist who might actually do better as a fighter if he was ignored. David Haye clearly tries to portray himself as suave, sophisticated and witty. He merely comes across like a painfully dull broken record.
The usual platitudes were trotted out by both fighters. Haye claimed he was going to knock Chisora out and that the last thing Dereck would see is the lights above the ring and the referee counting to ten. David says this an awful lot in the lead up to fights but he hasn’t actually knocked anyone out since Alexander Gurov in 2005.
Haye obviously likes to think he selling a fight by making these grandiose claims. Ironically this is the one fight that needs no extra publicity whatsoever. News channels are still showing footage of events in Munich and newspapers are following the story in ways boxing hasn’t seen for years.
I am looking forward to the fight as much as anyone but I’d happily see both men kept in isolation until July 14th. It has nothing to do with the possibility of pre fight trouble and everything to do with the fact that we’ve heard this all somewhere before.