Middleweight beltholder Peter Quillin could soon defend his WBO title against promotional stablemate Danny Jacobs.
Haye vows to knockout Chisora early in their grudge match
Former WBA heavyweight titleholder David Haye and dangerous fringe contender Dereck Chisora will engage in a much-anticipated (and maligned) grudge match on Saturday in London, England – the hometown of the licenseless combatants.
Dereck Chisora gave a spirited effort against Vitali Klitschko in February but it was his fight immediately following the WBC heavyweight title tilt which grabbed headlines. Chisora (15-3, 9 knockouts) and David Haye, there on assignment from Sky Sports, engaged in an all-out brawl at the post-fight press conference in Germany.
Tripods were wielded. A glass bottle was cracked over Chisora’s face. Everything got out of hand rather quickly.
Shortly after, Haye (25-2, 23 knockouts) ended his short-lived retirement to announce a fight with his bitter rival. But there was a hold-up: Chisora’s license was suspended by the British Boxing Board of Control and Haye didn’t have a license after retiring.
But with great demand to see this heavyweight clash, famed promoter Frank Warren found a loophole. He had the Luxembourg Boxing Federation sanction the bout, much to the dismay of the BBBOC, who ardently threatened participants of the promotion.
Haye and Chisora will meet (for the second time, really) on Saturday (EPIX, 4:30 p.m. ET) at the West Ham Football Club’s Boleyn Ground at Upton Park in London, England – the hometown of both combatants.
"Dereck's getting knocked out quick,” Haye boldly stated at the final press conference Wednesday. “The harder he comes, the quicker he gets KO'd. There is no doubt this fight is happening because of the brawl we had in Germany. Without that he'd have been another anonymous Klitschko victim. After I knock him out, he'll go back to being a nobody.”
Chisora has lost three of his last four: decision losses to the elder Klitschko brother, Robert Helenius and Tyson Fury. But the Helenius bout was a flat-out robbery, which raised Chisora’s profile considerably. The 28-year-old native of Zimbabwe promises an exciting brawl come fight night.
“I want to be all over this guy. I'm going to be all over him like a baby’s rash,” said Chisora, who weighed 247 pounds at Thursday's weigh-in. “He’s never fought anybody like me. He’s never boxed anyone with my style, basically. It’s a fight. I’m not looking to box him, I’m there to fight. I want to fight. You know whatever the round is I want to fight and I want to punch him.”
Haye, the former RING cruiserweight champion, tarnished his legacy with a lackluster performance against Wladimir Klitschko last summer. Many believed Haye, 31, could win going into the bout, but Haye never pressed the action, content to not be stopped. “The Hayemaker” wishes to repair his legacy, but doesn’t feel he can accomplish that against Chisora.
"Beating Chisora won't add to my legacy," said Haye, who also held the WBA heavyweight strap after defeating Nikolay Valuev in 2009. “In 50 years’ time, when people look back at my career they won't see this fight and think Dereck Chisora was a great fight and look what David did to him. Chisora doesn't have any titles and has been coming off three losses (in his last four.) It's a fight for the night, simply because I beat him up at a press conference a few months ago.”
The public is expecting an explosive fight. Haye was known for his cruiserweight wars and carried his big punch to heavyweight. Chisora loves to march forward with his head in his opponent’s chest and has showed an excellent chin, even absorbing monstrous shots from Klitschko – no small feat. It’s shaping up to be (on paper) one of the most intriguing heavyweight bouts in recent memory.
“Earlier in my career I started learning a trick, like you know as a punch comes you can ride it or you can meet it halfway,” said Chisora, known as “Del Boy”. “You meet it halfway, you’re goingto get (hurt). If you ride it, you go with it and, you know, you don’t get hurt. The only shot Vitali hurt me with was a good body shot, which kind of winded me a bit, third round.”
Haye anxiously awaits Chisora coming at him with pressure. He anticipates a thrilling bout with explosive results.
"He's going to come out looking for a tear up, which is the perfect style for me,” said Haye, who weighed in at 210 pounds, his lightest weight since moving up to the heavyweight division. "If he goes out and does what he normally does, he's getting chinned. I'm healthy, strong, fit and fast. I'm looking forward to doing some damage.”
The winner of the bout will be firmly in the mix in the stale division. For Haye, he claims it could be his last bout, so he plans to lay it all on the line.
“This could be my last fight, if the Vitali Klitschko fight doesn’t happen,” said Haye, who is the betting favorite. “I want to go out with a bang and do some damage.”
Mike Coppinger is a member of the Yahoo! Sports Boxing Panel and is a regular contributor to USA TODAY’s boxing coverage. He compiles the “Ringside Reports” section for THE RING Magazine each month. Follow him on Twitter: @MikeCoppinger