When David Haye failed to appear for a pre-fight national conference call, English countryman and heavyweight rival Dereck Chisora labled him “a drama queen” and promised to win by seventh-round knockout in Saturday’s EPIX-televised clash at the West Ham Football Club’s Boleyn Ground in London.
Although Haye (25-2, 23 knockouts) will be the taller of the two at 6-foot-3, he will be out-weighed by the nearly 6-2 Chisora (15-3, 9 KOs), who tipped the scales at 37 pounds heavier than Haye (247-to-210).
Haye, 31, is returning to the ring for the first time since being dethroned as WBA titleholder by RING champion and IBF, WBA and WBO beltholder Wladimir Klitschko by unanimous decision in July of last year, and has an ongoing trash-talk rivalry with Chisora that stems from an out-of-the ring brawl following the latter’s loss to Vitali Klitschko in February.
As a result, neither Haye, who is at his lightest weight as a heavyweight, nor Chisora has been licensed by the British Boxing Board of Control, although the Luxembourg Boxing Federation has sanctioned their bout.
The loss to Wladimir Klitschko ended Haye’s winning streak of 15 straight fights, 13 of them by stoppage. Haye was also stopped in his only other loss, a fifth-round knockout in September of 2004 against journeyman Carl Thompson, who himself had been knocked out in five of his six losses.
The other two losses for Chisora, 28, were against unbeaten fighters Tyson Fury and Robert Helenius by decisions in July and December of last year, respectively.
Will the tough-chinned Chisora, who likens his style to that of Joe Frazier, overcome the athleticism and boxing skills of Haye? RingTV.com polled 20 experts regarding their thoughts on who will win on Saturday night.
David Haye W 10 Dereck Chisora: This is a huge fight for David Haye to show he’s still a top-level, relevent heavyweight. I see him out-boxing Dereck Chisora and winning a decision
David Haye TKO 8 Dereck Chisora: Far too much has been made of one bad (alright, terrible) fight performance from David Haye. He was known as an action fighter at cruiserweight and even had an entertaining scrap with the ultra boring John Ruiz at heavyweight.
Haye is fighting a guy his own size in Dereck Chisora. Chisora likes to come forward and march on with his head in his opponent’s chest. Haye will oblige him and pot shot him, though Chisora has a sturdy chin.
I expect the fight to be competitive for as long as it lasts, as Chisora is a tough customer and give it as good as he takes it. But Haye can crack and he will have Chisora in serious trouble down the stretch, prompting the fight to be stopped.
Both men look in great shape. On paper, Haye has by far the better pedigree. But Chisora has doggedness in him. So, to the contest itself when the steel fence between them is finally removed.
The key is Haye’s handspeed. Chisora will attempt to walk him down during the fight, and Haye’s plan will be to fire off, stop Dereck in his tracks, and then move and reposition.
Chisora was like a zombie against Vitali Klitschko, and refused to buckle as he came forward. If Chisora takes the fight late, therefore, it will suit him.
If he disheartens the former world champion by walking through his shots he may catch up with Haye late in the fight. My view is that Haye will start to wear Chisora out by the middle rounds, if he doesn’t knock him out early.
David Haye UD 10 Dereck Chisora: The temptation was to say that this one would end in no-contest, disqualification or felony charges. Then, David Haye sprung an upset.
He skipped a conference call. That might be the first time Haye has turned down a chance to trash-talk. If his silence sounds like gamesmanship, it’s effective.
The volatile Dereck Chisora must wonder who he will encounter. The guess here is that Chisora will see a Haye who understands the urgency attached to this bout.
It’s a chance to restore some of the reputation he booted away with outrageous comments and then a lame excuse about a toe injury in the loss to Wladimir Klitschko.
Haye was a fool then. He won’t be now in a careful execution of speed and skill against Chisora, who is dangerous in every way, including to himself.
Dereck Chisora W 10 David Haye: Tough to figure. Dereck Chisora has been the more active fighter and both are coming off decisive losses to the Klitschkos. I do think that David Haye is the harder hitter shot for shot. But Chisora is the more active fighter with his fists.
Chisora also has the much better chin, and he’ll need that to absorb those Hayemakers. My gut tells me that Chisora will channel his fury better, that his volume will enable him to earn more of the close rounds and that he’ll prevail by decision.
Of course, all of these thoughts are predicated on the assumption that Chisora will report in good condition and I’ll have to see the final number on the scale to decide whether this pick ends up being folly. Still, I’ll roll the dice and assume Chisora will be ready to rip.
David Haye UD 10 Dereck Chisora: I’m picking David Haye to win by a unanimous decision. He is a better boxer than Dereck Chisora, and I always pick a boxer to beat a puncher.
Dereck Chisora UD 10 David Haye: If we learned anything from David Haye’s infamous failure against Wladimir Klitschko it’s that his disdain for an opponent won’t encourage him to back up his trash talk by engaging.
He’ll employ a safe strategy against Dereck Chisora, too. Although their fight will be much more competitive than Haye’s lopsided loss to Klitschko, the hungrier, tougher Chisora will win a close decision by being the aggressor.