Upton Park plays host to the most controversial fight in British boxing of the 21st century, if not of all time. Following their ugly brawl in Munich at the press conference that preceded Dereck Chisora’s brave yet ultimately unsuccessful performance against Vitali Klitschko. To many observers, Chisora’s performance was overshadowed by his own actions outside the ring. As well as his brawl with Haye, he slapped Vitali at their weigh in and also spat water at Wladimir Klitschko minutes before the fight with Vitali.
The brawl itself has been discussed at length in the build up to the fight, and both sides have sought to apportion the majority of the blame to the other. There can be little doubt that both sides are equally to blame, Chisora by involving himself in the disagreement between Boente (Klitschko’s manager) and Haye, and by squaring up to Haye, escalated the situation unnecessarily. David Haye, has to accept blame for, firstly, being at the press conference and involving himself into a disagreement that had nothing to do with the boxing match that had just taken place. He also threw the first punch, albeit under provocation. Frank Warren and Bernd Boente should also accept an element of blame for goading David Haye and Dereck Chisora into an altercation.
Ultimately, Chisora and Haye are responsible for their own actions, and they undoubtedly brought shame on themselves and also onto boxing as a whole, and as a result this contest will take place under a cloud. However, the choice is clear from boxing fan’s and writers alike, if you disagree with the fight, then you do not have watch it or write about it. I personally have a bizarre interest in the fight, though I am not happy about the way it has come about.
So to the fight itself, and for all the promises of a crazy fight from Chisora, and of punishment for Chisora from Haye, it is a fight that could go either way in terms of the action. It go off at a quick pace and potentially fly out of control, or caution could get the better of both fighters and the fight fails to catch light. Tactics will be very interesting as the bigger and slower fighter, Chisora will potentially look to pressure Haye and perhaps use spoiling tactics in the early rounds, and seek to gain the advantage in the 2nd half of the fight. He could also try to engage Haye in a toe to toe contest at close quarters which could eliminate the height and reach advantage of Haye.
Haye will look to utilise his greater speed and arguably greater power to get rid of Chisora early, he could even fight Chisora behind his jab utilising his greater reach. On paper it would appear that Haye has the greater variety of tactical options, and whilst Chisora will fancy his chances against Haye, it is my belief that Haye will have too much for Chisora. I predict an early night for Chisora who will be too wild in the a heated atmosphere and will be made to pay for this by the power of Haye. I struggle to see the fight going into the 2nd half and think Haye will stop Chisora between rounds 4-6.