Iain Hepburn | July 12, 2012
This weekend’s scrap between David Haye and Dereck Chisora has all the makings of a circus. It’s taking place in a field, has a ringmaster and – going by the build-up – features a pair of clowns.This weekend’s scrap between David Haye and Dereck Chisora has all the makings of a circus. It’s taking place in a field, has a ringmaster and – going by the build-up – features a pair of clowns.
The heavyweight division’s never been shy of shooting itself in the foot, and with the dominance of the Klitschko brothers has devolved into a succession of nearly-were’s and might-have-beens slugging it out in the vain hope of landing a payday in Germany against one or other of the Ukrainian monsters.
Outwith that it’s just a blur of mediocrity. Forget calling it a freak show – even that managed to offer some level of grim entertainment for the Victorian gawkers crowded around the exhibits.
Once upon a time David Haye was an exciting figure, a part of the 00s boxing revival that saw the likes of Ricky Hatton, Danny Williams, Joe Calzaghe, and Enzo Maccarinelli becoming household names. Somewhere around the Valuev win he stopped being about the boxing and started being about the hype.
About the only thing that can salvage this mess is if the fight is perfect. An exciting, skillful, controversy-free example of boxing at its finest. Haye and Chisora go into this fight with their reputations tainted. Swerving controversy is about the only thing that will let either man emerge with credibility. And given the build-up to this bout, you’d be hard-pressed to have faith in that as an outcome.
All this, of course, threatens to overshadow what could be a great British boxing event on Saturday night. Amir Khan takes on unbeaten Danny Garcia in Las Vegas in a unification bout for the WBC light-welterweight title.
Victory for Khan would cement his credentials as a serious contender and would likely be the signal for him to step up to welterweight, with the tantalizing prospect of fights with Manny Pacquiao or Floyd Mayweather down the line.
Yet whatever the outcome, it’s likely to remain a footnote this weekend, a sidebar to the tedious bad guy nonsense taking place at Upton Park.