Wlad: Haye-Chisora sends bad message

May, 23, 2012
5/23/12
3:28
PM ET
With the David Haye-Dereck Chisora heavyweight clash coming to full fruition, it sure seems like bad behavior is being rewarded.

You'll recall that after Chisora gave a decent account of himself against Vitali Klitschko on Feb. 18 in Munich, dropping a 12-round decision, he got into it at the postfight news conference with David Haye. Party-crasher Haye had become something of a laughingstock after he set an unofficial record for talking a big game and then not coming close to backing it up when he went into scaredy-cat mode in his scrap with Wladimir Klitschko in Hamburg last July, losing a lopsided decision. Haye started yapping at Chisora at the presser, apparently to lure him into a tilt, and it looks like it worked. The yapping turned into a full-blown brawl, with Haye smashing a beer bottle on Chisora's mug. The authorities looked into the event afterward, and boxing received its trillionth black eye.

But guess what? That display of idiotic thuggishness will probably result in a massive payday for the two miscreants. A square-off between Haye and Chisora is slated for July 14 in London, although uncertainty remains on the specifics because neither Haye nor Chisora has a license to box in England. Haye gave his up when he "retired" last October, while Chisora's was yanked for his unruly behavior prior to and after the Vitali fight. Most likely, things will get ironed out, because tickets have gone on sale. In fact, 17,000 were sold on the first day of release. No surprise, interest is high in a clash between the two bad actors.

Wladimir Klitschko (57-3, 50 KOs), the 36-year-old heavyweight champion, was asked if he is distressed that the fighters' poor behavior is being rewarded.

"All of the champions since Joe Louis, Max Schmeling, Muhammad Ali and Rocky Marciano have tried to polish the sport of boxing, and make it as glamorous as it is, and the behavior of Dereck Chisora is sending the wrong message to the youth -- that means, the worse you behave, the more money you are going to make, and you're going to be known for it," he said. "So it's definitely sending a wrong message, and I totally disagree with the decision from the Luxembourg Boxing Federation to give permission and license. And by the way, promoters are promoting this fight as the fight of the century, which is totally nonsense, because they both lost to [the Klitschko brothers]."

No word yet on whether any U.S. entity will televise the bout. I'm guessing none will, so if anyone in the States was thinking they could boycott the fight to show their displeasure that Haye and Chisora will benefit despite representing boxing in such a degrading fashion, that option likely won't be available.
Michael Woods, a member of the board of the Boxing Writers Association of America, has been covering boxing since 1991. He writes about boxing for ESPN The Magazine and is the news editor for TheSweetScience.com.

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