A Shameful Day In The History Of British Boxing

By John Wight - In British boxing, words such as ‘intergrity’, ‘ethics’, and ‘honour’ no longer exist. Tacky does not come close to describing the news that Dereck ‘Del Boy’ Chisora and David Haye will face one another in July at Upton Park. More appropriate would be 'despicable'.

To recap, Chisora’s license was withdrawn by the British Boxing Board of Control after a series of disgraceful incidents before, during, and after his February 18 fight with Vital Klitschko in Germany.. This consisted of him slapping his opponent at the weigh-in preceding the fight, spitting water into the face of Vitali’s brother Wladimir Klitschko in the ring during the pre-fight introductions, and then at the post fight press conference engaging in a war of words with David Haye before getting out of his seat and walking the length of the room to go face to face with him. The result was a brawl involving multiple persons, after which Chisora threatened to shoot David Haye.

The question needs to be asked: Just what would it take for a professional boxer to be banned? Chisora and his ilk have no place in professional boxing. He is clearly a man who is out of control and who probably belongs in a psychiatric ward rather than a boxing ring. No apology, no contrition for his outrageous antics in February have been heard from him, yet here he is just four months later being paraded at a press conference promoting a fight out of which he will be rewarded with a substantial paycheque. The example this sets to kids in boxing gyms up and down the country is a rotten one, promoting as it does boxing not as a sport but as organised thuggery disguised as one.

Make no mistake this is a sad moment in the history of British boxing, dragging it back to the days when it was inextricably linked with the dregs of society. In a sport which exalts courage, tenacity, and skill, the danger of it lapsing into the glorification of brutality and criminality is why it must be protected from itself with rules governed by a sense of ethics. Yes, this fight will undoubtedly generate a lot of interest, but the ugliness surrounding it denigrates boxing in the long term, providing succour to those who maintain it should be banned.

Professional British boxing is now officially the personal possession and plaything of a certain promoter, with this development the unwelcome result. Yes, money talks. Sadly in this case it is saying, “Goodbye integrity. Hello gutter”.

Article posted on 08.05.2012

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