• David Haye v Dereck Chisora

Lewis slams 'poor taste' Haye-Chisora fight

ESPN staff
May 17, 2012

Former heavyweight champion of the world Lennox Lewis has hit out at David Haye's forthcoming fight against Dereck Chisora, saying the bout is in "poor taste".

Haye and Chisora are set to fight at Upton Park on July 14, with the contest sanctioned by the Luxembourg Boxing Federation after the British Boxing Board of Control revoked Chisora's licence following an infamous press-conference brawl with Haye in Munich in February.

The pair got into a dispute following Chisora's defeat to Vitali Klitschko, although not before Chisora had disgraced himself with his conduct towards the Ukrainian ahead of the WBC heavyweight title fight.

Lewis believes ignoring the BBBoC to arrange the fight shows a distinct lack of class on the part of both fighters - as he says the BBBoC have been "one billion per cent right" in their conduct so far.

"We are going through a disciplinary process right now and the British Boxing Board of Control is handling that," Lewis said. "Should they be allowed to fight? Sure - but only when the time is right, when the disciplinary process has run its course.

"Chisora did a couple of bad things which, in football terms, brought the game into disrepute, and although he has apologised, that is not enough. Maybe he needs anger management therapy, some outside help, to draw a line under what happened in Germany."

He added: "I don't think there can ever be justification for going behind the British board's back.

"We all know the board is there for a reason, and they made a decision to suspend Chisora's licence in good faith, so to go around their jurisdiction is pretty poor, it's in poor taste.

"And for two boxers from England to go abroad and behave in that manner was damaging for the country's image.

"Slapping your opponent at the weigh-in, spitting in another champion's face in the ring, throwing a punch while holding a bottle and threatening to shoot a fellow boxer was all way over the top.

"It left a bad taste and I'm glad the British Boxing Board of Control stepped in and took the action they did. I make them a billion per cent right for doing that."

Lewis believes the anticipation ahead of the Haye-Chisora bout - 20,000 tickets were sold in just 48 hours - is an indictment of the poor state of the heavyweight division at the moment.

"We're waiting for that next superstar to shine," he noted. "I don't think there are any decent heavyweights coming through in America because most of the big guys there are doing other sports and different things."

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