• Steve Bunce

Haye-Chisora aftershock to shake up boxing landscape

Steve Bunce May 8, 2012
David Haye did not have a British Boxing Board of Control licence at the time of his Munich brawl with Dereck Chisora © Getty Images

The Dereck Chisora v David Haye grudge match on July 14 is not unlicenced or illegal - it's just not licenced by the British Boxing Board of Control (BBBC).

BBBC is a self-regulating body that makes and breaks its own rules, and it's not uncommon for another sanctioning organisation to appear: it's happened in several European countries down the years.

It's no good the BBBC coming out on the issue and saying, after the horse has bolted, that it's atrocious the fight will go ahead. Haye had no licence at the time of the Munich brawl, and Chisora subsequently had his suspended for an indefinite period.

If Chisora had been banned for a year then bosh, you know where you stand. If Haye would have got the same medicine then bosh, you know where you stand. But BBBC didn't do that; in theory, Chisora's suspension could have been for just a week.

Chisora appealed the decision, and his hearing was initially set for May before being pushed back to July, because the one of the QCs involved is tied up on a murder trial. That's too late a date for Del Boy - the window for a bout with Haye is by the end of July. So the fighters and those around them have decided to press ahead without BBBC backing.

But the big question is not whether it's right that Haye or Chisora take to the ring - instead, it's a long-term question over what affect their meeting is going to have on British boxing. Can boxers with a British licence fight on the bill? Trainers, seconds, promoters, whips with British licences, can they take part?

If they can't, then I would imagine those people would consider applying for a licence from the Luxembourg Boxing Association. What impact would that have on their British licence? This is what needs to be resolved.

There was a case a couple of years ago when the World Boxing Union (WBU) was formed, and BBBC said no-one holding its licence could in any way be involved with a WBU fight. People were threatened with suspension when they were involved.

So when BBBC comes out on the matter, it could bare its teeth - or it could sit down with the parties involved and work out a deal that doesn't leave it out of pocket and doesn't create all sorts of confusion.

This is a huge fight, one that would make BBBC several hundred thousand pounds which it can ill-afford to lose.

Haye's motivation for coming out of retirement is money, 100%. I'm not sure it's necessarily a more lucrative fight than one against Vitali Klitschko - but, while I'm not saying he'll definitely beat Chisora, it's definitely easier.

As for Chisora - well, there's a few rumours floating around that he's out of shape… I find that hard to believe, because talk of him fighting Haye has been floating around for a month or so. And besides, he likes a ten-week training camp, and if we assume he's already started his preparations, he's got time to squeeze that in and get himself sharp.

Lamont's lament
If the rumours about Lamont Peterson failing a drug test turn out to be true, then it completely ruins the whole Peterson image. It's a disaster for him. Sure, it's not great for Khan, but it's a disaster for Peterson.

Khan has time to get himself a replacement if Peterson can't fulfil the date. It's not an American or British pay-per-view, so it's not like you need the wow factor. There'll be some belt they can stick on it: the WBC this, or the WBC that. Don't you worry.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Steve Bunce Close
Steve Bunce has been ringside in Las Vegas over 50 times, he has been at five Olympics and has been writing about boxing for over 25 years for a variety of national newspapers in Britain, including four which folded! It is possible that his face and voice have appeared on over 60 channels worldwide in a variety of languages - his first novel The Fixer was published in 2010 to no acclaim; amazingly it has been shortlisted for Sports Book of the Year.