By Jake Donovan
Heavyweight contender Dereck Chisora was forced to hold court on his own when David Haye opted to blow off an international conference call to hype up their July 14 grudge match in West Ham, London.
The fight – which airs live on EPIX as well as a live stream on EpixHD.com (Saturday 4:30pm PT/1:30pm PT) - was born from their well-documented blow-up in the post-fight press conference following Chisora’s points loss to Vitali Klitschko earlier this year in Germany. Haye and his team managed to say just enough to get under Chisora’s skin, leading to the aforementioned incident.
Given the bad blood between the two camps, Monday’s conference call figured to be a lengthy war of words. Haye had other thoughts, as he reportedly called in only to inform the production staff of his decision to not speak with the media in that capacity.
Chisora (15-3, 9KO) didn’t bother to read too much into it and felt everyone was better off with his opponent’s unscheduled absence from the call.
“David Haye is a drama queen,” Chisora stated. “Nobody likes to pay attention to a drama queen. Nobody cares. I don’t really care to be honest.”
The working theory Chisora has of his opponent is all bark and no bite. Haye has talked plenty in the past, but doesn’t always quite deliver in the ring.
The brash Brit made his mark during his days as a cruiserweight more than four years ago. Haye’s reign began by climbing off the canvas to knock out Jean-Marc Mormeck in Nov. ’07. A follow-up two-round destruction of Enzo Maccarinelli four months later cemented his claim as the division’s best.
However, the defection to heavyweight has proven to be far more style than substance. Wins over Monte Barrett, Nikolai Valuev (to win an alphabet belt), John Ruiz and countryman Audley Harrison were enough to prove that he belonged in the mix, but it was his knack for self-promotion that finally led to a showdown with Wladimir Klitschko.
The bout came a year after Haye had pulled out of negotiated fights with both Klitschko brothers. While it proved to be an epic bust in the ring, the event was box office gold. The ability to sell has kept Haye relevant when the topic is intriguing heavyweight events to make.
“David Haye is a talker, he’s hype,” Chisora insists. “He’ll talk himself to a world title fight. He’s playing mind games. He has to do what makes him happy. But he knows what’s coming.”
Neither fighter has won a relevant bout in well over a year. Haye’s last win came with a 3rd round stoppage over Harrison.
Chisora has lost three of his last four, though his defeat against Robert Helenius last December was widely viewed as one of the more disgraceful robberies in recent memory. A 6-round points win over upside-down clubfighter Remigijus Ziausys is his lone official victory in nearly two years.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter: @JakeNDaBox