By John Hargate
David Haye stretched Dereck Chisora out on the canvas twice en route to a fifth round TKO; confirming power, speed and skill will more often than not have a significant edge over chin and heart. As George Chuvalo and Randall ‘Tex’ Cobb would tell you, even the best beard and the biggest heart is not always enough at the top level of the sport.
30,000 fans had packed themselves into Upton Park – many of them for their first night of boxing. Countless others had signed up to BoxNation in the hope of seeing two big men have a tear-up that ended with a knockout. Thankfully, both boxers did their best to oblige.
Haye boxed elusively without running, landing power shots on the advancing Chisora. “Del Boy” sucked it up, grinning at Haye after eating one particularly sharp right hand in the third, and courageously tried to fight back whenever he managed to push David to the ropes.
In the fifth round, Haye stunned Chisora with a left hook as he came in, followed by a short right hand that helped him to the deck. Chisora bravely beat the count and tried to fight Haye off as the Bermondsey fighter rushed in for the finish. Haye timed him immaculately, and landed a couple of solid right hooks that once again put Chisora down. Dereck made it to his feet by eight, but referee Luis Pabon did the right thing, ending proceedings at 2.59 of the round.
Not even the rain and a couple of god-awful “pop musicians” who blasted out their rubbish between fights could dampen the spirits of the crowd, who entered into the spirit of things and created a splendid atmosphere.
Frank Warren was naturally delighted with the success of the evening.
“It was a great show, a great fight,” he beamed when speaking to BoxingScene.com. “One of the best heavyweight fights I’ve seen for a long time. David Haye deserved it – he fought very well. Dereck showed his heart and his chin. I always said from the beginning, the way to settle this was in the ring, and they did, and that they’d make friends afterwards, and they did. You couldn’t have got better than this. At the end of the fight they showed tremendous respect for each other.”
I asked Frank if the success of the show had justified the risk of falling out with the British Boxing Board of Control? He chuckled and countered, “No risk to me”, before disappearing into a lift on his way to the post-fight press conference. There, he told reporters that the Board is largely made up of “out of touch” stewards. While Haye and Chisora settled their differences inside the ropes, one senses that this is one feud that will run for some time.
David Haye’s friend, manager and trainer, Adam Booth, was equally happy post-fight. “We knew Dereck had heart, and we knew he was going to put pressure on to try and test David’s heart. That fact is, I’ve always known David has plenty of heart. The problem for Dereck was that, after last year, David had a really burning desire to show people what he had.”
Was this redemption for what happened against Wladimir? “I know that David’s going to be happy, and that’s all that matters. The people that criticized David can figure out how much redemption it was for him. I’m just ecstatic that he’s proved a point to himself.”
Will Vitali Klitschko take a fight with David next year? “I doubt it,” replied Adam. “David’s going to get some sun and sand on his back now. He doesn’t need to go anywhere. He’s happy with his life.” A fitting end to his career if it is the end? “Yeah, it’d be nice,” Booth grinned.