By Frank Warren
The British heavyweight scene, already bursting with good talents like David Haye, David Price and Tyson Fury, shall be further enriched if the British Boxing Board of Control show compassion and allow Dereck Chisora back into their fold. The bad boy of the division has been black balled following his involvement in the shameful behaviour before, during and after his WBC world title challenge to Vitali Klitschko in Munich last year.
Del Boy, lest anyone forgot, slapped his opponent at the weigh-in, sprayed water from his own mouth into the face of Vitali's goading brother Wladimir during the ring intros, then got caught up in an unsavoury bare knuckle dust up with David Haye at the post fight presser.
For his solitary ring outing since – last year's Event of the Year when he and Haye drew over 30,000 to Upton Park on a soggy evening in July – Del Boy reluctantly operated on a licence issued by the Luxembourg Boxing Board. Like all of us, the man has a living to earn.
Everyone present in Munich, including all in Camp Chisora, condemned Del Boy's antics and conceded that he deserved strong reprimand and punishment, particularly as his prior rap sheet included censure for biting one opponent's ear!
Clearly he was losing self-control and the Board deemed he was unworthy of his boxing licence and withdrew it. However, during the 12 months that have passed since Germany, Chisora has kept his nose spotlessly clean. Clearly the bang-up with Haye was a genuine grudge yet, when they finally got between the ropes, Dereck proved himself an exemplary sportsman throughout a glorious slug-out and proved extremely gracious after what proved a very bitter defeat; the only stoppage loss of his career.
Chisora openly acknowledged he had issues that needed attention, voluntarily attended a series of anger management classes and, eager to atone, has quietly been visiting local schools to counsel children, and hospitals to cheer the ill and infirm.
Those who know him well can confirm Chisora is anything but the thoroughly unpleasant beast that sections of the media would have you believe.
Occasionally, sure, Del has been surly, reckless and impetuous but far more often he is a genuinely affable giant and extremely generous.
During my 30 years in this industry, I've worked with my share of ogres but Chisora certainly isn't high among them.
Before he found The Lord, Nigel Benn was a permanently angry young man who always felt the world was conspiring against him, particularly prior to his terrific yet tragic win over Gerald McClellan. Nigel and I went nose to nose in the corridor on several occasions.
Herbie Hide, who I steered to the WBO heavyweight title, could be vile; routinely involving himself in out of the ring skirmishes with the likes of Michael Bentt, Danny Williams and Audley Harrison. Yet he was never deemed unfit to hold a British licence.
And who can forget Mike Tyson's lamentable second visit to the UK in June 2000, when he struck referee John Coyle and spouted crass remarks about eating Lennox Lewis's children!
Our sport has always had its villains and bad boys. They're certainly great box-office. Chisora is far too great a talent for the authorities to jettison simply to score a point.
Privately educated and raised in the affluent Temple Fortune district of north London, he didn't start boxing until his late teens, initially to shed some blubber.
While his amateur experience was nominal, his innate talent and athleticism enabled him to bag an ABA title plus international recognition prior to signing with me in 2007. In just 19 pro outings, he has already captured British and Commonwealth titles and made hugely credible challenges for both the European and world titles.
In addition to being exceptionally gifted, he is a born entertainer, yet to be in a boring fight. He is a character who gives the fans value for money performances in the ring.
In my view Del has now served an appropriate punishment. A boxer's career is short and he has already been ostracised from the meaningful titles for 12 months of his prime.
It is no foregone conclusion that Chisora shall receive his licence back when he re-applies over the next week or so and, if fortunate, certain conditions will rightly be attached.
However, I have a slot tentatively reserved for his comeback on my big 'Rule Britannia' promotion at Wembley Arena on March 16th and, after a couple of rust shedders, I remain confident he could yet succeed at world level. He is still only 29, still learning, still developing.
With a showdown between David Price and Tyson Fury unlikely to happen any time soon, Chisora would make an ideal candidate against whom Price could attempt to get that crucial final notch that would allow him permanent custody of the Lonsdale Belt; a contest that could double as a bonafide world title eliminator.
Sure, Del Boy has made mistakes but hopefully the Board can show clemency and allow boxing to serve as this talented young athlete's salvation. I think he is now worthy of one final chance.
17 year old Indonesian boxer Tubagus Sakti died last weekend after losing his bout against countryman Ichal Tobida in Jakarta.
In the 8th round Tabagus raised both his hands in the air to signal that he had given up. The referee failed to stop Tobida from landing several further clean punches to Tubagus' head before stopping the fight. Tubagus collapsed in the ring and later died in hospital from a brain haemorrhage - a tragic loss to the sport.
I hope the boxing authorities in Indonesia have launched an investigation into the actions of the referee.
Boxing's rumour mill has been on full steam this week, with the worst kept secret being the imminent announcement of Sky's return to PPV boxing for the Froch V Kessler rematch. Sky dropped PPV on the back of a couple of lacklustre shows, including David Haye's demolition job on Audley Harrison.
Eddie Hearn, who banged Audley Harrison's drum prior to the Haye fight embarrassment, seems to have made a U-turn regarding his attitude towards PPV events because he now needs the platform to make Froch v Kessler financially viable.
Fast Hearn had been quick to criticise PPV in the past, citing that it restricts audience numbers which he states makes the sports profile suffer, and now it will be interesting to see the reaction of the fans?
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Tags: Frank Warren , Dereck Chisora