With just under four weeks’ to go until the big heavyweight dust-up at West Ham United between David Haye and Dereck Chisora, leading British fight figures give their verdicts on the fight.
Haye v Chisora is live and exclusive on BoxNation (Sky Ch. 456/Virgin Ch. 546). Join at www.boxnation.com
Jim McDonnell (London trainer): I know Haye is expected to win but I’ve a strong feeling for Chisora even though he’s effectively coming off three losses to Tyson Fury, Robert Helenius and Vitali Klitschko.
The quality of his performance against Vitali was completely overshadowed by all the after fight bullsh**. Vitali has ferocious power, hits at a level far above David Haye, yet Dereck stood very solid against him.
The skills are certainly with David and, if he goes on his boxing, no doubt he’ll prove too sharp and crisp over the first six or seven rounds. But Chisora is a caveman. He’ll keep taking the shots and prove a bit too strong down the stretch. He’ll probably have to take a lot of lick but he’s so strong in his mind. It’s possible Dereck might even stop him very late.
Given the grudge, there’s going to be a lot of spite involved.
Chisora wins because of his mind, not his skill. He’s a genuine hard man and, at some stage, he’s going to land some shots. If both arrive fully trained and highly tuned, I see Chisora winning.
Johnny Eames (London trainer): Haye wins, probably by stoppage in the second half of the fight. He’s just the better, more complete fighter. He’s got more speed and power and Chisora won’t see his big shots coming.
I expect it to be a decent scrap. If the needle starts to creep in I feel David Haye will probably control himself better and that will be crucial. Dereck can be a bit of a loose cannon.
Billy Joe Saunders (unbeaten middleweight): Chisora is a better friend to me but I think Haye will probably win. Whereas Dereck just puts up a good show at top level, David has been winning at top level, and over a period of time.
It’ll definitely be a good fight. Chisora could win but he’s coming off a few losses and I don’t think David has been retired long enough to have gone stale yet. I think David could outbox him and there might be a late knockout.
Bob Shannon (Manchester trainer): It’s a real mouth watering fight. Cos of all the tension in the build up, I think it’s destined to be fast and furious. It could come down to who keeps the coolest head and I’ll go with David Haye. He’s a smart kid who’s been around more big fights.
He’s also technically better and I think he’ll be too smart, too cute. He’s got a really good team behind him and you can rely on Adam Booth to get his tactics spot on. I see him outboxing Chisora from the outside, frustrating him with his angles, then catching Dereck as he charges in. Haye’s very athletic and agile and I think Chisora’s style is tailored for him. I think Haye probably stops him in six or seven rounds. He punches really hard.
Alex Morrison (Glasgow manager): Haye destroys him in five or six rounds. I’ll be having a good bet on it. He’s a different class altogether. I think Haye plays with him. Chisora is just a plodder.
Haye may not be the bravest in the world but you can’t beat class and Haye has a lot more of it. I can’t see Chisora getting close to him.
Joe Gallagher (Manchester coach): I expect it to be a very close fight. Haye brings the skills and amateur pedigree. That should allow him to take an early lead – setting traps, poking, poking, poking - then Chisora starting to come on strong down the straight. I think Chisora is going to pull this off. Could this be Carl Thompson revisited, for David Haye?
I was very impressed with Chisora’s resistance against both Robert Helenius and Vitali Klitschko and I thought his tactics against Vitali were brilliant. Inside the ring, he showed a different side, a smart Chisora, ducking, rolling, keeping a good spirit. That can only have given him a lot of confidence in his ability to compete at the very highest level.
Chisora just kept coming, coming, coming and managed to drag Vitali into a fight. If he could close the distance down on someone as big and good as Vitali Klitschko, he’ll be able to close the distance on David Haye. He’ll certainly be able to exert more pressure than Wladimir Klitschko put on Haye. David may be forced into having a tear up just to contain him.
A motivated Dereck Chisora is a very tough kid to beat. He showed no nerves in the biggest stage over in Munich and, in London, I see Del Boy as an immoveable presence.
Scott Quigg (British superbantam champion): It’s going to get boxing a lot of attention and publicity. Even non boxing fans will be desperate to tune in.
For me, David Haye will break him up in about six rounds. Too quick, too sharp, too powerful. The skills, ability and levels of opposition all favour Haye. I know Chisora held up against Vitali but Haye’s got a completely different power to the Klitschkos, far quicker and more explosive. You don’t see his coming.
That said, I think it’ll be an exciting, competitive fight. It’s conceivable that Dereck could get onto Haye’s chest early, apply pressure that forces Haye to work and denies Haye the leverage he needs. If he catches Haye, he can rough him up.
I think that as soon as one gets hit really clean, tactics will go out the window and they’ll just get their heads down and have it off. That will favour Haye. I sense he can keep a cooler head.
Mark Tibbs (London trainer): It’s real 50-50. I can’t split ‘em largely because Haye’s been out of action for a long while and Chisora’s been active recently in very top class. Also, Chisora is such a wildcard and I like that. Though Haye’s got more big time experience, I think Chisora can handle a big occasion. He appeared very confident and relaxed for his heavyweight title fight in Germany. It’s a real tough one so who knows?
Ryan Rhodes (ex WBC light-middleweight challenger): I think Haye will smash him. For me, Chisora’s far too one dimensional, plods straight forward and he’ll walk onto everything David lets loose. And David hits very hard.
Though Chisora is a fit, fit fella, taking bombs like David Haye is going to drop on him is going to lead to him getting knocked out. And that’s taking into consideration Haye’s long absence. With the possibility of a fight with Vitali Klitschko, you can guarantee he’ll have been ticking over in the gym. I think Haye will probably stop him in six, seven, eight rounds.
Kell Brook (unbeaten welterweight): David Haye wins in about seven rounds. He’s got that fast explosive power and Chisora certainly isn’t a Wladimir Klitschko. He’s neither as big nor as rangy. Haye’s going to let some bombs off, hurt him and take him out. Because of the grudge, this is one big fight that I think will live up to expectations. It’s very interesting. Can’t wait!
Larry Olubamiwo (heavyweight contender): I think Haye probably wins on points but not by much. Haye definitely has the power to stop Chisora but I expect him to try to stay out of trouble and capitalise on his speed, similar to how he performed in the Valuev fight. Haye doesn’t have a tremendous workrate but I think Del will find it very hard to hit him.
I don’t think it will be as good a fight as people think, due to their styles. David Haye throws barely ten punches a round and Dereck just likes to maul. I think people are getting excited over nothing and shall be disappointed with the outcome.
Kerry Hope (European middleweight champion): I’d say David Haye wins. He punches too hard, is too quick and shall have too much skill for Dereck. My instincts are for Haye to succeed on points. I can’t really see him stopping Chisora.
I think all the animosity they’ve had will help to make it a better fight. Both will be really committed, guaranteed. Lots of casual sports fans will want to tune in because of everything that has gone on before.
David Price (British heavyweight champion): It’s David Haye for me, because of his speed and reflexes. Dereck has shown himself to be plenty durable but fighting all those huge guys like Tyson Fury, Robert Helenius and Vitali Klitschko, he’s been hit on the top of the head as people punch down on him. David Haye’s around the same height and I think he’ll really test his jaw.
Their styles should gel nicely. Chisora comes forward and sets a good pace but he’s there to be hit and, unlike the Klitschkos, he’ll be right in David’s range. I see Haye operating off the back foot, Chisora walking onto his power shots and Haye winning by stoppage in the mid rounds. It’s very interesting. Despite the controversy, it’s a fight everybody wants to see. And I expect it to live up to expectations.
Carl Greaves (Newark promoter): It’s going to be a really hard one. Chisora had the better fight with a Klitschko – he put in a really good effort against Vitali - and if you just went on their previous fights you’d probably sway to Chisora. But I think Haye beats him on points. I don’t believe Dereck’s a big enough puncher to really hurt or stop Haye. David’s got a bit too much power and I bit more style and class.
Colin McMillan (former world featherweight champion): Very interesting fight and I expect it’ll be very close. Chisora takes a good shot and is the more genuine natural heavyweight.
Once David realises he can’t blow Dereck out of there in two or three rounds, I sense he won’t try to get involved. I expect him to approach this safety first, a bit like the night he won the WBA title from Valuev.
I expect Haye to keep his hands high and win on points. He should have too much speed from the outside.
Brian Lawrence (London trainer): If Chisora gets himself into good shape like he was against Vitali Klitschko, as opposed to when he was well over weight against Tyson Fury, I take him to wear David Haye down and stop him late in a very hard fight. It’s usually the one who wins the street fight, who loses the boxing match. Look at Kaylor-Christie and Bentt-Hide!
Haye’s got to deal with that inactivity. Also, he’s looked a bit suspect since moving up from cruiser and Chisora’s a proper solid heavyweight. It’ll definitely be a good fight.
Brian Rose (British light-middleweight champion): I think Haye wins inside three rounds. He’s the better, more accomplished fighter and he’s achieved far more. Chisora proved against Vitali Klitschko that he has a great chin but I think Haye will go in a bit scared and, when he’s like that, he throws as many punches as he can to get them out of there quickly. Of course, anything can happen in the heavyweight division but I expect Haye to prove too elusive and overwhelm Chisora with his greater speed and power.
Billy Nelson (Glasgow trainer): I go Haye. He’s the better all round fighter and I think he stops Chisora in around six rounds. Chisora will try to be in his face the whole time and David’s speed will be too much.
Brendan Ingle (Sheffield trainer): I’m with Haye. I think he’ll have a little bit too much skill for Chisora. I see David breaking him down and stopping him in the mid to late rounds. I think it’s going to be a really good fight because it’ll come under such media scrutiny and neither will want to lose to the other. That’s bound to make it a better fight.
Kevin Sanders (Peterborough trainer): I see Haye stopping Del Boy in about five rounds. I’ve a feeling that Chisora shall get over excited by the occasion and walk into something. I think David Haye will be a bit too sharp with that right hand of his.
Anthony Farnell (Manchester trainer): If Haye has anything left after the defeat to Wladimir Klitschko and his lengthy inactivity, he’ll win by stoppage. He’s the better fighter, has been in with better people and punches far harder. I know Dereck’s coming off a ‘good’ loss to Vitali Klitschko but I think Vitali is definitely on the slide now. I like Chisora but I’m not sure that he has the mentality required to stick rigidly to a gameplan.
Ashley Sexton (unbeaten super flyweight): I’ve been in camps with both – Dereck as an amateur, David as a pro – and believe David will be the first to stop Chisora. Chisora is tailor made for David’s speed and power. That’ll be the difference.
It all depends on how big a statement David wants to make. Dereck’s not the fastest so David might just run and hit and try to catch Chisora coming in with those lightning fast hands but I think there’s going to be fireworks and David could win inside three rounds.
The Board aren’t going to take my licence away for talking to you about this, are they?!
Gavin Rees (European lightweight champion): I think Haye destroys him pretty easily. He’s got miles more class. He’ll be way too fast and powerful and hits pretty hard so could even stop Chisora. I know Chisora proved how tough he is against Vitali Klitschko but Vitali’s not what he used to be. David Haye would beat Vitali now – wouldn’t have five or six years ago, mind.
Chisora is easy to hit and I see Haye going through the gears, potshotting him from the outside and pounding his way to a stoppage in seven or eight rounds. For me, it’s just about how many Chisora can take, rather than who wins.
Stephen Smith (WBO Intercontinental Featherweight champion): We all know what can happen with heavyweight boxing but, even though he’s coming off a string of losses, I think Chisora wins. He’ll take a lot of confidence from his performance against Vitali Klitschko, even though he was defeated, and I think David Haye’s inactivity will work in Chisora’s favour.
Dereck’s got a very good chin and, if he can take David Haye’s digs early in the fight - and I think he will - he’ll get to Haye late. The fight’s got everybody talking about boxing again. Everyone wants to see it and I think it’s going to be very exciting.
Robin Reid (ex world supermiddle champion): This could be a classic. Both will be really fired up cos clearly they genuinely don’t like one another......bit like me and Joe Calzaghe! Me and Joe are okay now, mind.
Best way to settle an argument is Queensberry Rules. I’ll go with David Haye. Chisora’s a proper tough one but I think he possibly gets stopped late in the fight. Haye’s more skilful and should have a bit too much class.
Jamie Moore (ex British, Commonwealth and European light-middle champion): I fancy Chisora, just. He’s the more natural heavy. David hasn’t been quite as effective since his move up from cruiser.
Chisora really performed against Vitali Klitschko and David’s nowhere near as awkward as Klitschko. I don’t think he’s anything in his basket to really trouble Chisora. Chisora’s chin holds up very well and I don’t think David Haye’s power shots are going to make the dents he and his camp think they will.
I pick Chisora to tough it out and win what will undoubtedly be a good scrap.
Michael Jennings (ex British and WBU welterweight champion): Haye, definitely. He’s a different class. Though Chisora lasted the distance with Vitali Klitschko, let’s be honest, he was never really in the fight. He’s just not at that level.
Haye’s a better boxer who’ll be too fast and too strong. That’s something everyone seems to be overlooking. Chisora is going to steam forward and Haye will try to bang him out from the outside. Given their styles and the obvious needle, I can’t see it being anything other than a very exciting fight.
Martin Murray (British middleweight champion): It’ll be a good fight, for sure. I think both will really be fired up to punch the other’s head in so whoever can keep the coolest head on the night will probably prevail.
I go with Haye, probably by stoppage. He’s boxed at the higher level and punches a lot harder. He’s also very quick –it’s the one’s you don’t see that really do damage – and, when Haye gets ‘em hurt, he doesn’t let ‘em off the hook.
Paul Smith (Ex British and Commonwealth supermiddle champion): Haye should win. He’s the better all round fighter but I don’t think he’ll blast Dereck out. Dereck’s got a great chin and I wouldn’t be surprised if he drags Haye into the later rounds.
The question then will be: ‘Can Chisora make Haye fight?’ David hasn’t really engaged for a while now. But I think Haye’s speed will be the main factor. It’s possible that Haye could stop him with one he doesn’t see rather than just a brute power shot. Either way, points or stoppage, I see Haye victorious.