By Frank Warren
Tonight’s the night. After all the furore over the last few months since the fight was announced, all the talking has been done by David Haye and Dereck Chisora and now it’s down to them to fight it out in the ring. It’s certainly the biggest all-British heavyweight showdown since Lennox Lewis and Frank Bruno fought it out over twenty years ago and the last time a fight caught the publics imagination in this country like this one was when Mike Tyson made his UK debut over a decade ago.
There’s been a lot of controversy surrounding the fight and it’s been debated on mainstream TV, radio shows and by columnist in the national newspapers, all with divided opinions.
The main thing is that it’s on and it’s the fight that the fans want to see with West Ham United ground filled with 30,000 fans tonight, with live TV coverage in the UK on BoxNation and in cinemas and it will also go live in America and 60 plus countries in Europe.
It's a real grudge fight with genuine animosity between both fighters and neither will want to lose in this battle of pride.
The fight will be fought over ten rounds with the vacant WBO and WBA International Heavyweight titles are on the line. When the original contract for the fight was signed, it was over ten rounds and sanctioned by the Luxembourg Boxing Federation, but when the WBO and WBA titles were added to the bout it was hoped that the fight would be extended to the championship distance of twelve rounds.
Haye was adamant that he would only fight over ten rounds and stuck with the original contract, with Chisora angry that a former world champion wouldn’t face him over the full distance.
But I believe that this will work more in Chisora’s favour with the frenetic pace that he’ll be setting from the start. For me it will be interesting to see what the Hayemaker does.
Haye’s got fast hands and foot movement and there’s no doubt he bangs with both hands and has an 85 percent knockout rate.
He’s come in at 15st which is his lightest weight since moving up to heavyweight. It looks like he’ll be trying frustrate Chisora with his speed and looking to land with his bombs.
He’ll need speed against Chisora who’s promising to take the fight to the former champ Haye from the first bell just like he did against Vitali Klitschko, giving the WBC World Champion his hardest fight since losing to Lennox Lewis in 2003.
I was in the gym with Chisora earlier this week to see him in his final sparring session and he looked in tremendous shape, just as important he’s mentally focused and up for this one.
That’s the carrot for Del Boy, revenge for Germany and set up the biggest heavyweight fight out there against Wladimir Klitschko - now that would be mega.
This is going to be a battle. It could be short and sweet or ten rounds of war. The fuse was lit in Germany. The bombs will go off in the East End.
There’s no doubt that Haye is the bigger puncher with 23 of his 25 wins coming by way of stoppage. He was a big puncher at cruiserweight and stepping up to heavyweight he dealt with the likes of Monte Barrett, Nicolay Valuev, John Ruiz and Audley Harrison, but he couldn’t pull it out of the bag against unified world champion Waldimir Klitschko. Haye’s always dangerous though with his big Hayemaker right hand. Chisora has a better volume of punches than a ‘bang’ and is a good finisher.
HAYE 8 CHISORA 7
Haye generally likes to fight off the backfoot and although his win against Valuev wasn’t exciting, he got his tactics right.
Chisora says he’s going to be all over Haye from the first round which is what he needs to do, not giving Haye distance or room to work. His preparations were all wrong against Tyson Fury, but he was spot on against Robert Helenius and Vitali Kitschko.
HAYE 8 CHISORA 8
This is Haye’s biggest vulnerability. He’s hit the floor as an amateur against Jim Twite and in the pros against Lolenga Mock, Jean Marc Mormeck, Monte Barrett, Carl Thompson and clipped against Enzo Maccarinelli. Chisora’s got a good chin and hasn’t been down yet as pro. Chisora’s not been dropped as pro and I was impressed with his chin when it was tested against Klitschko who’s much bigger than Haye.
HAYE 7 CHISORA 9
Although Haye has shown plenty when he’s got up from the canvas before to win, the fight against Wladimir Klitschko did his image no favours when he blamed the defeat on his injured toe. Chisora’s all heart and there’s no quit in him. He’s was two stone overweight and behind on points against Fury, but he kept going until the end. Against Vitali he put everything into it and left him blowing like an old steam train. Had it been a couple more rounds and Chisora could have stopped him.
HAYE 8 CHISORA 10
Haye’s got the slight edge on experience winning world titles at cruiser and heavyweight in six championship title fights. In 27 fights he’s racked up 114 career rounds.
Going into the Vitali fight, Chisora had only had 17 fights and 93 rounds, but he gave Vitali his hardest fight since Lennox Lewis back in 2003. That experience against the world’s best heavyweight will stand him in good stead for this fight.
HAYE 9 CHISORA 7
Chisora will be looking to set a fast pace from the first bell as he did against Helenius and Vitali. He has a good work-rate and can keep that pace right until the end. He came in 37lbs heavier than Haye at the weigh-in yesterday and is in good shape.
Haye can do the distance, but how will he cope with a strong Chisora in his face all night?
There has been the argument over the 10/12 round distance of the fight, but the shorter distance will suit Chisora even better.
HAYE 8 CHISORA 10
Although I’m Chisora’s manager, I feel that he has the heart, desire and the engine to win the fight and I fancy my man to win by KO, but if it goes the distance on points.
If Haye’s going to win he’s got to dominate the rounds and not box on the back foot. He’s giving away over two stone! Will he stand and trade with Chisora? I doubt it.
There’s a lot of pride on the line with both boxers and tonight is the night they settle all scores once and for all.
HAYE 48 CHISORA 51
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