Dereck Chisora, a Zimbabwean-born boxer’s, brave and encouraging display in the ring won him many friends but his pre- and post-fight antics caused him to lose many more.
Pre-fight hyped-up brawls are not new in boxing - they are part of the build-up to promote and sensationalise the bouts. Mike Tyson did it several times over the years - the worst being in 2002 in New York during a press conference before his fight with Lennox Lewis, when both men ended up scuffling on the floor, whereas Muhammad Ali utilised an altogether more classy and entertaining style before his contests.
Chisora and Haye may have made Frank Warren’s job to promote his next bouts much easier, but was it really worth drawing blood over this exchange of words?
Here is the exact transcript of the words used:
Bernd Boente, manager of Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko: With the bad experience we've had with British fighters, we will now look for other countries. Contrary to David Haye, Dereck Chisora really went for it. He really tried.
David Haye (from rear of the room): You don't want to fight David Haye, no?
Boente: You had an offer. You didn't accept it. Now you are out. You are out. Out, out, out. You cannot talk yourself back into the fight; you have no belts. Chisora showed heart, contrary to you. You showed your toe [referring to Haye's toe injury].
Haye: I accepted your offer in December.
Dereck Chisora: We'll get it on in London - be quiet. David Haye is an embarrassment; Sky Sports don't do Box Office any more because of David Haye. He messed it up for all those young fighters coming through. I'm going to give you two slaps for that. If Haye is a fighter, he should fight me.
Haye: You've lost three fights in a row (actually three of his last four).
Chisora: Let's fight.
Chisora's promoter Frank Warren: I've got a great idea. If Dereck fights David, the winner fights Vitali.
Boente: Sounds like the perfect plan.
Haye: Vitali said he could knock me out, do you think you can knock me out?
Chisora's trainer Don Charles: Be quiet, can security get him out of here?
Haye: Vitali said after his last fight, 'I want to fight David Haye'. Where is he now? He said he wanted to fight me, I agreed the money, I agreed everything in December.
Chisora: How's your toe? How's your toe? How's your toe?
Haye: You've lost your last three fights, you lost to Tyson Fury. You're a loser.
Chisora: Tell that to my face. I'm coming down, tell that to my face.
Chisora leaves his seat and approaches Haye at the back of the room, where a melee ensues. Haye at one point picks up a video camera tripod and swings it.
The two are eventually pulled apart before Chisora returns to the front of the room.
Chisora: (Shouting and indicating towards Haye). He glassed me. I swear to God, David, I am going to shoot you. I am going to shoot you. I am going to physically shoot David Haye. He glassed me. He glassed me. He glassed me. I'm not having it. He glassed me.
Haye's trainer Adam Booth approaches Chisora, his head bleeding.
Chisora: (Referring to Booth's cut) I'm sorry about that. Adam, your fighter glassed me.
Booth: I want to know who glassed me.
Chisora: As you were trying to hold your fighter away, he [Haye] probably glassed you by mistake.
Booth: You hit me with a bottle.
Chisora: David had a bottle in his hand.
Booth: No, no, David didn't hit me with a bottle. I want to know who glassed me. Someone hit me with a bottle.
The two are separated before Booth addresses Vitali Klitschko.
Booth: Vitali, you are a great fighter but your manager is an embarrassment to the sport. Congratulations for winning.
Chisora: (Addressing Booth) Either we do it in the ring or outside of the ring. Because I want him. If David don't fight me, Adam, I am telling you the God's honest truth, I am going to physically burn him. So you tell him I said that. I am going to find him.
After that embarrassing fiasco, it was suspected that the men suffered malicious injuries and the row is still rumbling on, although Chisora has apologised for his part and Haye continues to blame Chisora. While Frank Warren blames Haye, he told the BBC News Channel "I was shocked David Haye turned up at the press conference," He went on to say "He called out Dereck, a punch was thrown and he was hit with a bottle. I was absolutely disgusted and it didn't do British boxing any favours." Warren admitted the brawl did not do any good for Chisora’s image especially after a brilliant fight by Chisora, who unexpectedly went the full 12 rounds with Klitschko, only to lose on points. "It is just ridiculous.
It takes away from what was a gallant showing from Dereck in the ring," added the boxing promoter.
"Things occasionally get out of hand, but boxing is what it is - two guys in a very charged environment.
"David Haye gatecrashed the press conference and it developed into the ugly scenes we all saw.
"It was unacceptable. It is stupid. It does not do anybody's sport any favours - boxing or whatever."
Warren told BBC Radio 5 live on Monday he would not want to promote any potential bout between Chisora and Haye.
"I don't feel I could do that. What happened at the press conference was barbaric and shouldn't be allowed to happen," he said.
But Warren defended the sport itself, adding: "Boxing serves a purpose; it gives some people direction in life, gives them self-respect and allows people to use a talent they have in a positive way and to make a better life for themselves."
The stage has been set and the fight has been well publicised, although Frank Warren has stated that he won’t be taking advantage of the situation and promote the bout. The question still remains, was it a promotional gimmick that went horribly wrong? only time will tell!