This week saw the announcement of the inevitable grudge match happening between Londoners David Haye and Dereck Chisora for a minor WBO trinket, which will take place at Upton Park, the home of Football League Championship side West Ham United.
The controversial bout is to be sanctioned, not by the British Boxing Board of Control, but by the little known Luxembourg Boxing Foundation (LBF) , which, like the Board of Control, has a membership in the European Boxing Union.
The reasons as to why the fight is being sanctioned by the LBF and not by the Board of Control is that Haye does not have a current British licence to fight after retiring following his loss to Wladimir Klitchsko at the Imtech Arena in Hamburg Germany, in the biggest heavyweight match up featuring a British fighter since Lennox Lewis fought Mike Tyson back in 2002 in Memphis.
This would be subject to a hearing regarding Haye's fitness to hold a licence, while Chisora himself is currently not regarded as a “fit and proper person” by the Board of Control, following his outrageous conduct prior to and after his fight with Klitchsko’s elder brother Vitali for the WBC Heavyweight title.
That event saw Chisora slap Vitali at the weigh in and then spit water in the face of Wladimir during the pre-fight instructions. and then to cap it all off, brawled with Haye at the post-fight press conference.
Haye was at the conference in a media capacity as a Summeriser for UK Broadcaster Box Nation and was attempting to call out Vitali for one last crack at a world title at the same time.
It was during this press conference, after promoter Frank Warren had suggested that Chisora and Haye box off in an eliminator bout with the winner getting Vitali, that Chisora came off the stage to confront Haye and that was when the well documented violence occurred which led to Chisora being indefinitely suspended from fighting for a WBC title.
Chisora was also deemed not a fit and proper person by the Board of Control and had his licence removed, a pathetic decision from the Board rather than fining and suspending Chisora for a set period of time, perhaps 12-18 months, and then using the fine to pay for coaching young kids along with encouraging Chisora to get help with his anger management issues.
And it is because of this that we have the situation that has generated much publicity, unfortunately negative, for the sport as the grudge match between these two men has been scheduled for Upton Park by using free trade laws to avoid any complications with getting licences from the Board of Control that could delay the bout.
Which, while legal under current European Law in relation to freedom of labour and movement, contravenes the constitution of the Board of Control.
Since this fight has been announced, the Board of Control has issued a statement which you can read on their website http://www.bbbofc.com/notices/09-05-12.
In this notice, the Board has stated that it does not and will not approve any such fight between these two men and will not supply any officials (referees, judges, inspectors etc) for this fight and will take no such responsibility for anything that may occur on the 14th July at Upton Park.
This stance has drawn wide spread support from other governing bodies and on a recent appearance on Ringside, former British Welterweight Champion Kell Brook, a proud member of the Board and holder of the Lonsdale belt outright, states that it is wrong that the Board’s back has been gone behind in getting this fight sanctioned and that Board have to back up their words to show who runs boxing here in the United Kingdom.
This writer believes that a clever and calculating manner using current European legislation has gotten Haye and Chisora sanctioned in Luxembourg, who appear to be happy to licence both of them as they have stated that neither man have been suspended by the Board of Control or any other governing body.
In this manner, the authority of the Board of Control has been challenged in the name of a financial matter, knowing that fight fans will buy the tickets and the subscriptions simply to see this grudge match occur.
The Board have rightly threatened to take away the licences of anyone who is involved in Haye-Chisora.
This writer hopes that Robert Smith, the General Secretary of the Board, follows up on his words regardless of any potential threat of legal action that may come, as potentially, in this writer’s eyes, a very dangerous precedent, which could be potentially damaging to British boxing, could occur.