Upton Park has been away from the centre stage of British sport following West Ham’s relegation to the Championship in 2011, but this Saturday it will host one of the most eagerly anticipated British boxing matches for a long time. David Haye will fight Dereck Chisora for the WBO International and WBA Intercontinental Heavyweight Championships.
Despite these two being compatriots, they are fierce enemies and cannot stand each other, Saturday’s fight is far more about reputation than a few belts. The rivalry started back in February, when a fight broke out between the two at a press conference after Chisora had lost to Vitali Klitschko.
The events that took place shocked the boxing world as a mundane press conference suddenly descended into a melee due to the two British boxers. Haye was the one that started it as he interrupted the conference, in order to propose a fight between himself and Chisora. The two then came face to face, and Chisora started taunting Haye about his “pathetic loss” to Vitali’s younger brother, Wladimir Klitschko.
Chisora had made references to the fact that Haye had blamed a toe injury as the cause of his defeat, and he responded with jibes of his own. After Haye appeared to throw a punch at his compatriot, Chisora returned with a glass bottle.
This fight is taking place under the Boxing board of Luxembourg after the British board of boxing took away the license of Dereck Chisora, even though it will happen in the UK.
Finally to the boxing! Chisora has weighed in a staggering 37lbs heavier than his opponent David Haye, but Haye is 4cm taller and has a greater reach by 10cm. Chisora, who is three years younger than Haye, has vowed to be “crazy” on Saturday night as he looks to crown himself Britain’s best heavyweight boxer.
Despite a brief career to date, Chisora has shown he is a world-class boxer. He has lost just three out of his 18 fights. His most recent was the loss to Vitali Klitschko, but he was by no means disgraced, and even managed to win the last round. Chisora has got a very strong chin and is stronger than Haye, although he should be as he weighs 37lbs more.
What Haye lacks in strength he makes up for in agility and reach, and will be considerably quicker than Chisora. Haye has only lost two fights out of 25 and he unified the world cruiserweight division before becoming world heavyweight champion. In his last fight, against the other Klitschko, he lost badly and it seemed that would be the end of his career as he actually retired, but then came the infamous press conference.
The war of words and mind games started a long time ago between these two, and each of the four times they have met since the bust up in Munich, they have had a steel partition in between them.
Our boxing betting preview verdict
This promises to be explosive from the start, as neither man is lying when he says he genuinely detests the other. Although Chisora took Klitschko the distance, he is unlikely to have the fitness to compete with Haye, and an early knockout is his best bet. Haye will likely wait for his opponent to tire, and then after a big opening two rounds he will bide his time before going for the knockout.
Our tip is a 28/1 value bet: Haye to win in round 10.