Did Haye and Chisora invent rivalry to con boxing fans?
Questions asked after the two fighters embrace after snarling bout on Saturday night
BRITISH boxing fans have been duped by David Haye and Dereck Chisora claims Jeff Powell in the Daily Mail, who was scandalised by the way the two men embraced after their grudge match at a rain-soaked Upton Park at the weekend.
Despite the bad blood between the pair in the build-up to the fight, the heavyweights appeared on good terms at the end of the bout, which was won by Haye.
"Once they had scraped Chisora off the floor following his fifth-round knockout, it was time to pass the sick bag," fumed Powell. "These two Londoners who snarled, scowled and spat such venomous hatred at each other, while making threats with menaces, promptly embraced like long-lost brothers.
"As they did so, they grinned and chuckled. The joke was on the paying public... Had they been professional conmen, they could hardly have made a bigger killing."
Former boxer Wayne McCullough, now a Sky columnist, asked: "Was this just one of the biggest marketing ploys we have ever seen in putting a big fight together?"
Paul Hayward of The Daily Telegraph was not convinced the whole thing was staged. "The post-fight bonhomie... prompted many to suspect that the unscheduled rumble in a press conference room in Munich was a stunt to draw 30,000 punters to an eventual grudge match in London. If so, the Royal Shakespeare Company should take an interest in the two protagonists," he said.
However, he also noted that the fight had, rather conveniently, allowed both men to "re-enter mainstream boxing".
Indeed, Haye has now called out Vitali Klitschko and says the big German is running scared of him. Klitshko, whose brother Wladimir beat Haye last year, appears unlikely to respond and has dismissed the Englishman as "meaningless". However, unbeaten German heavyweight Manuel Charr has declared his interest in a fight with Haye.
Afterwards promoter Frank Warren dismissed claims that the entire Haye-Chisora rivalry had been invented as "moronic" and more significantly hinted that he could put on other fights using the Luxembourg authorities, sidestepping the British Boxing Board of Control.
"Warren has threatened to overhaul the sport in this country after revealing he will consider prolonging his partnership with the controversial Luxembourg Boxing Federation," reported City AM.