Fighting outside of the ring sells.
Any publicity is good publicity for boxing’s dying popularity. The drama between Dereck Chisora, Vitali Klitschko and David Haye will without a doubt boost the sport’s ratings.
What will such publicity do for boxing?
A war of words began before Chisora and Klitschko’s battle in the ring. Indeed, according to USA Today, Chisora was trash-talking his opponent at the weigh-in:
“Everybody's tired of you and your brother. There's no excitement in the ring. It's time for the new king. People want a new relief in boxing. Him and his brother have killed the sport I love…”
He also slapped Klitschko.
As if the subplots couldn’t get any better, after Klitschko defeated Chisora in a split decision, David Haye decided to join in on the action. At the postmatch press conference, Haye, apparently feeling left out, began to brawl with Chisora.
Here is the video (Warning: Language is not safe for work).
Haye’s fight with Chisora will help the sport far more than the Klitschkos.
Think about it: What’s one of the most memorable scenes from the Rocky series? When Balboa fought Tommy Gunn…in the streets.
How about one of the most emotional? When Clubber Lang jacked-up Micky before fighting Rocky.
Sure, it’s just a movie, but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize the thrill of organized, refereed fights pale in comparison to the latter.
Besides the fact they’re the two most talented boxers in the world, a potential Manny Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather bout is so hyped up because of the never-ending drama outside of the ring. Non-boxing fanatics are hearing the names Klitschko, Chisora and Haye for the first time, not because of an average match, but because of the unscripted fighting away from it.
Chisora and Haye aren’t the most intelligent athletes on the planet, but their immature antics are definitely a plus for boxing.
David Daniels is a featured columnist at Bleacher Report and a syndicated writer.