David Haye and Dereck Chisora Show Us There's Life in Heavyweight Boxing Yet

Will ProtheroeContributor IIIJuly 14, 2012

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 14:  David Haye (L) in action with Dereck Chisora during their vacant WBO and WBA International Heavyweight Championship bout on July 14, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)
Scott Heavey/Getty Images

July 14 could hardly have been a more fitting day for David Haye and Dereck Chisora to finally lock horns.

223 years ago, the French people rose up against the tyranny of the French crown, to the horror of Europe's aristocracy.

In 2012, Haye and Chisora put on an enjoyable heavyweight fight, much to the horror of stuffy boxing followers around the globe.

In stark contrast to many recent fights at the weight, both men came out from the first bell looking to throw punches. Haye comfortably outworked Chisora in the opening round, throwing 64 to Chisora's 21.

Yet, Dereck was not looking to repeat Audley Harrison's pathetic performance against Haye, and the punches he threw were full of bad intentions.

Chisora found success with his left, catching Haye with some nice shots, but had trouble putting his punches together. The 28-year-old struggled to find the mark with the overhand right that has given him success in previous fights. 

Meanwhile, Haye looked back to his best, dancing around the ring and catching his opponent with solid combinations.

As the third round ended, the expected controversy appeared as Haye ate a big left from Chisora after the end of the round. Haye looked rocked but recovered on his stool.

Both men came out looking for blood in the fourth, the best round of the night. The action went back and forth as both men went swinging for the fences. Neither took a step back and it wasn't until the following round that the telling shots were fired.

With Chisora still coming forward, Haye picked his moment and floored his opponent with a left followed by a brutal right that caught Chisora flush. Chisora has to be given credit for making it back to his feet.

However, he was clearly out of the fight at this point and after rising from a second knockdown soon after, referee Luis Pabon called an end to the onslaught. After the end of the fight, both men showed their respect for one another by embracing and showing that the dispute was best sorted out in the ring.

The fight, sparked by the infamous brawl in Munich, had been decried by fans, fighters and pundits alike as a way for everyone involved to get rich at the cost of the noble sport of boxing.

Heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko called the fight a "freak show" on BBC Radio 5, while Hall of Famer Barry McGuigan labelled it a "disgrace."

Yet the fight that was delivered in front of 30,000 fans at Upton Park was one of the best heavyweight bouts we have seen in a long time.

Promoter Frank Warren should be applauded for not caving to pressure and putting on a fight that had people taking notice of what should be the blue ribbon division in boxing.

After the Munich brawl, The Daily Mail's Martin Samuel wrote: "Nobody should get rich from this night of shame."

Yet following the actual fight, wouldn't we rather that people get rich from entertaining us rather than putting us to sleep, as Wladimir Klitschko did against Tony Thompson earlier this month?

While the build-up to the fight had many tutting and harking back to the good old days of gentlemanly conduct in boxing, what it actually represented was a return to the good old days of interest in heavyweight boxing.

Muhammad Ali didn't drum up interest in his fights by telling everyone what superb chaps his opponents were. He recreated the dramatics of the wrestler "Gorgeous" George, famously telling Joe Frazier that he "is so ugly that when he cries, the tears turn around and go down the back of his head."

Britain's last great heavyweight, Lennox Lewis, wasn't above brawling with Mike Tyson at the press conference.

The only thing that the Haye vs. Chisora controversy signified was a refreshing return to a time when people actually cared about a heavyweight fight.

However people may feel about Haye's brash style outside of the ring, you can't help but admire a man who has got people interested in fights against Audley Harrison and Dereck Chisora.

This was not the first entertaining heavyweight fight of the year. In February Alexander Povetkin and Marco Huck put on a lively 12-rounder which either man could claim to have won, while last month Tomas Adamek and Eddie Chambers put on a good show at the Prudential Center in New Jersey.

What these fights show is that there are good fights to be made at heavyweight outside of the Klitschko brothers. Hopefully promoters will take note and try to make more fights that will have fans interested in heavyweight boxing once again.