Peter Worthington has had an amazing life. And his obituary, which he wrote himself, certainly has an arresting opening line.
Upton Park. July 14th.
We all knew it was coming. From the very moment Derek Chisora’s promoter, Frank Warren, said at a post-fight news conference in Munich last February: “”I’ve got a great idea. If Dereck fights David, the winner fights Vitali”.
But the fight is morally wrong.
In one corner a former World Heavyweight Champion with an addictive persona. David Haye, the guy who lost to Wladimir Klitschko because of a broken toe. The same guy who wore a shirt with the decapitated heads of the Klitschko brothers, and called Nikolai Valuev “The ugliest person I’ve ever seen.” Haye insisted he would only be interested in fighting Vitali, should he decide to dust-off his gloves. He is living, breathing proof that money talks.
In the other corner, Chisora. A guy who lost his boxing license with the British Boxing Board of Control (BBBofC) and supposedly glassed Haye’s trainer, Adam Booth, on THAT night in Munich. A fighter who, before he faced Vitali, spat in his face.
And there are those who say that The Sun, the main sponsor of the fight, is giving two idiots an undeserved payday. But the Heavyweight division needs this. The Klistchko’s are too dominant in the division. It’s all too easy.
So to combat this the boxing community has turned to the world of WWE and pre-fight soap operas for inspiration.
This is boxing’s equivalent of a Super Sunday or as The Sun puts it: “The grudge fight of the Century”. And after the months of build-up and prefight coverage, I’ll watch it, probably in a pub somewhere.
The actual fight sells itself, no advertising needed, but perhaps also sells the sport of boxing too.
Nobody was surprised when we saw the headlines this morning. After all, as Frank Bruno once put it: “Boxing is just show business with blood.”