Controversy gives ‘sweet science’ a bitter taste

2012-05-12 19:01

The international boxing arena has been blighted with controversy that has damaged the image of the sport known as the “sweet science”.

The boxing fraternity is reeling from news that the Luxembourg Boxing Federation (LBF) sanctioned a bout featuring the disgraced Dereck Chisora to fight the “retired” David Haye on July 14.

The fight will take place at the Upton Park Stadium in West Ham, England, but the move has left the British Boxing Board of Control (BBBoC) livid and it has threatened to terminate membership of anyone who participates in the fight.

Chisora was stripped of his licence after he brawled with Haye in the wake of an ugly provocation in Munich three months ago, whereas Haye did not renew his licence after announcing his retirement last October. He had just lost to WBC champion Vitali Klitschko in 12 rounds.

Speaking to the BBC about the planned fight this week, Klitschko said: “It’s a freak show under freak rules.”
South Africa’s International Boxing Hall of Fame inductee Stan Christodoulou said watching this fight would be a waste of valuable time.

“How on earth would one squander his time by watching on TV the men who violated boxing’s code of ethics in action?” asked Christodoulou.

“The men, particularly Chisora, tarnished the game by shooting themselves in the foot with disgraceful behaviour.

“BBBoC rightfully withdrew Chisora’s licence, and authorities who sanctioned the fight of hooligans lack credibility.”

Local female professional boxing manager Phetogo Mofulatsi said: “In South Africa we have had managers who confront referees in the ring, and boxing is headed nowhere because of men like Haye and Chisora.

“Sanctioning their fight is like rewarding a child with candy for truancy.”

Boxing historian Ron Jackson emphasised that the decision to sanction the fight was misleading young fans.

“Youngsters look up to heroes and the sanctioning of this fight teaches them that there is nothing wrong with scandalous behaviour.”

Hell broke loose when Haye, working for a TV station, kept interrupting the speakers.

Chisora was heard unashamedly shouting: “I swear to God, Haye, I’m going to f*****g shoot you.”

As if the Haye-Chisora saga was not enough, it also emerged this week that the anticipated rematch between Lamont Peterson and Amir Khan had been cancelled.

The fight was scheduled for May 19 in Las Vegas, but Golden Boy Promotions, which was promoting the fight, announced that Peterson had failed a drug test.

There was still more controversy as American promoter Bob Arum took name-calling to another level when he said: “You see (Floyd) Mayweather is from the school of propaganda that Joseph Goebbels, who was (Adolf) Hitler’s publicist, adopted. The more you say things over and over again, the more people believe them.”

Arum and Mayweather are sworn enemies since parting ways, with Arum now promoting Manny Pacquiao.
Arum was commenting about Mayweather’s refusal to fight Pacquiao before he takes a drug test.

Mayweather will start a 90-day jail term on June 1 after pleading guilty to beating up his former girlfriend, Josie Harris.

Suffer boxing!

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