David Haye and Dereck Chisora each promised that the knockout loser of their fight tomorrow would donate ￡20,000 (US$31,000) to charity.
At a joint press conference on Wednesday, where the bitter British rivals were separated by a metal fence, one of the only two things they agreed on was helping out charities if one or the other is knocked out at Upton Park in London.
Chisora (15-3) picked a children’s hospital, while Haye (25-2) chose a bone-marrow charity for minorities.
The only other point they found common ground on was being prepared to be blood tested for doping, if asked.
Otherwise, the banter flowed freely between the boxers, who have attracted an impressive 29,000 spectators so far to their grudge match.
“I can’t think of such a fast-selling fight involving so much publicity since we bought Mike Tyson back, over 10 years ago,” said Frank Warren, Chisora’s manager.
Haye and Chisora came to blows in an infamous press conference confrontation in Munich, Germany, after Chisora’s defeat on points to Vitali Klitschko in February.
The brawl tarnished the reputation of both men, leading to the Luxembourg Boxing Federation sanctioning their fight and not the British Boxing Board of Control.
Neither boxer was apologetic for the ugly scenes that were broadcast globally from Munich.
“I regret saying I would shoot David, but do I regret getting hit on the sucker punch? No,” Chisora said.
“I don’t regret anything. I was defending myself like anyone else would,” Haye said.
The 31-year-old Haye, who has not fought in a year, refused to speak about his future after tomorrow’s fight, but Warren spoke of a potential matchup for Chisora with Wladimir Klitschko.
“If Dereck comes through on Saturday, like I know he can, then the biggest fight here in the UK would be Wladimir Klitschko,” Warren said. “Get this one out of the way and that is the direction we are going in.”
AMIR KHAN REINSTATED
AP, LAS VEGAS
The World Boxing Association (WBA) is reinstating British boxer Amir Khan as its junior welterweight champion, just in time for his unification bout this weekend in Las Vegas with World Boxing Council (WBC) light welterweight champion Danny Garcia.
Nevada State Athletic Commission executive Keith Kizer said he learned on Wednesday that tomorrow’s Khan-Garcia matchup at the Mandalay Bay Events Center would be a WBA-WBC unification fight.
The WBA announced on Wednesday that Khan was being given back the crown he lost to Lamont Peterson in a disputed split decision in December last year in Washington.
Peterson later failed a doping test and a May rematch against Khan in Las Vegas was canceled.
Golden Boy Promotions chief executive Richard Schaefer, who represents Khan, said the move also ensures that the two best fighters would fight for The Ring magazine’s championship belt.