Rumours of a July showdown between David Haye and Dereck Chisora started appearing all over the internet last night at the beginning of what is to be a big weekend for boxing. A particularly saucy headline from the Daily Mail reads: "Haye and Chisora set for unlicenced fight this summer".
Earlier in the week an announcement was made to certain members of the press by Frank Warren Promotions concerning an announcement, which (it has been announced) will take place on Tuesday 8th May at Upton Park, home of West Ham United FC and the venue for Kevin Mitchell's ill-fated meeting with Michael Katsidis in May 2010.
Terence Dooley, writing for website Boxing Scene, was the first to put two and two together, running with speculative story that the 'announcement' could be to reveal that Mitchell will face WBO lightweight champion Ricky Burns in what is a very easy fight for the promoter to make, and one that makes complete sense given the venue and timings.
The source of the Haye v Chisora rumours is unclear. However, in their dealings with the press, certain boxing promoters and their PR minions have a fondness for subterfuge, and spend a considerable amount of time and energy on spin. "Don't quote me on this, but...."
In the aforementioned Daily Mail website story, Jeff Powell quotes BBBoC general secretary Robert Smith as saying on Friday night: "I've heard the rumours (about Haye v Chisora) but if they go ahead this will not be licensed by us. Neither boxer holds a licence."
In some boxing circles, unlicensed is a very dirty word. An attempt to bypass the BBBoC in a fight of such magnitude, particularly if on UK soil, is very big news indeed.
As anyone that hasn't been living on a different planet will know, Chisora had his licence withdrawn 'indefinitely' by the BBBoC for his various pre/post fight shenanigans when he met Vitali Klitschko back in February. The infamous press conference brawl with Haye generated many more headlines than the bout itself, which, despite a fairly ballsy attempt, Chisora lost on points.
At the end of March, two weeks after the decision to ban Chisora was announced, his promoter confirmed that the Finchley fighter has launched an appeal, which was set to be heard on May 14. It is understood that this date has now been put back to June at the earliest.
Back in February, Professional Boxing Promoters Association chairman Bruce Baker told BoxRec News that he didn't believe Chisora should receive a ban for his antics, and fully expected him to be boxing 'sooner rather than later'. Interestingly, a forum post crept up on East Side Boxing, and was repeated by various sources on Twitter. It read:
"Luxembourg commission has been set up by Bruce Baker of the PBPA and will use freedom of trade laws to stage the fight UK."
Kevin Mitchell (@kevinmitchell50) of the Guardian responded to this particular snippet on Twitter: "There may be trouble ahead".
Haye is currently retired, and doesn't hold a licence. He is also wanted for questioning by German police to explain his part in the ruck, video footage from which appears to show him grabbing a camera tripod and launching it in the direction of Chisora's trainer Don Charles, only for Haye's trainer Adam Booth to bravely cushion the blow with his crust.
One observer asked: "Did you see (Adam) Booth stick the nut on that flying tripod?"
Until Tuesday, these rumours are indeed rumours. Offering his opinion, Ron Lewis of the Times (@RonLewisTimes) said on Twitter: "If the rumours about Haye-Chisora true (which I don't believe), why does it need Burns-Mitchell, or even Povetkin-Rahman [which has been mooted on a few websites] on the same bill?"
Lewis went on to tweet: "So one moment can't afford anyone better than Karpency (the) next paying David Haye and two other big fights?"
If these rumours do turn out to be true, and the fight does indeed go ahead without the blessing of the BBBoC, it will be an extremely damaging blow for the Commission and perhaps a green light to other promoters who may wish to sidestep some or all of its 'Professional Boxing' stipulations.
One things for certain - a fight between David Haye and Dereck Chisora would certainly generate plenty of pie and mash, but for now, I'd keep the liquor wrapped in a brown paper bag, as displaying it openly in public could prove to be embarrassing for all concerned.