Boxing Board of Control calls for tighter rules over hyped-up conferences

The British Boxing Board of Control's general secretary has called for tighter controls over hyped-up pre- and post-fight press conferences following the weekend's Dereck Chisora and David Haye brawl.

Post-match clash: Dereck Chisora and David Haye (Press Association)
Post-match clash: Dereck Chisora and David Haye (Press Association)

The calls follow the brawl between Chisora and Haye in the early hours of Sunday morning at a post-fight news conference, after Chisora's defeat by defending WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko.

BBBC head Robert Smith said it was inevitable that the confrontational approach of pre- and post-fight press conferences was going to lead to an incident that was ‘wrong on so many levels’.

He said: ‘We’re going to have to look into every part of these events and see how they can be better controlled.

‘But we need to put this into perspective as we hold events like this every week and nothing like this happens. It’s when people behave in unacceptable ways that we have to step in.’

The pair could face lifetime boxing bans as a result and Haye, who has retired from the sport, could be blocked from applying for a licence if he wants to return to the ring.

Eddie May, Threepipe co-founder and sport head, believes the ‘desperate and farcical’ ways of hyping up press conferences stem from the heavyweight division lacking quality fighters.

He said: ‘Sadly, the heavyweight division in recent years has become something of a farce, with a severe lack of quality challengers to the Klitschko brothers. Promoters and fighters know this, and the result has been increasingly desperate and farcical ways of trying to hype up each contest, with David Haye being an arch-exponent.  

‘Trash-talk, scuffles at weigh-ins and all the rest of it have long been part of the game, and to some extent a legitimate part of the psychology of the fight. However, when this descends into spitting into the face of someone you’re not even fighting, followed by a full-on bar brawl involving someone who supposedly retired from the sport months ago, it just leaves a bitter taste and turns the whole sport into a joke.’

May called for the governing boards of boxing to take tighter control and issue ‘strong guidelines on how boxers and hangers-on should behave’.

Emma Newell, head of sport at Lexis, echoed his call: ‘The event really calls into question the motives behind pre- and post-match press conferences in boxing.

‘The BBBC has to step in now and review the way these events are staged but more importantly there has to be tighter security at these events.

‘The handling of the post-fight ruck was really poor where two boxers were left to brawl with the worlds media watching on.’

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