The Winners Watched The Losers Fight
This past weekend WBC heavyweight title holder Vitali Klitschko 44-2 (40) won a hard fought unanimous decision over Britain's Dereck Chisora 15-3 (9). Klitschko-Chisora certainly didn't remind anyone watching of the "Thrilla In Manila" but for what we've come to expect as of late from heavyweight title bouts, you could almost say it was an outstanding fight.
It's probably fair to say that the outcome was really never in doubt, but Chisora did back up his pre-fight deeds and words and really did try and take it to Vitali. In fact he had Klitschko on the defense with his controlled forward aggression more than any fighter since Lennox Lewis did so almost nine years ago. Chisora proved that he's a worthy contender and if he manages not to do anything stupid outside of the ring, he'll be heard from again and has a great chance to capture a version of the heavyweight title.
Hopefully his behavior at the post fight press conference isn't a sign of things to come.
After giving a great acquittal of himself in the biggest fight of his career, Chisora managed to get into a post fight altercation with fellow Brit and former title holder David Haye 25-2 (23). Forget about who started the melee or so called brawl between Chisora and Haye because it doesn't matter, they're both dopes. On one side you had Haye taunting Chisora about losing three of his last four fights, and Chisora responding back for all to hear that, "I'm gonna shoot David Haye." He should've just ignored Haye because of the two, Dereck put up a much better showing against Vitali than Haye did against Wladimir Klitschko last summer.
Prior to both of their title confrontations with the Klitschko brothers who posses all the meaningful heavyweight title belts, both Haye and Chisora talked a great fight before they were gloved up on fight night. Yet only one of them lived up to their words during the fight and gave a memorable performance, and that was Chisora. However, all anyone is talking about is his post fight scrap with Haye instead of how he gave Vitali the toughest bout of his title tenure.
And then there's Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko, the winners of the only two fights that mattered between them versus Chisora and Haye..the ones that took place in the ring where you actually get paid. During the post fight ruckus between Chisora and Haye, both Vitali and Wladimir just stood there smirking and didn't say anything as they observed the absurdity. Both of them had to be laughing inside at the way Chisora and Haye were conducting themselves. Hell, Vitali had to really be enjoying it for the fact that for the next couple of weeks everyone will be talking and reading about what fools Chisora and Haye are, instead of how old and beatable he looked on February 18, 2012.
Boxing is not a sport for the faint and weak heart-ed. It's nature attracts a lot of different types of men, just like all other physical and combat sports. Not all of them are rough characters like Chisora and Haye, but a majority of them are characters. Boxing is a tough sport and you have to expect some antics like Chisora slapping Klitschko at the weigh in. That wasn't a big deal and everyone knows it was nothing more than Chisora looking for an edge and adding a little shock to the show.
Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier rolled around on an ABC studio floor fighting for real after Ali called Joe ignorant a week before their rematch. Ali ripped George Foreman's tuxedo jacket at an awards dinner six months before they fought just to get in his head. Fighters aren't altar boys and sometimes they behave badly. That's not justifying thuggish behavior between combat sports participants, but it does come with the territory. We're not talking about tennis or golf, we're talking about boxing, MMA and sometimes even the NFL and NBA.
What Haye and Chisora did at the post fight press conference was embarrassing and it shouldn't be condoned or tolerated, but we've seen it before and we'll surely see it again. On the other hand Vitali and Wladimir comported themselves with class as they both stood there and observed, yet nobody cares about them unless they're going to fight one of the wild-cards named Dereck Chisora or David Haye again.
Some fans have a hard time with the Klitschkos ruling the heavyweight division. Why?
Is it because they're flawed and not perfect fighters? Is it because they haven't had to face a murderers row of challengers during their era? If that's the case you better hold recent champions like Larry Holmes and Mike Tyson to the same standard. What must be respected about Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko is they're professionals and with rare exception beat the fighters they're supposed to beat. And today, there's something to be said for that.
Forget about how flawed you think the Klitschkos are and how badly you want them gone. They at least keep their fighting to where it belongs, and that's the place where you get paid a lot of money for doing it, especially if you continue to win like they have for the better part of the last decade. They'll both no doubt retire with their health, a ton of wealth and legacies that will keep their names in the history books forever.
Whereas Chisora and Haye will most likely be in financial difficulty before they're 40 years old and will be best remembered for a post fight press conference scrap in front of the two fighters who kept their names out of the history books. Too bad they didn't let their hands go in the ring as much as they did during a post fight press conference. Maybe even Vitali and Wladimir were thinking that as they watched the losers fight?
Of course, the irony here is that if Haye and Chisora fight in England, it'll be one of the biggest grossing non-title fights ever.