Former British and Commonwealth heavyweight champion and recent world title challenger Dereck ”Del Boy” Chisora has been banned indefinitely by the British Boxing Board of Control for his behavior before and after his February 18 world title fight against WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko in Germany.
Although a severe punishment was anticipated after Chisora’s bizarre behavior over a weekend that included him slapping Klitschko across the face during their post weigh in face-off, spitting water in his brother Vladimir’s face during the pre-fight national anthems, and then partaking in a full-scale brawl with ex-WBA heavyweight champion David Haye at the post-fight press conference, most were expecting a six month to one year ban plus a hefty fine. What the suspension does in effect is drive Chisora out of Britain if he wishes to continue his boxing career.
Here is the official statement that appears on the B.B.B.C’s website:
MR DERECK CHISORA
The British Boxing Board of Control deplore what occurred at the weigh-in, in the ring before the contest commenced and at the post contest Press Conference in respect of the World Heavyweight Championship contest between Vitali Klitschko and Dereck Chisora.
Such behavior brought the Sport of Boxing, the British Boxing Board of Control and all licence holders into disrepute.
Dereck Chisora, on his own admission, did not behave in a manner consistent with that of a Professional Boxer and let down, not only himself and his family, but, also, all those licence holders who behave in a professional manner.
The Stewards of the British Boxing Board of Control want to make it absolutely clear that such behavior by any licence holder will not be tolerated. Accordingly, they have decided that Dereck Chisora is not a fit and proper person to hold a British Boxing Board of Control Boxers Licence and his licence has been withdrawn with immediate effect.
With regard to David Haye, he is not a licence holder of the British Boxing Board of Control who consequently have no jurisdiction over him. However, if he should apply for a licence with the British Boxing Board of Control the part he played in the disgraceful scenes that occurred in the post contest Press Conference will be considered and taken into account by the Stewards before any decision is made.
R. W. SMITH
A clearly gutted Chisora told The Sun newspaper:
“I’m bitterly disappointed my licence to box was taken away by the board. Right now I am an ex-professional unable to earn a living. There is no time limit on how long the board plan to keep me from fighting but at the same time, I understand I can re-apply for my licence at any time as well.”
“My dream has always been to win the world heavyweight title and of course the punishment dished out is a big set back to me achieving those aims. But I will be back in the gym even though I do not know when the board will grant me a new licence to box.”
“I am already on record as saying I bitterly regret what happened in Germany. And if anyone wants to hear it again: I’m sorry. The Boxing Board’s decision to withdraw my licence has really hurt me. But what is hasn’t done is dampen my love for the sport. I don’t for one minute think it will be hard to motivate myself in the gym even though my promoter Frank Warren cannot plan for any bouts in the immediate future.”
Chisora’s promoter Frank Warren was disappointed with the B.B.B.C’s ruling, but optimistic as to his fighter’s future:
“To be honest, I felt there would be some sort of ban,” Warren said. ”You have to take everything into consideration. It is very disappointing, but I suppose the message has to be sent out that some conduct is not acceptable. Everyone has to take some responsibility for what happened in Germany.”
“I think he will box again. This is what the guy does for a living. We have to see where we are, but I’m sure in time Dereck Chisora will fight again. The fact is, his licence being withdrawn means he is not banned anywhere else from boxing, but that is not the point. The point is he is British and he wants to box in Britain.”
Chisora would not be the first British boxer to lose his license but box on abroad. Joe Bugner left the UK for Australia without paying a hefty tax bill in the 1980’s, then began a comeback in his new homeland under the moniker ”Aussie Joe.” He eventually boxed Frank Bruno in 1987 at White Hart Lane, his license having been reinstated after after the fight’s promoters paid his bill.
The late Gary Mason suffered a detached retina in his fight with Lennox Lewis 1991 and had his license taken away, but he was cleared to fight in the US. There was much speculation that Mason would fight George Foreman, but ultimately he fought only twice against moderate opposition, winning both times.
Although Chisora’s excellent performance against Klitschko in which he pushed the 40 year old Ukrainian legend harder than anyone since his 2003 fight with Lennox Lewis and his ensuing notoriety have made him big box-office, it is unlikely that he will get a license in Germany. The only other market for him would be the US, and as heavyweight boxing is in the doldrums over there, fights against contenders like Chris Arreola and Poland’s Tomasz Adamek – who has a huge New Jersey following – could create interest within the American market.
At the end of the day, 28 year old Chisora (15-3, 9 KOs) is a very capable heavyweight and without doubt one of the world’s top-five right now. After a disastrous display against Tyson Fury last July he has gotten himself in shape and proved his mettle with excellent displays against Robert Helenius and Klitschko. As fight fans, we can only hope we get to see more of Chisora in the ring in the not too distant future, and less of him outside.