Alan Dawson – London
David Haye teekayoed Dereck Chisora in a forceful manner on Saturday, July 14 as the former heavyweight world titlist, a champion in two weight classes, became the first man to knockdown steely-chinned Chisora as Dereck was dropped twice in the fifth round of their Licensed To Thrill bout at the Boleyn Ground in Upton Park, London in front of an estimated 30,000 fans.
Official verdict: Haye wins via 5Rd TKO.
“The finish… I can tell you, Dereck Chisora has one of the best chins I’ve hit in my life as I was hitting him with shots that puts people away but he was smiling at them,” Haye said to Box Nation, marveling at the durability of Chisora’s jawline.
“After doing these rounds, I respect him… he’ll be champion one day. He gave me more hard work than I anticipated. I had to dig deep, Dereck hit me with good shots. I did what great fighters do and did what I had to do to win.”
Haye (26-2-0, 24ko) was focused and determined from the time he entered the Boleyn Ground to when he made his ring-walk and, during the initial jousting inside the ring, Haye threw more range-finding punches in the opening 15 seconds alone than he had done during the same periods in his previous heavyweight outings. His shot output was analogous to his cruiserweight form but his willingness to trade rather than bounce-and-move allowed Chisora (15-4-0, 9ko) to find his own openings and he sneaked in a left hook.
Primarily known for being a pressure fighter, Chisora, against Haye, appeared perplexed at his opponent’s strategy and, instead of throwing unrelenting gloves like he did against Vitali Klitschko and Robert Helenius, Del Boy maintained a turgid guard. While Haye was fighting in a positive manner, his accuracy was perhaps not as high as it was prior to his one year layoff as his fists either swung at air or were blocked by the Finchley fighter’s forearms.
In round two, Haye landed a strong right that halted Chisora’s forward steps. Midway through the session, Chisora enjoyed his greatest success up to that point as he trapped Haye against the ropes and went to work yet the combatants were eventually seperated by referee Luis Pabon, of Puerto Rico.
Haye one-two’d upstairs at the start of the third but, again, was denied clean shots due to Chisora’s stubborn defence system. This did not perturb Haye, though, as the south Londoner smiled as he peeled off his own solitary shots and moved away from the pocket before Chisora had a chance to land a reply. Like he had done in the second, Chisora found good clubbing momentum when Haye was backed against the ropes and, when the two fighters were exchanging leather in a toe-to-toe tussle, Dereck landed a shot that rocked Haye back but the punch was dispatched after the bell had been rung. Few, however, could hear the bell as the timekeeper’s signal was drowned by the racous din from the 30,000 strong crowd.
Between rounds, Haye sat on his stool in discomfort and breathed heavy, signs of the consequences of a high tempo fight underneath hot lamps on a muggy, yet rain-sodden Summer evening in east London. Despite this, Haye was still able to slip punches effectively in the fourth but, as the fight evolved, so too did Chisora.
That evolution was stunted in the fifth as Haye connected with a one-two that was straight out of the textbook as the orthodox jab found the distance and the follow-up straight landed flush against Chisora’s flesh. When Chisora sought to crack a retaliation into Haye’s face, his opponent was gone. In the final 30 seconds, Chisora was on the floor – an unfamiliar sight for a man with his chin – as he failed to deal with a left hook, right hook two-punch combination.
Dereck made it to his feet, clinched when Haye looked for the finish but was again canvassed due to a five-punch flurry and looked in a bad way. Phenomenally, Chisora again got off the floor but Pabon had seen enough and waved the fight off.
With the emphatic nature of the victory, Haye defeated Chisora in a far more convincing manner than Klitschko did earlier this year. Commenting on the elusive match he has pursued since his defeat to Wladimir Klitschko, Haye said: “This sends a scary message to Vitali and I doubt he’ll want to fight me now. He’ll fight some chump that no one has heard of and disappear to be a politician. But if he wants a great fight, I’m here.”
Gracious in defeat, Del Boy said: “I want to thank the Luxembourg board [for sanctioning the fight when the British Boxing Board of Control refused Chisora a license to fight]. I owe David Haye £20,000! It goes to charity. He hit me with a great shot. I can’t remember what it was. But I’ll be back.”