Opinion | Dec 29 2016

Why Dillian Whyte vs Dereck Chisora was one of the fights of the year

Matt Christie on Dillian Whyte and Dereck Chisora's heavyweight showdown
Dereck Chisora
Dillian Whyte (R) in action against Dereck Chisora  |  Action Images/Andrew Couldridge

DERECK CHISORA threw a table. Yep, just picked it up and launched it in the direction of his opponent Dillian Whyte. It was a nauseating, horrible display of violence, and – despite the undisputed boost it will have given to pay-per-view sales – it was the last thing the sport needed after one of the toughest 12 months in regard to health and safety. Many blamed Matchroom and Sky for creating a situation where trouble would quite literally fly. And while only the naïve would doubt that both parties hoped the press conference would provide some intrigue, only the foolish would presume such an unthinkable incident could be scripted.

Yes, tougher security measures could have been put in place, and some angry words averted, particularly with the incident coming just a week after the unsavoury skirmish between David Haye and Tony Bellew (who have both been called before the Board for losing control). Yes, every possible step should have been taken to ensure this one went off without such a deafening bang.

From the point of view of the promoters, though, this is a last ditch attempt to generate more interest and is difficult to get right. In the US, the final press conferences are painfully dull, so drenched in sponsors’ messages and mind-numbing politeness, interest in the contest all but drowns. In the UK, efforts are made for the final marketing drive to achieve success. But it’s time to let the impending contest speak for itself in the right way. The last battle cries can still be engrossing stuff without tables and punches being thrown. The job here is to set the scene, not demolish the entire production.