BOXING has a tendency to throw up all sorts of curveballs and surprises and its latest is the fighter-trainer marriage of heavyweight contender Dereck Chisora and respected UK coach Dave Coldwell.
The news comes as a shock not because Chisora and Coldwell are a bad fit, nor because they share a kind of history that would make a working relationship unfathomable. Instead, the Chisora and Coldwell link-up is wonderfully left field because Chisora’s manager is David Haye, the former world cruiserweight and heavyweight champion whose final two career fights were bitter grudge matches against Tony Bellew, the Liverpudlian with whom Coldwell has worked since 2014.
If that’s not enough, Haye aimed plenty of verbal digs in Coldwell’s direction during the build-up to the Bellew fights – especially the first one – and Chisora, a former world heavyweight title challenger, has been good friends with Bellew for years and roared him on to a couple of victories over Haye.
Boxing, eh? It’s a funny old game.
“People know by now that I don’t like to do things the conventional way,” said Chisora, 29-9 (21). “This is a new direction for me. I’m excited to be working with Dave Coldwell and I’m learning every day. I’m buzzing.
“Dave has done amazing work with my good friend Tony Bellew and his other boxers. I’m hungry to get back in the ring again. I will be back with new armoury I’m ready for war.
“I’m hearing Team [Joseph] Parker have been calling my name. That’s easy to do when you’re on the other side of the planet.
“WAR Chisora is ready. I’m preparing for battle with whoever believes they are ready for war. If Team Parker want to take on this challenge, they know where they can find me.”
The retirement of Tony Bellew this year left a void in the Coldwell Boxing stable and, despite some sterling work with others, it was one Coldwell was clearly eager to fill. What the Sheffield native didn’t anticipate, however, was the void being filled by Dereck Chisora.
“Boxing throws up plenty of surprises and it was a real big surprise to get a call from David to work with Dereck,” said Coldwell, previously Head of Boxing at Hayemaker Boxing.
“It’s water under the bridge as far I’m concerned with any past history and we’re now working together for the benefit of Dereck.
“I’ve known Dereck for many years through his great friendship with Tony Bellew and we’ve always got on well together.
“He’s adapted very quickly to life up here and settled in the gym which shows that he’s serious about his career. There is a real hunger to develop and improve.
“I’m very excited to be working with him.”
And they all lived happily ever after.
If history tells us anything it is this: give Floyd Mayweather an inch and he’ll invariably take a mile.
By allowing him to box Conor McGregor, a mixed martial artist, in August 2017, boxing opened the floodgates to similar acts of lunacy – all in the name of Vegas and blokes in suits getting paid – and now, 18 months on, Mayweather is trying to further exploit the sport from which he made his fortune.
On December 31, he cruelly beat up Japanese kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa in a farcical affair but, mercifully, it lasted less than a round. For Mayweather, though, it wasn’t enough. Not content with one Japanese mismatch, he now has his sights set on another, this time in July, and boasts he will pocket $10 million for the three-round exhibition.
Good work if you can get it, I suppose, and perhaps the blame shouldn’t be aimed at Mayweather, but it’s a nonsense all the same. Oh, and it gets worse, too. According to TMZ, Mayweather hopes to take part in as many as five of these matches in 2019. Yes, five.
Alas, if you thought McGregor was a one-off, you were wrong. And if you thought Nasukawa was a mere gimmick, a quick, in-and-out payday, you were also wrong.
“It’s all about being smart,” Mayweather said. “My faculties are very important.”
So too is the reputation of a sport Mayweather for so long ruled. Let’s not lose sight of that in this greedy pursuit of more American dollars.