DEREK CHISORA stayed calm on the scales, there were no histrionics bar the usual Union Jack bandana and sunglasses, he weighed-in for tomorrow’s bout with Joseph Parker at his lightest since 2018 and just when you thought it had all gone off without a hitch, the veteran heavyweight stormed off and refused to be involved in the coin toss to decide who would walk to the ring first.
“We’ve got a serious problem if you think I’m walking to the ring first,” he said before leaving the media zone inside the bubble.
Now, the coin toss is common if a title is vacant or there isn’t one on the line. According to promoter Eddie Hearn, it was agreed at the same time the fight was signed that a coin toss would determine the order of the fighters’ ring walks.
David Haye, Chisora’s manager, was forced to stand in for his fighter. Parker and his coach Andy Lee won the toss and decided they will walk to the ring second.
“In order to walk to the ring second, you’ve got to have someone walk to the ring first and I think we’ve now got a massive job persuading Derek to do that,” said an unamused Haye.
Chisora, the home fighter, is the A-side on all the posters here in Manchester. Parker, though, is higher ranked with the WBO, who have put a vacant intercontinental belt on the line tomorrow night.
“We all agreed and signed that we’d do a coin toss on the day of the weigh-in to establish who would walk first or second,” Hearn told Boxing News.
“Unfortunately, Derek being Derek, decided he was walking second and wouldn’t do the coin toss. Right now, Chisora is refusing to fight unless he walks second.
“I don’t think the fight is in jeopardy but I’m very interested to see how it’s going to play out. Maybe five or 10 years ago I would have been worried or even in tears right now but it’s boxing. One way or another, it will work itself out. It might be in the next 10 minutes, it might be at five-to-10 tomorrow night.
“If this is not resolved, we’re going to get to a point tomorrow night in the arena where Chisora will be told its time for his ringwalk and he may not leave his dressing room. Or he might just go home tonight. We’ll see what happens. It’s just another day at the office.”
Members of Chisora’s team confirmed to BN that the fighter had packed his stuff with the intention of leaving but had been persuaded to stay.
Robert Smith, of the British Boxing Board of Control, believes the contest will take place once the dust around Derek – whose mood has been up and down all week – has settled.
“If I have to go and see Derek to get this resolved I will do,” Smith told Boxing News. “But I know Derek and there’s no point trying to reason with him right now. There is a lot of money involved and, if he doesn’t fight, he will be in trouble with us and financially he’ll lose out in a big way.
“I’ve seen far worse than this in my time at the Board. I fully expect the fight to go ahead.”
Before the commotion, Chisora weighed in at 250lbs 8oz, his lightest since losing the Dillian Whyte rematch, with Parker at 241lbs 2oz.
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