THE only thing able to soften the blow of knowing Tyson Fury vs. Derek Chisora III will cost you £26.95 to watch next month is the fact that one of its protagonists, Derek Chisora, has already told people to get their priorities straight before even thinking about shelling out for it.
This, as honest a comment as Chisora has ever made, was something he said last month when announcing the fight and it is something that comes back into focus following yesterday’s news regarding the fight’s pay-per-view price tag.
“We’re coming up to Christmas and the cost of living is very hard right now,” Chisora said on the day his December 3 fight with Fury was announced. “Trying to sell the stadium and sell pay-per-views is going to be so difficult. People are struggling out there. There are so many lines of foodbanks. People are struggling.
“For me to sit here and try to sell it, and say this is going to be amazing, I can’t do that. All I can say is that it will be a f**king great fight. But I cannot tell a man to take money he might spend on his kid’s Christmas present to come watch me fight. Right now, things are hard. It doesn’t matter who you are. We are all feeling it.”
Credit to Chisora, he didn’t need to say what he did that day at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, but, thankfully, decided to anyway. In doing so, he helped to cut through the promotional nonsense previously used to sell an admittedly hard-to-sell fight and he helped, too, those who have been critical of the fight now struggling to find the words to express how they feel about it costing them £26.95 just to rubberneck it on the night.
The first time he and Fury met, of course, back in 2011, it was on Channel Five, so free to watch for one and all. Together, they managed to draw a big audience because of this, with merely the British and Commonwealth heavyweight titles up for grabs, and their rematch, shown three years later on BoxNation, clearly benefitted from the exposure their “rivalry” first received on terrestrial television.
Now, with the third fight set to take place on BT Sport Box Office, one wonders what sort of audience it can expect to attract on the night. Certainly, the two heavyweights are more popular today than they have ever been and there is a chance, also, that the audience targeted by this fight – one of the “casual” variety – would have perhaps been unaware of both back when Fury was having his wicked way with Chisora six years ago.
That will help sell it, no doubt, even at its current price. Yet there is an argument to be made, too, that if there’s one fight primed to be boycotted in order to make a point it’s a trilogy fight between two heavyweights who, through 22 rounds, have never, at any stage, seemed to be remotely competitive in the ring together. That’s one aspect of this Chisora will likely dispute, proud man that he is, but even he knows there are better ways people can spend £26.95 in December.
“Spend your money on your kids,” Chisora said last month. “Don’t spend your money on me and Tyson. I don’t want to see that. I (only) want you to spend money on me knowing your kids have got Christmas presents and everything else they need.”