It wasn't all that long ago that David Haye was charming all-comers with his daunting athletic frame and easy-going manner on The One Show. After his defeat last year to Wladimir Klitschko, Haye returned his British Boxing Board of Control licence and settled down to a lifetime of guest appearances, fast cars and Countdown.
Or so we thought. Then, Dereck Chisora, the next British heavyweight in line, earned himself a shot at the WBC title, eventually lining up a February 2012 fight with Wladimir's brother, Vitali Klitschko. Chisora courted controversy somewhat with a provocative approach; losing housepoints for slapping Vitali at a pre-match press conference and allegedly spitting at his opponent during the fight.
Angry at British boxing's name being dragged though the mire, David Haye turned up at the post-fight press conference (in Munich) to berate Chisora, ultimately becoming embroiled in an ugly brawl. Haye got (straight) on the plane and Chisora was arrested (and released without charge) before having his British Boxing licence suspended.
Rappers would call this a beef. But, to resolve the feud, Haye and Chisora will not be facing off at an open-mic night; they will instead get to actually punch each other in the face. Both gleefully unencumbered by a British boxing licence, the good people of the Luxembourg Boxing Association have given the bout the green light and the two heavyweights will slug it out at the Boleyn Ground in East London (aka West Ham's Upton Park) on 14th July, billed as 'Licensed to Thrill' (oof). At today's press conference, Haye said he would defeat Chisora with a "slow, concussive beating" while Dereck Chisora poked fun at his opponent's hairstyle. It is a needle match in the classic mould and you can be there to see the pair duel it out, if you like.
We have tickets for the 14th July fight available now, priced £50. The undercard is yet to be confirmed but the headlines are waiting to be written for this tastiest of beefs.