Mainstage Or Not? Dereck Chisora’s Press Conference Rant Divides Critics

The heavyweight says he's the main-attraction on October 20
13:27, 10 Sep 2019

Dereck Chisora descended into an extraordinary, expletive-laden rant that saw him lay into Eddie Hearn, Kalle Sauerland, Adam Smith and Regis Prograis in a stunning press conference on Monday.

Chisora, 35, takes on New Zealand heavyweight Joseph Parker on October 26 at the O2 Arena and the Kiwi didn’t even need to be present at the conference for ‘Del Boy’ to vent his rage, targeting his ire at virtually everybody on the presser’s top table.

The Zimbabwe-born former-world title challenger decided to use the conference to demand that his bout with Parker overtakes the World Boxing Super Series super-lightweight final clash between Prograis and Scotland’s Josh Taylor as the card’s headline fight.

“Who’s the main event of this fight? That’s not gonna work for me. I’m not going to sell out O2 for them guys to be the main event,” Chisora began

“These guys wouldn’t sell box office by themselves, so f*** that. So either you give me main event or pull me out of the f***ing show.

F***ing Muhammad Ali trophy? Nobody gives a f*** about it no more. No-one gives a f*** about little guys anymore. Boxing right now is thriving on the heavyweights.

“So for you to try and give me the chief support on my own bill, that’s b******s.”

Prograis then interrupted to make his case for top-billing, but Chisora replied: “Nobody cares about you bro, let’s all be honest. Don’t get me started.

“I don’t give a s***. Am I taking the main stage yes or no? If I’m not, I want more money.”

The spectacular outburst concluded with Chisora storming out, leaving the majority of witnesses aghast.

Opinions on the heavyweight’s verbal assault have been divided on social media, with some fight fans arguing his demands were fair, while others accused him of behaving like a spoilt brat.

Chisora has been a larger-than-life personality among the boxing community since he made his debut all the way back in 2007 but in recent years his popularity has sky-rocketed thanks in part to his unrivalled unpredictability.

Having spent time in the ring with Tyson Fury, David Haye, Vitali Klitschko and Dillian Whyte, Del Boy has become a mainstay on the British boxing scene over the last decade and he certainly has the star-power to headline his own shows. However, his dismissal of the Prograis vs Taylor fight was particularly harsh on the smaller fighters.

The bout between the two supremely-talented and unbeaten super-lightweights, with both the IBF and the WBA titles on the line, is, of course, a worthy PPV headliner for any real fight fan - even Dereck must be somewhat aware of that.

Boxing has a long history of boxing press conferences getting out of hand, in fact, this wasn’t even the worst one involving Chisora. At the tail-end of 2016, after disparaging comments from Whyte in the conference that preceded their bitter grudge match, Chisora launched the table he was sitting upon at his future opponent, narrowly missing everyone in the room from trainers to promoters.  

Other press conference meltdowns are littered throughout the sport’s long and storied history, but perhaps the most famous came in 2002, thanks to boxing’s most iconic bad boy, Mike Tyson, and his chaotic run-in with Lennox Lewis that concluded with Tyson shouting obscenities at the press and Lewis having had a chunk bitten out of his leg.

It’s not just the big boys that end up in scuffles either. Marco Antonio Barrera and Erik Morales’ rivalry produced one of the greatest boxing trilogies ever and in things got particularly heated between the two Mexican legends as they got ready for their highly-anticipated second fight.

In the build-up to the rematch, Morales repeatedly “joked” about his adversary’s sexuality, something that boiled over at a conference in Houston in 2001. 

Barrera invited Morales to repeat the insult to his face, to which Morales obliged. Barrera’s response was, unsurprisingly, to punch Morales in the face, resulting in complete bedlam.

Press conference craziness is commonplace in boxing - it harks back to a circus act at times but there’s no denying it sells tickets. Let’s just hope Chisora is just as entertaining in the ring as he is outside of it when he clashes with Parker next month.

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