The Munich brawl – and how Chisora and Haye healed

The Munich brawl – and how Chisora and Haye healed

Derek Chisora and David Haye created bloody carnage at a Munich press conference, a startling collision that created caged rivals, concussive revenge and one of the strongest bonds in boxing.

Haye had hastily escaped, fleeing the scene of a brutal confrontation with Chisora, who was now explaining the chaos to the German police.

“It was pretty stressful,” Haye told Sky Sports. “I had Interpol after me as I got out of Germany and Derek got arrested.

“It was a pretty hairy moment.

“I turned on Sky News and I was out there on the run and the police wanted me.

“It was all a bit of a mess.”

Derek Chisora, David Haye

Chisora and Haye collided in front of the watching media

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Splintered glass and strewn camera equipment were the scenery for Chisora’s infamous brawl with Haye in February 2012, which led to a summer showdown at Upton Park.

The British heavyweights had barely been interested in each other beforehand, despite the ensuing speculation that a choreographed clash had simply got out of hand.

Chisora had just produced one of his most courageous performances, dragging Vitali Klitschko into a punishing duel that ended in the Ukrainian wearily regaining his WBC title on a points decision.

Derek Chisora, Don Charles

Don Charles had prepared Chisora for a world title fight in Germany

Derek Chisora, Vitali Klitschko

Vitali Klitschko was forced to dig deep for a points win over Chisora in February 2012

“All the experts prior to going into the fight, gave us a maximum of two rounds to get knocked out,” recalled trainer Don Charles, who was then guiding Chisora.

“That incident overshadowed what should have been celebrated when we came back to England.

“We went there to make history.”

Haye had watched Chisora’s relentless bravery from only a few feet away in a commentary position, even delivering praise for the beaten Brit.

“Obviously they knew of each other in the boxing world. But as far as I’m aware, there wasn’t a relationship, good or bad. It was non-existent,” recalled Bobby Rich, Haye’s strength and conditioner and long-term friend who had also travelled to Chisora’s fight.

“David was beyond complimentary about Chisora’s performance, because obviously he was going to be fighting Vitali next.

“He had no reason to discredit Chisora.

“Chisora had just gone 12 rounds with Klitschko, in Germany, under his promotion. That was that.”

But an uninvited appearance from Haye changed everything.

“As we were walking past, we happened to be passing the back door of the press conference,” Bobby Rich told Sky Sports.

“We weren’t due to be in there. We had no business being in there. Not in a bad way, we just weren’t asked to attend, we were just leaving.

“We were like, ‘Oh what’s going on in there?’. We stuck our head in.”

Haye joined the assembled media as they quizzed Klitschko about Chisora’s stubborn qualities and future plans.

Bernd Boente, Klitschko’s long-term manager, then provided an answer that prompted uproar when he abruptly ruled out a discussed fight with Haye.

David Haye, Derek Chisora

Haye reacted angrily after a fight with Vitali Klitschko was ruled out

David Haye, Wladimir Klitschhko

He wanted a form of revenge after being defeated by Wladimir Klitschko in 2011

Talks had been held, a June fight with Vitali had been expected, but now an exasperated Haye vented his rage at Team Klitschko and Chisora.

“It’s not nice when you’ve just gone 12 rounds with the most feared man at heavyweight on the planet at that point, Vitali Klitschko,” said Don Charles.

“Derek being Derek, he got up with the microphone in his hand, walking towards David Haye, who was amongst the world media.

“My automatic reaction was to get up and go with him. Every trainer will tell you. You’re both in each other’s energy and I know Derek really well.”

The ensuing bedlam was caught on camera as Haye lashed out at Chisora, shattering an apple juice bottle that he was holding, and Charles was also struck amid the flailing fists.

A camera tripod was tossed aside by Haye, unintentionally hitting his own trainer Adam Booth, who suffered a cut on his scalp, while Rich desperately tried to halt the havoc.

Adam Booth, Derek Chisora

Bobby Rich (right) attempted to break up the wild brawl

“I’m a five-time British judo champion and ex-Olympian and I’m more than happy to have a wrestle but I’m stuck between these two heavyweight boxers.

“I’m like, ‘please don’t hit me’, trying to break them up.

“Listen, it just happened so quick, and it was so ridiculous. I think there was times where people thought it was a set-up. There were articles in the press.

“It was no laughing matter, but it was almost laughable how ridiculously quick it escalated.”

Haye and Chisora’s unlikely partnership had begun, albeit on hostile terms, and the duo would create a cacophony of hype as they were separated by steel fences ahead of an east London shootout.

David Haye, Derek Chisora

Haye and Chisora had created plenty of hype ahead of their fight in July 2012

David Haye, Derek Chisora

The British rivals were separated by a steel fence

A sweeping hook from Chisora sent Haye back-peddling in the closing seconds of the third round, but the feud was ferociously ended in the fifth. Haye’s blurring fists crumpled Chisora, who clambered upwards and was still throwing punches as he was floored for a final time.

Both men embraced afterwards, the rivalry was resolved, but years later Chisora would seek out an unexpected mentor.

“We had just finished doing a session and he [Chisora] said to me: ‘I’m thinking of approaching David Haye to manage me’. I was shocked,” admitted Charles.

“I looked at him. ‘Are you crazy? Come on man, he’s our enemy. Come on, there’s too much history, what are you thinking?’.

“After he said it to me, I rejected it. I walked away to do something. Within two minutes, I saw an angle, because I know how Derek’s mind works. I saw an angle. I went back to him, I said: ‘You know what Derek, as crazy as it may sound, it would actually be a good move’.”


Haye was announced as Chisora’s new manager in 2018

Rich was equally taken aback, telling Sky Sports: “I texted David a picture when they started working together.

“There was a picture of me in the press, holding Don Charles in a particular kind of grip that looked like one of my old favourite judo throws, which looks like I was going to launch him.

“I remember sending him this image, saying, ‘Are you having a laugh? We were in this situation and now you’re managing each other!’. I was very happy that the animosity has gone, but I was like, ‘Was there really any need for this?’.

“Couldn’t we have just stuck that night in Germany to you managing and training him, and having a fantastic relationship, as they do now.”

Haye has expertly rebranded Chisora, heightening his aggression with a stringent training regime that has brought results which are befitting his ‘War’ nickname.

David Price and Artur Szpilka were overwhelmed by the Finchley powerhouse, who raised fresh doubts about Oleksandr Usyk’s heavyweight qualities during a creditable points loss in October.

Derek Chisora


David Price could not withstand Chisora’s sustained aggression

Joseph Parker will experience the marauding menace of Chisora on Saturday night, live on Sky Sports Box Office, in a fight which could force the loser to forget their lingering ambitions.

“You would never have thought years later that I would be representing Derek in a big fight, but boxing is a crazy sport, with crazy things happening, and it’s good that it’s all kind of worked itself out,” Haye told Sky Sports.

“It just shows, in sport, what happens in the ring, what happens outside the ring, it’s a sport and Derek has learned over the years. He’s definitely mellowed out, and he wants the best for himself.”

With Haye by his side, instead of at striking range, Chisora has been rampaging in the right direction in recent years.

If their plans play out, then Chisora will be marching towards Parker with bad intentions, and only the ropes can restrain his vintage violence in Manchester.

Watch Chisora vs Parker and Taylor vs Jonas on Saturday, live on Sky Sports Box Office, from 6pm. Book it via your Sky remote or book it online here. Non-Sky TV subscribers can book and watch it here.

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