Harty on Haye vs Chisora and the Premier League title race

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FROM the moment they brawled in public over in Germany there was almost a sense of inevitability that Dereck Chisora and David Haye would sort their differences out in the ring.

As smug as promoter Frank Warren appeared at Tuesday’s press conference, there is nothing illegal in what he is doing in licensing the fighters under the Luxembourg Boxing Board.

The British Board of Control has itself sanctioned shows in recent years in both Egypt and Dubai.

Clearly, the public are not put off as Warren reports that first-day ticket sales are the biggest in this country since Mike Tyson fought at the MEN, but, ultimately, morally is it right that both fighters get this huge payday in light of their recent behaviour?

Personally, I think no, but when have morals ever had a real role in professional sport?

It’s a strange contest for me in the fact that I really don’t care who wins, because, as boxers, I’m now a fan of neither.

With Warren involved, they were always going to fight. I would have hoped that rather than the Hulk Hogan type hype, there was a bit of humility for what they have done and a sizeable donation from the promotion to a boxing charity.

Frank Warren is where he is today because he’s very good at his job. For all the initial furore from certain quarters, this fight will be an event, speculation that it will kill British boxing is a little wide of the mark.

However, needless to say, Mr Warren possibly won’t get a sympathetic hearing when he appears in front of the British Board of Control in the future.

Filling Upton Park will take some doing, even West Ham have trouble, but Boxnation, Mr Warren’s TV channel, will get an influx of subscribers, which is probably his main motivation, rather than the redemption of Messrs Haye and Chisora.

The critics will say that if they are successful on Sunday, Manchester City will have bought the Premier League title, but you could probably say that about every winner of the title since the league’s inception in 1993.

For all the funding from the Middle East, City’s possible triumph will actually be a victory for the real football fan.

City’s faithful support have put up with more than most fans over the years, numerous relegations, managerial upheaval, the works, but none more so than living in the shadow of United and their nationwide army of crowing supporters.

On Sunday, if results go to form then it will be role reversal for the first time in over 40 years, and the faithful City support deserve every moment of their triumph.