By Rich Mancuso
View the Dereck Chisora and David Haye brawl at a post-fight press conference, seen by thousands on video, and there should be no further questions or answers. Boxing needs an attitude adjustment outside the ring and the traditional post-fight should be banned.
There is no need to elaborate about details. It was an ugly scene in Munich Germany after Vitali Klitschko defeated Chisroa and defended his WBC heavyweight title. What precipitated a brawl that became another story is not justified.
What becomes evident is this: The post-fight boxing press conference has become a travesty, the social after party, and in this instance, a reason why there is no longer a need to have one. Because media questions are not significant, and because those not in the media get involved, promoters and publicity personnel need to examine what is significant and what is not.
The ramifications are Chisora and his entourage arrested and detained by local authorities. Explanations from Chisora, Haye and Klitschko are not enough to offer justifications. If this is the result of animosity, or means to pump some excitement into a possible Haye and Chisora bout, it was conducted the wrong way.
However, this is boxing and it created a more negative vibe for the sport. And this created a more negative image about the sport, thankfully not making highlight reels on the sports networks in America. But those who were there, the international media, they got their story. It was not about Klitschko continuing his legacy as a heavyweight champion. It became the Dereck Chisora assault on David Haye or Haye assaulting Chisora.
Bernd Boente , manager of Vitali and his brother Wladimir, said “We’ve had it with British fighters we will now look for other countries.” Be honest, it has nothing to do with the actions of British fighters that precipitated the brawl. It has more to do with the actions of officials who coordinate the post-fight presser, and why they are not needed.
Go back in time, when the post-fight press conference was restricted to members of the media. The promoters, Don King and Bob Arum would implement a policy of “Media only allowed in the post fight press conference.” That was stated on press badges or another pass was issued with presentation of the fight media credential. Authorized media were granted access and seated in front. There were no bloggers, or gossip page writers. No members of the entourage, and if there were, very few.
The writers asked questions and got the answers. Yours truly was one of them, Bert Sugar, Michael Katz, Ed Schuyler of the AP, the late Pat Putnam of Sports Illustrated and Barney Nagler. The questions were asked and the answers came. The fighters, managers, and trainers had their say. It was over and the story went to bed.
Now it is a congregation of fools who want to be a part of the party, a post fight event that offers nothing more than what was said at ringside. The deadline and post fight quotes are delivered to media at ringside after the fighters have left the ring. Any more significant information, an injury, or something more that has to be said is rarely stated.
But, shouting out another fighter, challenges, and mayhem have become more often at the post-fight presser. And it is not what legitimate members of the boxing media should have to witness or be a part of. But unfortunately it has become more common.
And what will it take for promoters and personnel to end the mayhem? The publicists who handle most of the major fights in the United States said it is the discretion of the promoter regarding a post-fight presser. One off the record said, “It is a bunch of **** that is useless.”
So what can prevent another brawl at a post-fight media press conference? They apparently will continue, it does bring some type of attention to a boring or eventful main event. They are not held at club shows or uneventful fight cards, as there is no significance to an outcome, unless a brawl erupts in the ring that has consequences.
Promoters days it is a tradition, the post fight presser was at one time more important than the pre-presser. But then, when newspapers were read, and when the real reporters were from daily tabloids, the post-fight presser had a twist or another story line.
Arum or King would come to the podium. They would congratulate the fighters, give the live gate count, and provide a perspective that resembled a political victory speech. The fighters had their say. There would be a perspective date, venue, and main event announced.
It was preliminary for sure, but it was better than an unauthorized development that was seen with Haye and Chisora. The unfortunate part of the post fight press brawl in Munich, we are writing about something that had nothing to do with the fight.
Vitali Klitschko received minimal praise for defending his championship, one that was more difficult than anticipated. Where he goes after this latest title defense is not clear. The heavyweight championship picture remains in the hands of Klitschko and his brother.
And a fight with Haye and Chisora is inevitable. It is unfortunate that the post fight media mayhem will continue.