Danny Flexen queries whether potentially thrilling Joseph Parker vs Dereck Chisora fight, likely for later this year, is worthy of exalted pay-per-view status
It should come as no surprise that a man like David Haye, lauded almost as often for his self-promotion skills almost as much as his significant in-ring accomplishments, would come out with audacious statements in his new role as a manager. So, in a column for Betfair, for whom the former world cruiserweight and heavyweight champion is an ambassador, Haye not only revealed that a fight for his charge Dereck Chisora against ex-WBO ruler Joseph Parker is likely for later this year, but that he believes the showdown would be worthy of pay-per-view status. So, typical Haye hyperbole or is there genuine substance behind the claim?
The case for
While he may not be in the British top 5 heavyweights on current form, despite a great victory over Artuz Szpilka last month, Chisora is almost certainly one of the best known, among both hardcore and casual fans. His feud with Dillian Whyte, the long-ago thriller with Haye himself and his eccentric personality have made the Finchley man a star of sorts. As stated, he is coming of a dominant victory in good company and Parker would represent a step up. The New Zealander has some fame of his own in the UK due to three big fights in a row over here – first retaining against Hughie Fury, his unification defeat to Anthony Joshua in early 2018 and the loss to Whyte a year ago. The last two of those were headline fights on Sky Sports Box Office. Parker has rebuilt from back-to-back defeats with a couple of decent wins and may view Chisora as a route back to world level; he should therefore be motivated. Finally, style-wise, the pair should mesh pleasingly, with Chisora’s educated pressure vying with Parker’s speed and mobility; plus, both can seriously bang. The undercard would need to be very strong, but Joseph Parker vs Dereck Chisora as a pay-per-view headliner is not beyond the realms of possibility.
The case against
I mean, come on! Pay per view is ostensibly supposed to be for the very highest level of boxing, when a dispute has seriously captured the public imagination or, in certain cases, when the money required to make the contest can only be facilitated by its involvement. In reality, pay per view can be justified by enough consumers being willing to pay for an event, that makes it significantly profitable. Which is fortunate for the promoters, given Parker vs Chisora fails on all three of the usual criteria. Chisora, for all his redeeming features, is a 35-year-old fringe contender with nine defeats on his ledger and mostly losses when he has stepped into elite class. You could argue that Carlos Takam is his only genuinely world-level victim, and Chisora was taking a beating in that one before pulling it out of the bag with a huge shot. As for Parker, who IS a world-class operator, he only just edged past Fury, proved too negative against Joshua and only pushed the pace against Whyte when it was too late. Does he deserve another crack on Box Office? It’s not an easy argument to make (though I’ve given it the ole college try, above). Add in that there is no in-built rivalry or backstory and surely this good fight would work far better as a non-ppv main event or a chief support to a bigger Box Office attraction.