Haye-Chisora sells 17,000 tickets in one day
Boxing promoter Frank Warren has revealed that 17,000 tickets for the controversial heavyweight title fight between Dereck Chisora and David Haye were sold on the first day of sales.
The amazing sales figures come despite the cheapest seats costing £50 with pitchside seats costing at least £100 rising to £1,000 for the best seats near ringside.
The pair were involved in a brawl at a news conference following Chisora's defeat by WBC title holder Vitali Klitschko in February and neither holds a British licence so the bout is being sanctioned by the Luxembourg Boxing Federation.
Warren, who manages Chisora, says he struck the deal with Haye's manager Adam Booth with "no grumblings about purses or cuts" and went ahead with organising the fight at West Ham's Upton Park football stadium on July 14 despite the licensing issue.
The British Boxing Board of Control has now come out and said that anyone involved in the fight will be stripped of their licence.
Warren, told The Sun: "I’ve known Bruce Baker, the Luxembourg boxing federation representative here in England, for years and he didn’t understand why Chisora couldn’t box when he was not banned.
"Let’s make one thing clear - if Dereck had been banned by the British Board, he would not be fighting Haye. Once the idea of fighting Haye was out there, everything seemed to snowball.
“I even had an offer from Russia to stage the bout there!"
The BBBC however are furious at the prospect of the fight going ahead.
"For the avoidance of doubt, any member of the British Boxing Board of Control who participates in any way in such a promotion will be deemed to have terminated his/her membership of the British Boxing Board of Control and his/her licence therewith," they said in a statement.
"Those behind this proposal are not concerned with the interests of the sport of professional boxing.
"Any member who participates in such a promotion would bring the sport of boxing into disrepute and would wholly undermine the authority of the British Boxing Board of Control.
"This is nothing more than an attempt to circumvent the decision of the Stewards of the British Boxing Board of Control, in respect of Dereck Chisora, for monetary gain," it added.
Zimbabwe-born Chisora had his licence withdrawn by the BBBC in March following the brawl although he is appealing the decision.
Chisora had already been banned indefinitely by the World Boxing Council for what it called "one of the worst behaviours ever by a professional".
Former WBA world heavyweight champion Haye did not renew his licence after announcing his retirement last October.
"The British Boxing Board of Control has made its position clear to the Luxembourg Boxing Federation, the European Boxing Union and World Sanctioning Organisations and has already received strong support for its stance," the BBBC said.