It is with regret that I feel I have to issue this statement to clarify certain matters, following an unfortunate incident that occurred on Saturday night (February 18) in Munich, Germany at the Vitali Klitschko vs. Dereck Chisora post-fight press conference.
I was in Munich to watch the WBC world heavyweight title bout between Klitschko and Chisora and provide punditry for BoxNation, and accredited as such.
During the post-fight press conference, I was stood at the back of the room. It wasn’t until Bernd Boente said my name and involved me in the press conference that I commented. I was then happy to banter back and forth with Boente and Klitschko, keen to ascertain whether he (Vitali) would stay true to his word and reiterate his desire to do what his younger brother couldn’t do – knock me out. I felt as though the public would want to hear more information about this potential bout and that we could both start beating the drum ahead of a showdown later this year.
However, at this point Chisora began firing insults at me from his position on the top table. In fact, he has recently made a habit of saying derogatory things about me in the press.
Moments before declaring he wanted to go face-to-face with me, Chisora assured the gathered media that he would give me ‘two slaps’. Chisora had, of course, already been shrouded in controversy that weekend.
Despite this, Chisora climbed down from the top table, removed his robe and then walked towards me, entourage in tow, in an aggressive manner. I held my ground, but, unfortunately, he caused a serious disturbance to occur, something which threatened to damage the reputation of the sport we both love.
Regrettably, some members of his entourage also encouraged the chaos.
Nevertheless, Chisora and I soon separated, brushed ourselves down and moved in opposite directions.
The confrontation then reignited, however, and both Don Charles and Adam Booth became involved in the mess. Adam suffered a cut to the head.
Thankfully, it didn’t take long for the ruckus to again settle down. It was then that I heard Chisora say he planned to ‘shoot me dead’.
I decided to leave the venue and return to my hotel, a move which I hoped would diffuse the situation. However, Chisora’s team were staying at the same hotel as me and, in light of the threats Chisora had made in front of the world’s media, it seemed far more appropriate for me and Adam to leave the hotel as quickly as possible.
Consequently, I left Munich on an earlier flight on Sunday morning and have been thinking about what happened ever since, as well as replaying the incident many times via YouTube. It goes without saying, I am bitterly disappointed to have been a part of what transpired on Saturday evening.
I realise I am no angel – and don’t mind a bit of professional trash-talk to help raise boxing’s profile – but, during my 21 years in the sport, I have never been involved in, or even witnessed, such a serious fracas. If requested, I shall happily assist the boxing authorities with any investigation they wish to launch and, ultimately, hope that all lessons learned from this incident will be implemented.
I also hope Dereck Chisora is able to learn from his mistakes this past weekend, right the wrongs and then go on to fulfil his potential in the boxing ring.