Warren plays down riot fears

Frank Warren has denied Upton Park could be turned into a battleground for warring West Ham and Millwall fans on Saturday night.

Boxing news: Dereck Chisora.

The controversial grudge match between David Haye and Dereck Chisora will see the British rivals finish what they started in their infamous brawl in Munich in February.

Adding a sinister backdrop to the occasion is the potential for crowd trouble given that Bermondsey-born Haye is a Millwall supporter.

The concern is that the presence of Lions fans at Upton Park could provoke any Hammers attending the fight, but Warren stresses the Metropolitan Police Service are satisfied with the security arrangements in place.

"These fears that have been raised are a load of ********," said Warren, Chisora's manager.

"The British Boxing Board of Control and one newspaper in particular put all this crap out and it's annoying.

"I don't know how many Millwall games David Haye has been to but there hasn't been any problems at his other fights.

"Dereck supports Manchester United, so what's the issue?

"The game's at Upton Park but we're not selling tickets on the basis of West Ham v Millwall and anybody who suggests that is irresponsible.

"The Met Police have said there is no problem with this show. They're happy with the stewarding."

The staging of the fight - which has been sanctioned by the Luxembourg Boxing Federation as neither Haye nor Chisora are currently licensed by the BBBC - has been condemned for a multitude of reasons.

Chief among them is that the rivals are profiting from the disgraceful scenes in Munich, where they traded blows at a press conference in the aftermath of Chisora's loss to Vitali Klitschko.

Yet the public interest in a contest that sees Haye start as a strong favourite in undeniable with 30,000 tickets already sold.

"It's been said that this fight is not great for the reputation of British boxing, but look at how many tickets have been bought," Warren said.

"It's more people than went to see Carl Froch against Lucian Bute in May and the Kell Brook fight on the weekend.

"This has sold more tickets than Lennox Lewis-Frank Bruno in Cardiff in 1993 and Naseem Hamed when he fought Steve Robinson two years later.

"It's a big fight that's captured the public's imagination and people want to see it."

Warren believes it is right the showdown goes ahead and insists that Chisora, whose license was rescinded by the BBBC, is being treated harshly.

"The fight is happening. They're both licensed and neither have been banned from fighting," he said.

"The fight is sanctioned by the WBO and WBA and the BBBC are affiliated to those organisations.

"Newham Council have licensed it and the police have no objections.

"Dereck went to see the police in Germany twice, but they haven't pressed any charges against him.

"There were some unsavoury scenes in Germany that I wasn't pleased about.

"In my time in boxing I've seen some terrible things outside the ring.

"This wasn't one of the greatest, but I've seen much worse and yet not a thing was done.

"The WBC have taken £100,000 from Dereck (following events in Munich). Then the BBBC want another hearing and then another hearing.

"What's going on here? How many times are you going to lynch the same guy? It's like Mississippi Burning.

"If Dereck was banned from boxing by the BBBC then I'd say fair enough, but he's not been banned.

"What's he supposed to do, have a self-imposed exile? The board either ban him or don't ban him and they chose not to."



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