From foes to friendship: David Haye and Derek Chisora's unlikely partnership

Blood pouring from Adam Booth’s head, gun threats and a steel cage. The crazy history between Haye and Chisora which led the to the pair working together.

The pair are fond of each other these days, but it didn’t use to be like this.

As the Zimbabwe-born Brit prepares for his Sky Sports Box Office showdown against former New Zealand heavyweight champion Joseph Parker with Haye in his corner, Planet Sport investigates how the pair overcame their once hostile rivalry. 

In 2012, a fresh faced Chisora, who had recently fought Tyson Fury, was given the ultimate opportunity by Frank Warren to bring the world heavyweight title back to the UK. The man who stood in front him was none other than Vitali Klitschko.

"War" Chisora had caused quite the stir in Germany prior to the opening bell.

Eyeing each other up after the weigh-in, Chisora decided to slap the Ukrainian heavyweight great across the face (as you do) and followed it up by spitting water at him in the ring before the opening bell.

Chisora put on a brave display and despite being on the receiving end of a unanimous decision to Klitschko, his stock had risen. 

On media duty, Haye was in attendance at the post-fight press conference and took the opportunity to demand a shot at Klitschko. It did not go down well with Chisora...

Munich brawl transcript

Klitschko’s manager Bernd Boente: With the bad experience we've had with British fighters, we will now look for other countries. Contrary to David Haye, Derek Chisora really went for it. He really tried. 

Haye: You don't want to fight David Haye, no? 

Boente: You had an offer. You didn't accept it. Now you are out. You are out. Out, out, out. You cannot talk yourself back into the fight; you have no belts. Chisora showed heart, contrary to you. You showed your toe. 

Haye: I accepted your offer in December. 

Chisora: We'll get it on in London - be quiet. David Haye is an embarrassment, Sky Sports don't do Box Office anymore because of David Haye. He messed it up for all those young fighters coming through. I'm going to give you two slaps for that. If Haye is a fighter, he should fight me.

Haye: You've lost three fights in a row (actually three of his last four).

Chisora: Let's fight.

Warren: I've got a great idea. If Derek fights David, the winner fights Vitali.

Boente: Sounds like the perfect plan. 

Haye: Vitali said he could knock me out, do you think you can knock me out? 

Chisora’s trainer Don Charles: Be quiet, can security get him out of here? 

Haye: Vitali said after his last fight, 'I want to fight David Haye'. Where is he now? He said he wanted to fight me, I agreed the money, I agreed everything in December. 

Chisora: How's your toe? How's your toe? How's your toe?  

Haye: You've lost your last three fights, you lost to Tyson Fury. You're a loser. 

Chisora: Tell that to my face. I'm coming down, tell that to my face. [The pair then get physical before security intervenes]. 

Chisora: He glassed me. I swear to God, David, I am going to shoot you. I am going to shoot you. I am going to physically shoot David Haye. He glassed me. He glassed me. He glassed me. I'm not having it. He glassed me. 

Chisora: (Referring to Booth's cut) I'm sorry about that. Adam, your fighter glassed me.

Booth: I want to know who glassed me.

Chisora: As you were trying to hold your fighter away, he [Haye] probably glassed you by mistake.

Booth: You hit me with a bottle. 

Chisora: David had a bottle in his hand. 

Booth: No, no, David didn't hit me with a bottle. I want to know who glassed me. Someone hit me with a bottle. 

Booth: Vitali, you are a great fighter but your manager is an embarrassment to the sport. Congratulations for winning. 

Chisora: Either we do it in the ring or outside of the ring. Because I want him. If David don't fight me, Adam [Booth], I am telling you the God's honest truth, I am going to physically burn him. So, you tell him I said that. I am going to find him. 

Chisora was later detained by the German authorities before being allowed to return to the UK. 

Licensed to Thrill 

A fence was placed between the duo at a press conference to promote the domestic dust-up
A fence was placed between the duo at a press conference to promote the domestic dust-up

Warren confirmed the grudge match between the pair would take place on 14 July, 2012 at the old home of West Ham United - Boleyn Ground. We’ll never forget the day it was announced.  

Licensed by Luxembourg Boxing Federation, the rivals were seperated by a metal cage. It was utter bonkers, but one thing for sure is you could not take your eyes off this event. 

In the build-up, Haye defended his actions in Germany to Sky presenter Kay Burley and compared it to 'stamping' on a burglar's head to protect yourself.

A too slick, quick Haye would flatten Chisora in what was an entertaining fight. With the British flag flying high, it was all hugs and smiles afterwards with both men raising each other’s hands to some 30,000 rain-soaked fans in attendance.  

Haye returned to the ring four years later and retired in 2018 with a second defeat to Tony Bellew at London’s O2 Arena.  

From foes to friendship

Derek Chisora has featured on Sky Sports Box Office many times since joining forces with David Haye
Derek Chisora has featured on Sky Sports Box Office many times since joining forces with David Haye

Looking for inspiration ahead of his rematch with Dillian Whyte, Chisora’s next move would shock the boxing fraternity. Kitted out alongside Haye, Chisora announced the former heavyweight champion as his new manager.  

No longer was his nickname ‘Del Boy’ either. It was now ‘War’ Chisora as he prepared for Whyte on December 22, 2018.  

html) */?>

Speaking about the partnership, ‘perfect man’ Haye said: "Boxing is a business.”

 "You need characters, you need drama and with Derek Chisora you are going to get that. When we sat down and spoke to each other it felt like it would be a big task to get the best out of Derek, but it's a challenge. I like challenges. 

"Derek wants to become the heavyweight champion. Some people think that's too tall a task but for me, if Dereck can do what I've done with myself behind closed doors then anything is possible. 

"Hopefully he'll be fighting before the end of the year in a big fight and you will see the best of Derek Chisora." 

The rematch between Whyte and Chisora continued into the 13th round with the latter ahead on the scorecards in a thrilling clash until the "Bodysnatcher" delivered a left hook to end proceedings in the penultimate round.  

Despite the defeat, Chisora has continued to headline huge events, including a points defeat to Oleksandr Usyk, victory over David Price and his upcoming clash with Parker. 

The decision for Chisora to team up with Haye has proved to be a big winner, especially when it comes to business.