Boxing: David Haye and Dereck Chisora dealt blow to British boxing says Amir Khan

 

Amir Khan claims British boxing's image took a big blow last month thanks to the antics of David Haye and Dereck Chisora.

Haye and Chisora were involved in a ugly brawl following Chisora's world heavyweight title defeat to Vitali Klitschko in Munich.

Khan, a friend of both Haye and Chisora, was reluctant to severely criticise both boxers at a press conference to launch his rematch with Lamont Peterson yesterday but admitted the brawl had not portrayed British boxing in a favourable light.

"Boxing in Britain has not been the best, especially with what happened between David and Chisora," Khan said.

"It's tough because I know both fighters well and they have been cool with me, but it just looked bad. We just don't need that in boxing."

Haye and Chisora have been accused of tarnishing the image of what is traditionally seen as a gentleman's sport with their trash-talking prior to fights.

Chisora's reputation sunk to a new low in the build-up to his latest fight when he slapped Klitschko at the weigh-in and then spat at his brother Wladimir in the ring immediately before the fight.

Khan insists he will never engage in such activity, claiming that he has too much respect for his opponent.

"Me and Lamont are two professional fighters who respect each other outside the ring," said Khan, who lost to Peterson on a controversial split decision in December.

"We have been in this position where we have been head to head and everything has been fine. There haven't been any punches thrown or anything and you will never see me getting in to things like that.

"I respect sport and I respect boxing fans."

Khan will fight Peterson in Las Vegas on May 19 after the WBA ordered a rematch between the two following their controversial first bout.

Khan, who lost both his lightweight IBF and WBA titles in the defeat, was incensed by the judges' decision to grant Peterson victory and has vowed to knock out the American to remove any doubt that he deserves to be the champion.

Peterson, a tough fighter who grew up in Washington, is confident of victory, however.

Peterson said: "He doesn't scare me. He said he was going to knock me out before the last fight but it didn't happen and I don't think that's going to happen again. If anything I think that I could get the knockout."

PA

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