Boxing: Intensity of grudge match makes for explosive bout – with gulf in class
However questionable the provenance of this fight there was nothing illegitimate about the five-punch sequence that concluded it. David Haye brought a classy end to a chapter that lacked class from the outset and, in erasing the challenge of Dereck Chisora in a blizzard of withering blows, finds himself returned to the centre of the boxing universe, calling out Klitschkos by the dozen.
It is unfortunate that Haye substantiated his authority as a fighter on a bill that took place under the aegis of the Luxemburg Boxing Federation and under protest from the British Boxing Board of Control, but unease over the political dispute that dogged the event melted away in the intensity of a fight that was ultimately a legal execution.
Chisora brought violence and endeavour to the ring just as he promised but was dispatched by the better boxer. Haye has still to justify his status as a heavyweight of the highest class, but against opposition that falls short of that distinction he is a formidable reaper.
The sun that lit up the early evening had disappeared by the time Michael Buffer went to work in calling the fighters to order. On cue, and in sympathy perhaps with the background to this fight, the heavens opened over Upton Park. The integrity of Katie Price's fake tan was under serious threat, and that of her boyfriend judging by his radioactive glow.
A year has passed since Haye last fought in a ring, and the weather was no kinder in Hamburg. Promoter Frank Warren came prepared, arming his staff with plastic macs and instructing a mass distribution at ringside.
Promises of 40,000 did not look too far fetched as London's East End embraced this contest. Andy Murray and William Gallas were among those getting wet.
Chisora emerged to the sound of air raid sirens, suggesting imminent detonation of bombs, and the truth of that was tattooed all over his features in an explosive opening.
Haye came out smoking, throwing more punches in a round than in the entire fight against Wladimir Klitschko. The point was to impose early a class divide. Chisora was unmoved.
He brings the countenance of the bareknuckle encounter to the modern era. He absorbed all that Haye threw his way.
There was none of the mutual respect between these two that underwrites the boxer's code. Animosity spilled over into a flurry of spiteful exchanges after the bell at the end of the second. When a repeat occurred at the end of the third Chisora leant his shoulder aggressively into the chest of his opponent. Against the noise of the crowd the bell was never going to be heard.
Haye's strategy was premised on speed. Chisora welcomed the ambush, smiled as the punches rained down and then let loose with a brutally chaotic response.
It was vicious, nasty, stuff. It was boxing in the bear pit.
Successive right hands executed with surgical precision slammed into the face of Chisora at the start of the fifth. The end was being traced incrementally with Haye setting up his man for the fall. A left-right combination had Chisora on his back. The punches were thrown at warp speed. Chisora regained his feet gamely and went once more into the breach.
Haye was utterly dismissive, pushing Chisora back to make room for one last, definitive attack. One second from the end of the fifth, with Chisora stumbling back to his feet a second time, the referee called it off.
Latest in Sport
Australian Open 2015: Serena Williams vs Dominika Cibulkova match preview
Chelsea vs Liverpool match report: Branislav Ivanovic seals classic encounter with extra-time header to send Blues to Wembley
Chelsea transfer news and rumours: Juan Cuadrado battle; Douglas Costa wants move; Paul Pogba possible
Gabriel Paulista: Talented Brazilian could grow into world-class defender at Arsenal
Floyd Mayweather ends the carnival this week and picks his next fight - but will it be Amir Khan, Manny Pacquiao or Miguel Cotto
- 1 The BBC has just done more to eradicate ‘terrorism’ than all our wars since 9/11
- 2 Does the path to true love really lie in these 36 questions?
- 4 Presidential optical illusion offers clues to how brain processes faces
- 5 Roald Dahl letter warning student to 'eschew beastly adjectives' rediscovered after 35 years
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Louise Mensch says 'F**K YOU' in explosive tweets about David Cameron, Saudi Embassy and the Queen over King Abdullah tributes
£25000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This web-based lead generation ...
£125 - £150 per day + Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: A 'wonderful primary ...
£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Our client is an 11-16 mixed commun...
£32000 - £36000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A rapidly developing company in...