David Haye has claimed that he was acting in self-defence when he punched Dereck Chisora at this month's notorious post-fight press conference in Munich, and that he did not use the bottle he was holding as a weapon.
The 31-year-old Londoner, who has retired as a heavyweight, said: "I can understand how that looks but I was there as part of the media. It wasn't a beer [bottle], either – it was a bottle of lemonade. It was a glass bottle but I did not hit him with that bottle – I hit him with my fist. If I'd had my mobile phone in my hand, it would have been a mobile phone. If I'd had a hot dog in my hand, it would have been [a hot dog].
In the wake of the outrage at the unscripted brawl inside the Olympiahalle after Chisora's points defeat by the WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko, Haye recounted the events for ITV's That Sunday Night Show. "He comes over to me, in my face, I feel his knuckles in my face, what am I supposed to do? I've got to close the show. Look at all the camera angles. I had no other option. I could have stood there with my hands by my side and got punched, kicked or spat at. The guy has said on national television he is going to beat me up and break my jaw. Why wouldn't I defend myself?
"I've got no desire to fight Dereck Chisora inside the ring or outside the ring. He's lost his last three fights."
Chisora has since apologised for his actions while Haye has not, but he did add: "If I could rewind time, of course I wouldn't go down there [to the press conference]. But you can't rewind time."
Zimbabwe-born Chisora, 28, claimed Haye had "glassed" him and repeatedly vowed to "shoot" and "burn" the former WBA champion.
Asked what he would say to Chisora now, Haye said: "I'd say probably 'check yourself into some anger management clinic'. I'm being serious. It's not a joke – he genuinely has problems with his anger."
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