Saturday night’s heavyweight clash between Dereck Chisora and former world champion Joseph Parker could be sensationally scrapped after Chisora threatened to walk away from the bout.
Arguments erupted backstage as Chisora refused to walk to the ring first, despite Parker’s status as a former WBO world heavyweight champion.
While Parker is a former champion, Chisora is listed first on the fight posters, with the fight being marketed predominantly in the U.K.
And, after the pair weighed in for their heavyweight clash, the two fighters faced off before the two camps engaged in animated debate over who would walk first.
“We’re having an argument right now, in the back there,” a disgruntled Chisora told Sky Sports after the faceoff.
“They want to do a coin flip for who comes in the ring first and who comes in the ring second.
“I’m like, ‘Nah! Not doing that!’ I come in second otherwise I’m going home, right now.”
When asked how things might be resolved, Chisora shrugged, “I don’t know. Listen, I’m not in a good mood right now.”
Chisora’s stance appeared to take everybody present by surprise, including his own manager, former world heavyweight champion David Haye, who admitted the whole episode made no sense to him.
“I genuinely can’t see the fight happening if Derek’s told to come (to the ring) first,” Chisora’s manager and former heavyweight champion David Haye told Sky Sports.
“I know it makes zero sense. He agreed it. He signed the contract and he’s be breaking the whole (thing).
“He’s that guy. He just doesn’t care, and unfortunately, that’s what it is.”
Haye said Parker “should walk second,” but Parker smiled off the furore, as he simply said, “It’s just more drama!”
The New Zealander is riding a four-fight win streak after suffering back-to-back unanimous decision losses to Anthony Joshua and Dillian Whyte, with the former taking his WBO heavyweight title in the process.
And he said he’s ready to continue his good form with a fifth straight victory.
“It’s fight time now,” Parker told Sky Sports.
“It’s time for business. We’re here to fight, we’re ready.
“We’ve had no problems with weight. The body is healthy and fresh and ready to go.
“I want to knock him out. I’ll certainly beat him, but I want to knock him out. That’s what I want to do.”