Sitting at a press conference in front of a large banner featuring Josh Taylor and Regis Prograis front and center to promote their World Boxing Super Series title unification bout, featured undercard fighter Dereck Chisora had a question for event promoter Eddie Hearn and Sky Sports head of boxing Adam Smith that created a moment which quickly escalated.
“Who’s the main event of this fight?”. “It’s the gentleman sitting right next to you,” Hearn said, gesturing to Prograis.
“That’s not gonna work for me,” Chisora replied. “I’m not going to sell out O2 for them guys to be the main event. These guys will not sell the box office by themselves, so f–k that. Give me the main event or pull me out of the f–king show.”
Respect box? Subscribe to my podcast — State of Combat with Brian Campbell — where we take an in-depth look at the world of boxing each week.
Chisora (31-9, 22 KO) is scheduled to fight Joseph Parker (26-2, 20 KO) in a heavyweight clash long in the making. The fight headlines the undercard of the event on Oct. 26 from the O2 in London. Despite this being common knowledge — as well as clear on the aforementioned giant banner dominating the press conference — Chisora’s spot on the undercard appeared to shock the British slugger. As Smith attempted to direct the conversation toward the fight between Taylor and Prograis, Chisora interjected again.
“No,” Chisora said. “I’m just being serious, you’re trying to bombard me like I’m going to sell it out to my London crowd, my London fans and then you want to put these little guys nobody knows about on my show and then try and mug me off. F–k that.
“For you to try and give me chief support on my own bill, that’s bollocks.”
As the undefeated Prograis tried to chime in by repeatedly saying “we’re No. 1 and No. 2,” Chisora blew off the super lightweight.
“Nobody cares about you, bruv,” Chisora said. “Let’s all be honest. Don’t get me started. I don’t give a s–t. Am I taking the main stage? Yes or no? If I’m not, I want more money. Adam, who’s taking the main event? You’re not answering me and I’m gonna go f–king ballistic now.”
Smith attempted to smooth over the situation and move things along, citing consumer happiness. Chisora bristled at the idea “his” London crowd would be content with his placement on the card before again suggesting he was ready to pull out of the fight.
“The crowd and the consumers and the customers are going to be happy,” Smith said. “So let’s get on with it.”
“Yeah, we’re gonna get on with it after you tell me, am I going to be the main event?” Chisora said. “If I’m not, give me more money.”
Moments later, Chisora stormed off the stage and the conversation returned to the card’s actual main event.