Chisora apologizes 'wholeheartedly' for brawl

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By STUART CONDIE, Associated Press

LONDON (AP) — Dereck Chisora apologized "wholeheartedly" Monday for the brawl with David Haye that followed his loss to WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko.

Haye blamed Chisora for the clash that followed his fellow Londoner's defeat in Munich and the beaten challenger has acknowledged that the violence at the post-bout news conference marred the biggest night of his career.

"Whilst my behavior was inexcusable, there were many things that went on behind the scenes that ultimately caused my frustrations to boil over," Chisora said. "Despite all of this, the bottom line is I have let my family, my team and — worst of all — the sport I love down.

"I acknowledge that my actions were totally unprofessional, with or without provocation. Now, with a cool head and the benefit of hindsight, my actions at the weekend were regrettable to say the least and I am deeply embarrassed."

Chisora, who was questioned for seven hours by German police and is being investigated by the British Boxing Board of Control over the incident, did not say what provoked him to descend from the top table and confront Haye.

Former WBA champion Haye had been at the news conference trying to taunt Klitschko into agreeing to a bout later this year. Haye also waved three fingers at Chisora, indicating that his compatriot had just suffered the third loss of his 18-fight professional career.

"I cannot go into the specific details at the moment as, quite rightly, the British Boxing Board of Control will be investigating this matter," said Chisora, adding that he was struck by a bottle during the brawl.

"I have a duty as a professional boxer to conduct myself properly at all times, especially with boxing being a sport of controlled aggression. I have let lots of people down on Saturday night, including myself, and for that I am truly sorry."

German police released Chisora without charge and want to speak to Haye, who left the country before being apprehended but released a statement Monday in which he alleged that Chisora and his entourage were wholly to blame.

"Chisora climbed down from the top table, removed his robe and then walked towards me, entourage in tow, in an aggressive manner," Haye said. "I held my ground, but unfortunately he caused a serious disturbance to occur, something which threatened to damage the reputation of the sport we both love."

Haye said he was at the bout as a commentator and had only become involved in the news conference dialogue by Klitschko's manager, Bernd Boente.

"(I) have been thinking about what happened ever since, as well as replaying the incident many times via YouTube," Haye said. "I am bitterly disappointed to have been a part of what transpired on Saturday evening.

"I realize I am no angel and don't mind a bit of professional trash-talk to help raise boxing's profile, but during my 21 years in the sport I have never been involved in or even witnessed such a serious fracas."

Boente told Sky Sports News that he had turned down a request from Haye's camp for ringside seats and that his fighter was not interested in being part of a comeback by Haye.

Chisora will appear before British boxing's governing body on a misconduct charge Wednesday but the BBBC cannot take action against Haye because the Londoner retired last year after a defeat to Klitschko's younger brother, Wladimir.

Haye has since decided he wants to return to the ring to fight Vitali Klitschko but would need to apply to the BBBC for a license.

Chisora slapped Klitschko at Friday's weigh-in and spat water in the face of Wladimir Klitschko before the fight.

The body is looking into his behavior "prior, during and after his contest," BBBC General Secretary Robert Smith said in a statement. "A further statement will be issued once the stewards have decided on what action will be taken."

Chisora taunted Haye about losing the WBA belt to Wladimir Klitschko in July, leading to a heated exchange before the pair came to blows. Haye also fought with members of Chisora's entourage, and his coach, Adam Booth, was bleeding from a cut on his head.

Booth said Monday he did not know what he had been hit with.

He told Sky Sports News that Haye would be "more than happy" to speak to German police if contacted and denied rumors that the brawl had been staged as a publicity stunt.

"I didn't get that memo," Booth said. "If I did, I might have ducked."

Haye said he would assist the BBBC but did not say whether he would return to Munich to speak to police.

Chisora faces a possible charge of simple assault in Germany. His coach, Don Charles, also faces a charge of assault for his involvement in the melee. The pair have returned to England.

Munich police spokesman Werner Kraus said several legal obstacles need to be resolved before a warrant could be issued for Haye's arrest.

"The criminal police are still investigating. If they decide to take it further, they will have to present the case to the state prosecutor for review," Kraus said. "Eventually the state prosecutor could decide to ask, in this case the British police, for help.

"But ultimately only the state prosecutor can make that decision."

Haye could face charges of simple assault and grievous bodily harm.

A conviction for assault carries a possible prison term of up to five years, while grievous bodily harm could lead to a 10-year sentence.

Wladimir Klitschko said Monday he was "shocked and deeply embarrassed" by Chisora and his team.

He said "these kinds of actions ... must be stopped, otherwise the sport of boxing is going to go down the hill fast."

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Associated Press writer Ciaran Fahey in Berlin contributed to this report.

(This version CORRECTS spelling of Klitschko's manager)

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