Punches, flying tables and death threats: the most dramatic press conference brawls in boxing

Telegraph Sport
The Telegraph
Boxing press conferences are often more eventful than the fights they are designed to promote - Getty Images
Boxing press conferences are often more eventful than the fights they are designed to promote - Getty Images

In a sport increasingly reliant on hype and bluster to sell itself, pre-fight brawls have become common place in modern boxing.

More often than not, the press conferences are more eventful, violent and ill-tempered than the fights they are designed to promote

The underwhelming prospect of Chris Eubank Jnr's World Boxing Super Series clash with Avni Yildirim was given some much-needed spice on Wednesday afternoon when Yildirim's manager completely lost his cool during a press conference to promote the fight.

"You're a f***ing piece of sh**, a son of a b**** ... you fight me you c***," Ahmet Oner bellowed after a member of Eubank Jnr's entourage was deemed to be too close to the stage.

"You son of a b****, I f*** your wife in your bed!" he added.

<span>Promoter Ahmet Oner, above left, gesticulates to an official of the Eubank crew</span> <span>Credit: AP&nbsp; </span>
Promoter Ahmet Oner, above left, gesticulates to an official of the Eubank crew Credit: AP 

Oner is not the first person to plunge a press conference into mayhem and he certainly won't be the last. Here's a selection of the most memorable brawls of recent times.

Mike Tyson vs Lennox Lewis

While most pre-fight incidents often appear fabricated, those involving Mike Tyson tend to appear frighteningly authentic.

Five months before the pair were due to officially fight in the ring, Tyson confronted undisputed heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis as the British heavyweight walked onto stage in a press conference to promote their Las Vegas bout.

As a bodyguard of Lewis' tried to block Tyson's path, the 'baddest man on the planet' threw a straight right, sparking a huge melee of brawling bodies that saw WBC president Jose Sulaiman knocked unconscious.

<span>Mike Tyson is knocked out by Lennox Lewis&nbsp;</span> <span>Credit: EPA&nbsp; </span>
Mike Tyson is knocked out by Lennox Lewis  Credit: EPA 

"It was Lennox's bodyguard who panicked and shoved me," claimed Tyson, grabbing his crotch, protesting to the assembled media after the bundle of bodies dispersed.

"I was here to promote the fight, not be intimidated. I will never be intimidated by anyone, and Lennox will pay in June."

Lewis went on to beat Tyson with an eighth-round knockout.

Dereck Chisora vs David Haye

A rare post-fight fight.

In 2012, Dereck Chisora threatened to shoot David Haye with a gun after the pair were involved in an ugly press-conference brawl following Chisora's defeat to Vitali Klitschko.

Haye, who was covering the match for German television having recently retired, goaded his fellow British fighter from the back of the room sparking a frenzied fight that saw Haye wielding a camera tripod as a weapon.

Chisora accused Haye of 'glassing' him during the incident before insisting he would 'physically burn him.'

Tony Bellew vs David Haye

Another all-British bust up featuring the trouble-making Haymaker.

As the pair came together for the obligatory tête-à-tête, Haye appeared to punch Tony Bellew in the face after the Liverpudlian took issue to some over-zealous head-nuzzling.

Haye had earlier mocked the Liverpudlian by claiming he could knock out Bellew while "drunk out of my head".

Bellew went on to win their O2 grudge match with an 11th-round stoppage.

Dereck Chisora vs Dillian Whyte

One of the most spectacular pre-fight spats in recent history.

The two British fighters traded a series of insults ahead of their WBC heavyweight title eliminator, which was on the undercard of Anthony Joshua's world title defence against Eric Molina.

20 minutes of foul-mouthed verbal sparring finally ended in the bizarre spectacle of 'Del Boy' Chisora picking up a table and throwing it in the direction of Whyte.

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