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Eddie Hearn had to promise Derek Chisora a Rolex watch after he refused to talk ahead of his first fight with Dillian Whyte.
Promoter Hearn expected an easy task chairing the press conference for Chisora vs Whyte I, with both men harnessing genuine hatred towards each other. But he was forced to cut a deal with 'Del Boy', who held him to ransom over promoting the bout.
Recalling the events of late 2016 ahead of Chisora's rematch with Kubrat Pulev this weekend, Hearn told Sport Bible: "They were actually like DM’ing each other and actually like moaning and telling each other they’re gonna come round each other’s house and bash them up. It was bad, right.
READ MORE: Derek Chisora tells Kubrat Pulev "I'm getting my hard on for you" in X-rated row
"So at the presser, I thought this is gonna be wild. Dillian Whyte said 'I’m gonna do this, I wanna smash him him up'. I said ‘Derek, what have you got to say about that? This guy here, he’s sticking it on you’. And he went ‘I’m not selling this press conference for you’.
"I went ‘sorry?’. He went ‘you’re not paying me enough money’. This is on the mic, right. I go ‘what?’. He didn’t want a pay-per-view bonus, he just wanted as much money as possible.
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"So I said ‘Derek, you know, there’s been a lot of bad blood’. Obviously, he went ‘no, no bad blood’. He goes ‘I ain’t interested in talking’. I’m like ‘oh my god’.
"Finished the interview, I went up to him and said ‘Derek, you can’t do this. You’re getting a fortune. You’ve gotta talk, you’ve gotta sell the fight’. He went ‘nah, I want a pay-per-view bonus’. I said ‘you didn’t want a pay-per-view bonus!’.
"He went ‘well, what watch is that?’. I said ‘it’s a Rolex Sky Dweller’. He went ‘well give me that watch and I’ll sell the fight’. I went ‘nah, I won’t give you that watch but I’ll tell you what I’ll do. If it does over 300,000 buys this show, I’ll buy you a Rolex sky dweller’.
"And he went ‘alright, deal’. We drove down to Sky for Gloves Are Off – within two minutes, they’d thrown glasses at each other, they were rolling on the floor, biting each other. There’s punches being thrown.
"It done well over 300,000 pay-per-view buys and I bought him a Rolex Sky Dweller. And I think he sold it the next day, but that’s Del Boy."
Chisora and Whyte infamously brawled on Gloves Are Off after the former threw a glass of water in the latter's face. Chisora also threw a table at Whyte during their final presser.
But Whyte got the last laugh in the ring, winning via split decision. The Body Snatcher went on to win their second bout too in December 2018 with an 11th-round knockout.
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- Eddie Hearn
- Dereck Chisora
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