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David Haye backs Finchley boxer Dereck Chisora to bounce back from defeat
David Haye has backed Finchley boxer Dereck Chisora to become a champion again despite sending him to the first stoppage defeat of his career.
The heavyweight fighter suffered a dramatic fifth round defeat on Saturday night in front of more than 30,000 fans at Upton Park. Chisora and Haye built up a fierce rivalry which was sparked by their brawl in Germany back in February.
This controversy led to Chisora losing his British licence and the fight was sanctioned by the Luxembourg Boxing Federation.
But the boxers, whose antics created huge hype heading into the British showdown, hugged following their enthralling contest at West Ham in an unexpected show of respect between the pair.
Haye said: "There was a lot of beef beforehand, we put our lives on the line in there but credit to Dereck Chisora. I believe he will go on to great things.
Chisora has one of the best chins I've hit. I was hitting him with shots that would normally put people away - but he kept coming.
"I didn't give him much respect before the fight but that is the way boxing is. He gave me a lot harder night than I anticipated. I thought the fight would be over in a couple of rounds.
"If I had turned up in the shape I was against John Ruiz then I may not even have won the fight. I had to dig deep in there and I had to do what good fighters do to win. I didn't think he was as good as that but he raised his game out there."
The 28-year-old had never been knocked down prior to the weekend's clash but a series of devastating blows from Haye forced him on to the canvas in the fifth round. Chisora bravely got up but his open stance gave Haye enough room to finish him off in the last seconds of the round.
Chisora, who paid £20,000 to Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children after losing a bet with Haye, insisted he will be back in the ring despite suffering his fourth defeat in the last five fights.
'Del Boy' said: "That was a great fight. I got caught, I don't know what with, but it was a great shot. This is boxing - there has to be one winner. I will come back."
It is unclear what immediately lies ahead for Chisora but unbeaten British heavyweight David Price, who attended Saturday night's contest, has admitted a bout would appeal to him.
Price told BBC Sport: "I want to fight the best fighters and Chisora is one of the best in Britain and would be a good test for me. A fight with Chisora would create interest and if the fans wanted to see it, I'd be happy to take part."
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