Forget about those two loudmouths in London, Sportsmail is in Vegas for a proper bout starring… King Khan
22:57 GMT, 11 July 2012
The next potentially stunning contribution to this gala summer for British sport will take place here on Saturday night.
One week after Andy Murray gallantly failed to go the distance with Wimbledon's most decorated champion, Amir Khan challenges an unbeaten American for a major world title.
Earlier the same evening, back home in East London, two loud-mouthed heavies who have disgraced our country will resume the ugly and demeaning brawl they started on a bar-room floor in Munich.
Real deal: British star Khan is going after Garcia's world title in Las Vegas
The chasm between these two events stretches far, far wider than the 5,324 miles which separate Las Vegas from Upton Park.
Khan is boxing for his British homeland, for his Pakistani descent and for his personal pride as well as for a decent purse. With the emphasis on decent.
David Haye and Dereck Chisora are fighting only for the money. With the accent on grubby. It is reported that Haye will bank in excess of 2 million, with Chisora pocketing around half a million.
Farce: Haye will face Chisora at Upton Park on Saturday night
Such lavish rewarding of such shameful behaviour is as obscene in its way as the millions plundered by bankers like Bob Diamond from the wreckage of the economy and the lives they have ruined.
Khan conducts himself in a manner befitting a sportsman whose place in Britain's pantheon of Olympic heroes is secure.
The marketing of Chisora and Haye as two animals needing to be kept apart by a wire fence until they are set upon each other in the vicinity of the new Olympic Park casts a dark shadow over the approaches to London 2012.
Fortunately the Games start soon enough for that stain to be quickly expunged. Degeneration comes before regeneration.
Fallen giant: Haye is favourite to be Chisora in Saturday's bout which hasn't be licenced by the BBBC
It is Sin City which has the reputation for selling sleaze but Khan's tryst with Philadelphia's Danny Garcia is a reputable contest for at least one, perhaps two, of the world light-welterweight championship belts.
It is Olympia which brings together the young people of the world in athletic harmony but which is being subjected to the tackiest of preludes to its latest grand opening.
Haye v Chisora is being billed as the fight everyone wants to see, yet nobody was talking about seeing it before they waded into each like thugs in a back alley. Now some people do want to see it.
Just as some people would go to watch a hanging if we brought back capital punishment. Just as some people enjoy cock-fighting and bear-baiting. Just as some people slow down when they pass the scene of a car crash in the vicarious expectation of seeing something tragic. But not everyone.
Feeling the heat: Khan putting in the final preparations in the warm surroundings of Las Vegas
Freddie Roach, Amir Khan's renowned trainer, says: 'There's no public interest in that fight here in America.'
Nor can we know for sure how much excitement it really is generating in Britain until the subscription numbers are in for the BoxNation television channel on which it will be broadcast.
Haye and Chisora are fighting only for the money. With the accent on grubby.
When this grisly match was made I was among those who questioned its morality.
'So you won't be reporting it then,' I was asked rhetorically. 'Well,' I replied, 'journalists don't always cover what they like. We're not too fond of wars but someone has to write about them. So it will be my job to go if there is nothing better to do at the time.' Happily, something decidedly preferable did come up.
Instead of watching Chisora and Haye snarl, scowl and savage each other – which is what they are threatening – we have a championship boxing match to go to and thanks goodness the sports editor of the Daily Mail deemed it preferable to have me fly to Las Vegas rather drive to West Ham's football ground.
But then he is an aficionado of the sweet science, not bear-baiting. Haye-Chisora has been described – even on occasion by the participants – as a freak show or circus. It is also a pantomime, albeit more in the vein of a black comedy in which the villains are not so much laughable as menacing. Watch out, they will be behind you. Especially if you keep your wallet in your back pocket.
The real deal: Khan will be keen to bounce back from his controversial bout against Peterson
As for the circus analogy, I always found the clowns a bit scary. When this pair were lurching around that room in Germany women in attendance were terrified.
Now, in the confines of the ring, they will try to put the wind up each other. The bookmakers are convinced Haye will be the more successful at that.
If his skills have not been rusted by a year of inaction since he made a mug of himself against Wladimir Klitschko – and if he still has the appetite for a fight after all that partying here in on the Vegas Strip – they will be proved right.
At something approaching his best Haye is too fast and gifted for Chisora. But not all the good judges agree.
Roach says: 'Haye is a friend but Chisora has a good chance. Sorry, David, but he put up a better fight against Vitali Klitschko than you did against Wladimir.'
What cannot be quantified by the turf accountants is not how much harm they will do to each other but what damage might be inflicted on boxing.
The convolutions of the lawyers notwithstanding – and there is nothing illegal about this – it cannot be good for the game to have a fight sanctioned in London by the Luxembourg Federation in defiance of the disapproval of the British Boxing Board of Control.
Neither Chisora nor Haye are licensed to fight by their home association. Those on the bill who do have BBB of C permits have been told they will be summoned to explain themselves.
The Luxembourgers are threatened with expulsion from the European Boxing Union if this fight goes ahead. The regulation of this dangerous sport is fragmented around the world but authority is better than anarchy.
Roach says: 'I understand that all the publicity has whipped up interest over there but – sorry again David – the fight doesn't appear to be happening for the right reasons.'
Scandal is the mother of rejection. Perhaps the best that can come out of this carry-on is that fans who tune in on Saturday night will stay up to watch Khan on Sky in the early hours of Sunday morning.
And for a few of us over here, better to be in the 115 F heat of the Nevada desert than under storm-tossed skies in England.