MUNICH — British heavyweight Dereck Chisora was released Sunday after nearly seven hours of questioning by police following his brawl with former WBA champion David Haye at a post-fight news conference.
A black van carried the boxer and his coach, Don Charles, from police headquarters, speeding past assembled photographers.
“He still faces a charge of simple assault but he is allowed to return to England for now,” police spokesman Gottfried Schlicht told The Associated Press.
Chisora and fellow Londoner Haye came to blows after Chisora’s defeat by unanimous decision to Vitali Klitschko in their WBC title fight.
Charles also faces a charge of assault for his involvement in the melee. Schlicht said more serious charges were reduced when police were unable to apprehend Haye despite searching for the boxer at his hotel.
Chisora and Charles were detained at Munich airport at 10:30 a.m. and taken for questioning to Munich police headquarters. Chisora was initially held on suspicion of assault, causing grievous bodily harm and of making a threat. Chisora was heard vowing to shoot Haye.
“I swear to God, David, I am going to shoot you. I am going to shoot you. I am going to physically shoot David Haye,” Chisora was heard yelling as he claimed Haye hit him with a glass.
Chisora’s promoter Frank Warren called the brawl “ugly, horrible and disgraceful” but said it was not his boxer who threw the first punch.
“It was an embarrassment for British boxing,” Warren told Sky Sports News. “I would say they were total idiots.”
Chisora taunted Haye about losing the WBA belt to Klitschko’s younger brother Wladimir last July, leading to a heated exchange before Chisora knocked a bottle out of Haye’s hand and they 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.
Camera equipment went flying and reporters fled before security eventually managed to separate the men and police arrived at the scene.
“You’ve really lost it this time,” Chisora told Haye.
The 40-year-old Klitschko beat Chisora in a bruising bout in which the Ukrainian said he fought from the fourth round with only his right fist after injuring his left shoulder. Klitschko was examined in a Munich hospital on Sunday and later reported a partially torn ligament in his left shoulder.
“I think we all heard excuses about a broken toe,” Chisora said before the brawl, referring to Haye’s claim after his defeat to Wladimir Klitschko in Germany last July.
Chisora found little support from the sellout crowd of 12,500 after slapping Vitali Klitschko’s face at the weigh-in Friday. The ill feelings continued when he spit water in Wladimir’s face as his brother’s record was being called out before their bout.
“I wanted to knock him out, to be honest,” Vitali Klitschko said. “Such a cheek.”
Wladimir acted as a buffer as Chisora kept goading them.
Vitali was clearly incensed, but it took some time before he could assert control in the ring against the Briton’s aggressive approach. His greater reach and experience made the difference. The judges scored it 118-110, 118-110 and 119-111.
The 28-year-old Chisora said he wanted a rematch, or a bout with Wladimir, who is now the super WBA champion and holds the IBF and minor WBO and IBO belts. The younger Klitschko is to fight next against Jean-Marc Mormeck of France on March 3 in Duesseldorf, Germany.
But the British fighter was not optimistic about a rematch.
“He won’t fight me again. I don’t blame you. I wouldn’t fight me, either,” he said.
Klitschko improved his record to 44-2 (40 KOs) after what was perhaps the toughest bout he’s had to endure since losing on a technical knockout to Lennox Lewis in 2003.
The Zimbabwe-born Chisora dropped to 15-3 (9 KOs) after his third defeat in his last four fights, but he had the fans in Munich’s Olympiahalle worried as Klitschko appeared to tire from his relentless attacks.
Klitschko eventually took control in the ninth round, catching Chisora with a huge right and seemingly picking his punches at will. Chisora was barely hanging on in the 10th.
“He tried it all, but apart from a few grazes I didn’t get anything more,” Klitschko said.