MR PENDLE: Was the Chisora-Haye boxing confrontation a fix?

the thorny subject of elected mayors is making the news once again, with elections in as many as 11 of Britain’s biggest cities being fast-tracked by the Government to November.

Voters in the cities are to have their say on whether they want an elected mayor or not, but the whole idea seems such a muddle to Mr Pendle that he wonders if it is worth all the fuss and bother.

The Prime Minister is all for it, arguing that stronger voices can help rejuvenate cities by encouraging private enterprise and job creation.

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But many Tories fear the move could lead to the election of Labour Mayors in the north, and Communities Secretary Eric Pickles - the man responsible for local government - is said to be unenthusiastic.

Supporters of elected mayors argue that many people know the name of the Mayor of London but cannot name city council leaders.

But that can be countered by saying both Boris Johnson and Ken Livingstone before him are colourful and larger than life characters who regularly catch the headlines and who technically are or have been in charge of England’s capital city and whose names should therefore be common knowledge to everyone in the country.

Will we be able to say the same of a person elected as Mayor of Wakefield or Colchester - just two of the cities on the list of 11 - should they ever come to hold the post?

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Mr Pendle would say not - and the prospect of having more ballot papers to fill in is more likely to put people off voting that encourage them through the polling station doors.

ANYONE watching the tawdry press conference after Saturday’s world heavyweight boxing bout in which British fighters Dereck Chisora and David Haye became involved in both verbal and physical fisticuffs cannot have helped but wonder - how much of it fixed beforehand?

The threats by Chisora to burn and shoot Haye all have the taste of boxing hype, in the same way Haye wore T-shirts bearing the decapitated heads of the undisputed kings of the division, the Klitschko brothers last year.

Both men have now failed to overcome one of the Klitschkos - so what better way for them to set the promotion bandwagon for a bout rolling than by having a bust-up in front of the TV cameras?

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The problem is the pair have dragged a sport already with one foot in the gutter down into the sewers. A fight between the two would only make matters worse.

The British Boxing Board of Control ought to take one look at the pictures of the press conference before revoking Chisora’s licence and refusing any application from the recently retired Haye for a new one.