Derek Chisora best fights. On Saturday, Derek Chisora, who has been waiting a long time for a rematch with Kubrat Pulev, will finally return to the ring.
Pulev won the European heavyweight title by a split decision over the veteran in May 2016.
A world heavyweight title fight against Anthony Joshua was Pulev’s next target. Although Chisora has been out of the ring for a decade, he has become one of British boxing’s most popular stars because of a string of dramatic fights against some of the top heavyweights in the world.
The elder Klitschko successfully defended his WBC championship against Chisora by a wide unanimous decision, according to Boxrec.com. After two rounds with two judges and the third round with a third card were completed, the challenger was declared the winner. Contrary to many people’s assumptions, however, Chisora proved that night that he belonged at the top of the game. For 36 minutes, he had Klitschko work really hard, as is customary for him. It was a well-earned triumph, but not a routine one for the veteran champion.
Due to his theatrics before the bout, including slapping Klitschko and spitting water in Wladimir Klitschko’s eyes, Chisora did little to win over Klitschko. If he’d been knocked out and outmatched like the bulk of Klitschko’s opponents since his bruising defeat to Lennox Lewis in 2003, he’d be the latest unsuccessful ‘bad boy’ in boxing. As a result of the fight and the post-fight press conference, everyone was eager to see what Derek had in store for the rest of his career.
Despite the British Boxing Board of Control (BBBofC) revocation of their licenses following their bout in Munich, Chisora and Haye were allowed to fight at Upton Park stadium in 2012, courtesy of the Luxembourg Boxing Federation. Chisora’s performance as the underdog continued a trend that would be repeated multiple times in his career, as he stifled Haye in the first four rounds.
However, he was stopped for the first time in his career in the fifth round after being floored twice by the former cruiserweight and heavyweight king of the world.
The Gypsy King’s winning streak came to an end in a rematch with Tyson Fury, who showed glimpses of his true talent in an impressive performance. With the exception of his defeat to Pulev, Chisora spent the next few years on undercards and in boxing backwaters.
Prior to facing Dillian Whyte on the undercard of Anthony Joshua’s dominant title defense against John Molina, he had won five straight fights against lesser-known opponents. The BBBofC revoked its sanction for the fight after Chisora infamously hurled a table at Whyte during the last press conference, sparking a social media dispute between the two.
The Whyte rematch didn’t happen right away, and Chisora lost momentum by losing to Agit Kabayel, which continued a cursed association with the European title for the British boxer. Against former world title challenger Carlos Takam, he was fighting for his life on the undercard of Dillian Whyte’s fight with Joseph Parker.
Takam swarmed around Chisora throughout the fight and landed a big right hand in round six before his fellow veteran came charging back off the ropes just before the final bell. The O2 Arena erupted in applause, revealing how a once-divisive person had become a cult icon. Chisora gave them exactly what they wanted in the eighth round. An overhand right dropped Takam to the canvas after a grueling, back-and-forth seventh. He awoke sluggishly, but Chisora delivered a second dose for a sensational KO victory in the second round.
Chisora finally received the Whyte return after defeating Takam, but he was knocked out by a devastating round-11 uppercut. It was followed by a point victory over Senad Gashi before a return to one of Whyte’s undercards against Artur Szpilka, a former opponent of Deontay Wilder.
Chisora knocked out Wilder in two rounds which it took him nine to do. Szpilka was knocked off his feet near the ropes by a massive right hook before he was beaten limply to the floor. Chisora’s win over David Price was a highlight reel triumph, and he’ll now face Oleksandr Usyk. He lost on points to the superb Ukrainian, as he had twice before against Parker — the first time more contentiously than the second. Even while each of his losses was well-earned, a decisive victory over Pulev is needed to retain boxing’s most unexpected box office draw atop the food chain.