Up until yesterday’s face slapping the biggest controversy in the run up to Dereck Chisora’s fight with Vitali Klitschko in Munich tonight was the Ukrainian’s promotion team banning the Zimbabwe-born British fighter from having the theme tune from Only Fools And Horses as his walk-in music.
An apt choice seeing as only fools and horses seem to believe he has any chance of wresting the WBC crown from the better of the Klitschko brothers. And Over The Line is not sure the horses are even that confident.
The slap to the face Chisora delivered as the two fighters faced off for the cameras surprised Vitali, apparently. We can’t dismiss the possibility that this was a pre-arranged stunt and Vitali is good enough actor to make it believable but at the very least it was a pre-meditated act from Chisora with the intent of whipping up a little more interest in the fight. It has worked too.
Chisora was originally pencilled in to fight Wladimir Klitschko in December of 2010 but it was first delayed because of an injury to the lesser Klitschko and then cancelled altogether to allow Wlad to fight David Haye. At the time Chisora, though unbeaten, had just 14 professional fights to his name. Many a question was raised about how worthy he was of a title shot. He’s lost two of his three fights, something which hasn’t seemed to damage this worthiness.
Being a British fighter taking on a Klitschko, it’s inevitable that comparisons are going to be made with David Haye but Chisora is clearly a very different character. Whilst Haye came to press conferences with t-shirts depicting decapitated Klitschkos and talking of death and disrespect, up until the publicity generating slap, Chisora’s MO has been blowing kisses and calling them ‘plonkers’. He’s a genuine, likable character who isn’t in boxing to simply chisel out as much money as he can and feed his own ego, like some fighters. Not mentioning any other names. David Haye. Okay, we mentioned one.
There’s much to like about Dereck Chisora except for his chances in this fight. Here are some hard facts. Vitali Klitschko has lost just twice in 45 fights. The first was due to a shoulder injury he suffered against Chris Byrd in 2000. The second came against Lennox Lewis, when the fight was stopped because of an horrific cut over Vitali’s right eye. Vitali was ahead on all three cards at the time and Lennox duly retired to avoid a rematch. Forty knock-outs from 43 fights is a fearsome record and Vitali Klitschko is probably the only current fighter who could have challenged champions from the more golden eras of heavyweight boxing.
There’s an old adage in boxing about having a puncher’s chance and Dereck Chisora, who possesses a decent left hand, has that at least. The Over The Line team wishes him all the best and as long as he can contribute to an entertaining fight he’ll be a winner in our eyes. Okay, maybe not a winner, but certainly not a bullshit artist who talks the talk but refuses to fight the fight. Not mentioning any names. See above. If the slapping of the champion was genuinely impulsive and unprepared then maybe Chisora isn’t really all there. Against a fighter like Vitali Klitshcko that may not be a bad thing. Some experts would say you’d have to be crazy to think he can win but what if he really is the crazy one?