Eddie Hearn goes directly toe to toe with his promotional rival, Frank Warren, as Dillian Whyte and Dereck Chisora renew old rivalries this Saturday night at the O2 Arena in London.
It’s a far from ideal scenario for fight fans, as this Sky Sports Box Office offering is pitched against Warren’s BT Sport Box Office bonanza in Manchester at the same time. The sell for the main event in Greenwich, is the golden ticket to meet Anthony Joshua at Wembley Stadium in April 2019 in a challenge for multiple portions of Heavyweight gold. Here is the preview and prediction for a rematch of a 2016 classic.
Dillian Whyte (24-1, KO17) v Dereck Chisora (29-8, KO21) II – 12 Rounds, Heavyweight
While Antony Joshua cruises into 2019 off the back of his September win against Alexander Povetkin, the chasing pack are all jockeying to be his dance partner for an April 2019 date at Wembley Stadium. Over in America, Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller is certainly talking a good game, and Luis Ortiz quietly goes about his work as the chairman of the who needs him club. In the UK, the favourite for the gig at the Nartional Stadium has long been Dillian Whyte. While Whyte waits for a shot at a World Title, as the number one ranked contender with the WBC and WBO, he has to settle for a rematch with Dereck Chisora in a pay per view main event.
Whyte has, of course, already faced Joshua once before. After a win over “AJ” in the amateur code, he faced Joshua for the British and Commonwealth Titles in December 2015. Whyte gave as good as he got in the early going, but his tanked emptied, and Joshua caught up with him to drop the Jamaican born Brixton man with a lethal uppercut in round seven, with the fight being waved off.
This remains Whyte’s only career reverse. He rebounded ten months later to win the British Title, forcing Ian Lewison to retire on his stool after ten rounds. Two months later came the Chisora fight at the Manchester Arena. Many expected it to be a straightforward assignment for Whyte, but Chisora dragged him into a dog fight where both men were wobbled and hurt. It was a fight that could have gone either way, but Dillian prevailed by a thin split decision.
Chisora wanted an immediate chance of redemption, but has had to wait two years for the opportunity. Whyte showcased himself in America, beating Malcolm Tann in three rounds in August 2017, and then dominating Robert Helenius in a wide points win in Cardiff to pick up the WBC Silver Title.
This was a ranking booster with the WBC, and Whyte cemented his position at the top of their tree by knocking out former WBA Champion, Lucas Browne cold at the O2 in March. In truth Browne was badly out of shape, and Whyte took full advantage. This set up a Box Office offering against former WBO Champion Joseph Parker in July. In an entertaining fight, the New Zealander was down in rounds two and nine, but rallied to drop, and nearly stop Whyte in the last, but time beat him. Whyte took a unanimous verdict to pick up the WBO International Title to put him number one with them too.
He now takes the Chisora fight as a stop gap, while he attempts to gate crash world level. He first has to look good in dispatching his old foe.
Dereck Chisora is Mr unpredictable, and if the best version of him turns up, he is more than capable of derailing Whyte’s grand plans for 2019.
He became British Champion in 2010 by stopping Danny Williams in two rounds at Upton Park, but lost his unbeaten record a year later, when soundly outpointed by a certain Tyson Fury at Wembley Arena. This was the beginning of a slump for the Zimbabwe born, Finchley man, and after a routine rust shedding win, he dropped a disputed split decision in Robert Helenius’ Finland back yard in a challenge for the European Title. His stock didn’t drop however, as a call to challenge for the WBC Title came, against the dominant Champion, Vitali Klitschko. Chisora gave his all, and was impressive in a wide points defeat. The fight though will best be remembered for the post fight antics, for all the wrong reasons.
Chisora and David Haye became embroiled in an ugly brawl, and this lead to them meeting each other at Upton Park in July 2012. As a result of the ugliness prior, The British Boxing Board of Control refused to sanction their bout, instead, the Luxembourg Boxing Board stepped in. Haye eventually settled the grudge with an emphatic fifth round knockout victory. Bizarrely, Haye now acts as Chisora’s manager under the Hayemaker banner.
Instead of calling it quits, Chisora impressively rebuilt. He stopped touted Malik Scott in six, and then picked up the European Title by stopping Edmund Gerber in five in September 2013. He carried this form on by stopping Ondrej Pala in three, and then easily defeated Kevin Johnson on points.
This paved the way for a rematch with Tyson Fury in November 2014. Chisora looked disinterested and unfit, and was pulled out at the end of ten rounds. He carried on again, and, after five wins against low level opposition, he pushed Kubrat Pulev close in defeat for the European Title in Germany in May 2016. Two fights later came the Whyte reverse, but again Chisora excelled in defeat. He again attempted a rebuild, but was undone again in a European Title challenge, against the much hungrier Agit Kabayel. Chisora struggled to deal with Kabayel’s movement, and lost a majority decision in the lavish surroundings of Monte Carlo.
So we now arrive at what is surely the last version of Dereck Chisora. An easy knockout comeback win in March was the pre curser to a win that would catapult him back into the Heavyweight reckoning. In his last outing, on the same bill as Whyte v Parker, Chisora’s career looked to be finally being laid to rest against the tough Cameroonian, Carlos Takam. Seemingly well behind, Chisora turned the fight on its head in the eighth when he uncorked two monster right hands to save his skin. The first dropped Takam, and the second detonated on his chin to knock him out. Cue jubilant scenes at the O2, and “Del Boy” was suddenly back as a player in the Heavyweight division.
He’ll look to make further inroads, and ruin any Heavyweight Title plans his rival has, this weekend.
For me, this fight hinges on what versions of each fighter turns up. If an out of shape Chisora turns up, he loses, simple as that. But if the version that pushed Whyte to the wire two years ago is in London, he has a real chance. The same is true of Whyte. He has had occasions where he looks sluggish and disinterested, but I think this won’t be the case this Saturday, as both men know they went to hell and back in their original meeting.
Whyte is more the fresher, and I feel that even though the fight will be entertaining, and some rocky moments will be experienced by both, Whyte should have enough in his locker to negate Chisora’s ferocious work rate, to potentially finish Chisora’s career for good. I think Whyte can halt brave Dereck in the tenth.