BY PHILIP H. ANSELMO
There is a fight of interest in the heavyweight division on the horizon that does not contain the name “Klitschko”. On July 23rd, massive Tyson Fury (14-0, 10 KO’s) will be challenging Dereck Chisora (14-0, 9 KO’s) for Chisora’s BBB of C and Commonwealth Heavyweight laurels at Wembley Arena in London.
The Chisora-Fury fight is a battle that sports more flamboyant characters than the average heavyweight clash of rising prospects. The 6-9” Fury is not only a big man, but he’s a boisterous, brash talker, who so far has backed-up his words and raw, unpolished style with victories. He’s constantly called Chisora out, especially of late. Fury’s obsession at becoming the #1 man in Britain is enthusiastic and audibly believable, and he seems absolutely convinced he can beat Chisora. If Tyson comes into this fight in the best shape of his life, his sheer size and determination could prove a tough task for Dereck to sort out. It isn’t clear if Fury will be working with HOF trainer Emanuel Steward before this fight, but if he is, it will only help his chances. If not, then there are, and will be question marks as to who he is working with, and how much preparation he’s put in.
The 6-1” Chisora is a hulking man in his own right, and his seemingly unflappable, yet less eloquent brand of confidence cannot be taken lightly. When Dereck had what looked like a shot at World Heavyweight Champ Wladimir Klitschko a few months back, he showed nothing but eerie confidence. Alas, the fight fell through. Still, Chisora’s stoic optimism was overwhelmingly on display during the bereft press conferences and face-to-face situations with the champ. Some sources close to Team Klitschko have said that Dereck may have even spooked Wlad out of the fight with his demeanor, and I know first hand that Emanuel Steward never liked the fight. In fact, at the time when the (now realized) David Haye fight was hanging in the balance, Steward felt the risk in facing Chisora was; well, very “risky” to say the least. Personally, I think Emanuel was more worried about Wlad’s being “up” for a fight with Chisora, especially with Haye waiting in the wings.
At any rate, it is very tough to gage this fight because the previous competition between the 2-combatants has been minimal to say the least. In truth, the list of dispatched victims between both men combined leaves huge question marks leading into this bout.
Both guys have feasted on domestic British opposition. Chisora has the slightly better pedigree having knocked-out the ghost of Danny Williams, but that fight can’t be taken in full seriousness. Williams had definitely seen better days and looked older than his years heading into the Chisora fight. Dereck can’t be blamed though, and he did what a true contender had to do in the fight; he knocked Williams out quick-like. It can be argued that Chisora’s toughest test was vs. former PRIZEFIGHTER/and Commonwealth (British Empire) Champ Sam Sexton, but Dereck KO’d him twice- (TKO 6) in 2008 in a battle of the unbeaten, then in his last fight (TKO 9) in 2010 in a tougher contested affair.
Fury’s derivation goes no further than his two fights with tough-but-limited John McDermott. Fury was very lucky indeed to escape the 1st of their two meetings with a decision win in 2009 for the BBB of C English title. In truth, this fight could’ve gone either way. But Fury sealed the deal in their rematch just short of a year later, when he stopped McDermott brutally in the 9th-round of another slightly-sloppy-but-excellent scrap, securing the then-vacant English title but again.
At first glance, Tyson seems the rawer of the two, but his desire to win and improve each time out is impressive. Chisora is mechanically the better boxer, but he has not faced a man as physically big and willfully determined as Fury. And make no mistake; Fury most definitely hasn’t faced a boxer quite like Chisora either.
If Chisora loses, he’ll have to feel gutted. It would be tough on his psyche, especially after showing the boxing world the balls it takes as he promoted the ill-fated match with Wladimir Klitschko. However, it’s possible all the testosterone in Chisora would dry up after (hypothetically) getting kicked into oblivion by Fury, an up-and-comer who is as of yet a project-in-the-making. A victory for Fury would be sure to eclipse Chisora’s high ranking as well.
A loss for Fury would be equally as devastating, if not more. If Fury goes out on his shield, the repercussions may not be as bad. Remember, he’s in his very-early twenties. There’s plenty of room for rebound. But a loss via the way of KO would be tough to come back from. The reason why I say this is because Tyson Fury is like the original version of “Iron” Mike Tyson (don’t laugh!) in one specific way: He has no idea how to lose, or can fathom the possibility. He has told me directly that in sparring, he has the psychological edge over Robert Helenius and he beats the heck out of him. That’s a pretty impressive and bold statement figuring many boxing insiders believe that Helenius could possibly take over the heavyweight throne after the Klitschko brothers hang ‘em up. A loss could (and probably would) damage his confidence permanently.
Which way am I leaning? Again, that’s tough…
I’m going with the guy with the larger desire and overall aspirations. And right now, that fighter is Tyson Fury. His punch output and power are enough to keep Chisora honest all night long. His confidence seems the genuine article, and as Emanuel Steward always says, “A determined man is a dangerous man”. I think if the going gets rough, Fury has the bottle to pull it out.
But this is a fight that could expose the big fellow as well. If Chisora lands a flush shot on Fury’s chin, and Fury crumbles to the canvas in a heap, then my underestimated assessment of Chisora’s will to win goes out the window. Technically, Fury in inept in the defensive department. His head movement is nil, and he squares-up his body too much. He has faster-than-advertised handspeed, but his chin is there to be hit.
And it could happen. That’s what makes this fight very intriguing; the best man WILL win.
Enjoy the fight!
ALSO: Word has it that WBA/WBO/IBO/IBF Heavyweight Champ Wladimir Klitschko is eyeing the potential winner of this fight as his next opponent after dispatching David Haye. From what I gathered, Wladimir would like to end his career with something better than a tedious decision win- an emphatic knockout.
If it’s Fury, there’ll be no doubt about the intrigue the fight will garner because of the sheer size of both guys, mixed with both men’s association with Steward. Fury could also possibly be an excellent antagonist, a la David Haye, but the common association may negate too much trash-talk. If this fight were to actually happen, I’d question Fury’s readiness to meet Wladimir at such a young age, and with his lack of experience. It would be interesting to see two big fighters in the ring, especially if Tyson plays the bad guy. He can do it. His loquacious attacks and tough-guy demeanor are enough to ruffle anyone’s feathery egos. Whatever his choice of lead-up, I still say he’s in too deep vs. Wlad, and he would eventually drown.
If it’s Chisora who ends up being next to meet the champ, and depending on how he potentially handles Fury, there will be a feeling of unfinished business. With their 1st-two announced fights being called-off, and Emanuel Steward’s dislike of the fight itself leaving a disquieting residue scalding the lead-up, one has to wonder if Wlad will be up for the winner, especially if it’s Chisora. In a way, Chisora can be harkened to a slightly smaller, young version of Hasim Rahman. Chisora is thickly-built, and his punches are solid. His power can concuss any man he hits cleanly. In Rahman’s case, it only took one punch to wipeout a disinterested Lennox Lewis. Don’t think Emanuel isn’t thinking that very thing, if put under the circumstances. An un-motivated Klitschko headed into a fight with Chisora would be too eerily similar for the old master, so don’t expect it. Wladimir will have learned through history, and will come into this fight in top shape, no doubt. Lets just hope he lets his hands go (this time), instead of looking to KO his opponent with a single shot.
For those who still care about the heavyweight division after this much-criticized past weekend as I do, the drama that unfolds during and after Chisora and Fury meet will be interesting either way.
Bring it on!