By: Oliver McManus
Saturday night sees Derek Chisora and Joseph Parker collide in a heavyweight clash topping a slightly questionable UK pay-per-view card. The twelve rounder, with no title attached, is the result of a heavyweight waiting game involving Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury with additional cameos from Joe Joyce, Oleksandr Usyk and Dillian Whyte.
As a result, we’re left with a disparate array of former champions, old-timers and prospects looking to stay in the mix but with very few viable options to keep them busy. Hence we have Chisora vs Parker.
The fight itself doesn’t exactly set pulses racing, certainly not at £19.95, but it certainly intrigues. Not least because two or three years ago you’d have struggled to make a credible case for Chisora beating Joseph Parker yet, just days away from the fight, it’s hard to confidently assert who will win.
Chisora, against all reasonable logic, has maintained his status as a potential bogeyman: a modern day gatekeeper, if you will. At 37, he’s capable of picking up explosive stoppages against the likes of David Price and Artur Szpilka, thereby retaining his relevance in a depleted division – but has a knack of lackluster against the bigger names.
Sure he did better against Oleksandr Usyk than many expected but it’s hard to say he had the Ukrainian in any real bother: and certainly not consistently.
Joseph Parker, meanwhile, was the feel-good boxer of lockdown thanks to his ingenious social media videos. There wasn’t much to feel good about in his last outing, though, as he laboured to a points win over Junior Fa. The former WBO world champion should have been a class above his former amateur rival – Fa has struggled to make his mark as a professional – but looked sluggish and reluctant to loosen up.
He was a shadow of the man that had Dillian Whyte on the ropes and staring down the barrel of defeat. To his credit, he has linked up with the fantastic Andy Lee and you’d hope that will spark some life back into him.
Who wins? You’d have to say the sensible money is with Parker. If Chisora wins it’ll be a statement on how far diminished the Kiwi has become as opposed to anything else.