By Johnny Walker
As David Haye nurses his infamous sore toe and begs for a rematch that may not come with Wladimir Klitschko, the United Kingdom is looking on the horizon for its next heavyweight hopeful, for a man who can actually do what Haye only said he was going to do: rule boxing’s heavyweight division.
On July 23, a fight labeled “The Big Brawl,” taking place at Wembley Arena in London, England, will go a long way toward clearing up the heavyweight picture in Great Britain.
The contestants are the current British and Commonwealth heavyweight champion, Dereck “Del Boy” Chisora (14-0, 9 KOs), who puts his titles on the line against the challenger with the best name in boxing, Tyson Fury (14-0, 10 KOs), a 6’9” Irish giant named after Mike Tyson who likes to talk trash, but always with a playful glint in his eye that indicates he doesn’t take himself too seriously. The lead-up to the fight has seen Fury pursuing Chisora at public events, goading him and even getting into a brief altercation with him ringside at a recent UK boxing card.
“I’ve been calling him out since about two fights,” Fury, 23, recently told iFilm London in a video interview. “And they’ve been avoiding me all this time. They only have to fight me now because I’ve pushed them in a corner, mandatory, it’s either vacate his titles or fight. He’s got nowhere else to go. He tried to get a fight with Klitschko, couldn’t, so he has to fight me.”
Fury dismisses Chisora as a pugilistic opportunist who isn’t committed to boxing as a sport in the way he is.
“He says, ‘I don’t get involved in boxing, I don’t watch it, and the belts mean nothing to me.’ Well, he’s just an idiot, really,” Fury chuckles.
“What can you say, he’s not a boxer, he’s not a fighter, it’s a money game to him, it’s like a job or work. For me, it’s more of a family tradition (Fury isn’t kidding: his father was recently jailed for gouging out a man’s eye in a longstanding feud involving a bottle of beer).
“This to me means more than anything I could do with me life,” Fury continues. “In my family, my culture of people, being travellers [basically Irish gypsies], to be a fighting man means more to us than anything money could ever buy. In our culture, fighting is what you do, and that’s what you consider a success, if you’re a good fighting man, you proved [yourself].
“Money’s nothing, people get money and it comes and goes,” Fury contends. “You’re not remembered for having money. There’s not many people who can say ‘I actually achieved something with my life, this is who I am and this is what I stand for,” says the philosophical Fury.
“I don’t fight for money. I fight for me family, me breed of people, and for honor. Like Achilles says, let them fight for politics and all that. I’ll fight for honor.”
As for the current British and Commonwealth champion, Chisora, 27, is as dismissive of Fury as the giant Irishman is of him.
After seeing two scheduled fights with Wladimir Klitschko fall through, due to what must be called a very “coincidental” injury to Wladimir that allowed him to fight Haye instead, Chisora now has a man a decade younger, but even larger than Klitschko, in front of him.
However, he’s not impressed.
“Fury brings a dream, little else, into the ring,” Chisora, who will give away 7-½” in height and close to 20 pounds in the fight, says about his UK rival. “He is a poor man’s version of (Wladimir) Klitschko – upright and robotic. He’s like a tall tree and, like a tree, if you chop away at the trunk the tree will fall,” Chisora recently told Full Court Press.
There is a danger, of course, that Chisora might be feeling a little burned and a tad distracted by the poor showing of his countryman David Haye against the man that “Del Boy” was twice supposed to fight, but he brushes the notion off.
“Boxing is about mental strength,” he says. “The Klitschko chapter was a disappointment twice and very frustrating, but life goes on and my mental strength will not allow it to affect the outcome of this fight. Life is full of disappointments but, you learn to deal with them, and move on. Klitschko owes me a fight. I hope he’s a man of integrity and honors his commitment to me.”
Photo: Action Images / Andrew Couldridge
Chisora also says that Fury’s trash talk hasn’t given the Irishman any kind of mental edge going into “The Big Brawl.”
“His actions haven’t affected me at all, Chisora snorts. “He comes across as someone trying hard to convince himself more than others. Empty vessels make the most noise. I will show everyone that I am the top domestic heavyweight and that Fury isn’t what he thinks. I am the British and Commonwealth Heavyweight Champion and beating Fury will prove that and remove another pretender.”
With the winner likely in line for a title shot against a Klitschko brother in the near future, this is a fight that fans of heavyweight boxing action won’t want to miss.
(“The Big Brawl,” presented by Hennessy Sports, is being distributed in the United States by Integrated Sports Media for live viewing at 3 PM/ET – 12 PM/PT on both cable and satellite pay-per-view via iN Demand, DIRECTV, and Avail-TVN, for a suggested retail price of only $24.95. Check with your PPV provider for same day replay times.)