By Ezio Prapotnich.
At the beginning of this year, Derek Chisora (14-1, 9 ko’s) was the British and Commonwealth Heavyweight champion and training to fight Wladimir Klitschko for the ultimate prize in sport. Being stood up twice by the Ukrainian after two hard training camps, he lost his domestic titles on points to mandatory challenger Tyson Fury in August. He makes his return to the ring in a non title bout against former Southern Area champion Lanre Olubamiwo, also coming back from a loss, on the undercard of Gladiators, Frank Warren’s next event headlined by Ricky Burns challenge for the WBO Interim Lightweight title against Michael Katsidis, which will take place at Wembley Arena on Saturday the 5th of November. It sounds like a wiser and more mature Derek, compared to the spirited trash talker ready to shock the world we met before, but not less ambitious…
BOXINGINSIDER: What went wrong in the fight with Fury? Are you seeking a rematch anytime soon?
DEREK CHISORA: I did train hard but, at the time, there were other things in my boxing career I wasn’t happy about and my mind wasn’t right. We will meet again at one point but he is not the top of my priorities right now.
BoxingInsider.com: What did you learn from defeat?
DEREK CHISORA: It changed the way I train. I am not doing weights and working on power anymore. I am doing cardio 24/7 and focusing on my fitness. I will be in perfect shape for this fight. But, most importantly, this loss made me hungry again and gave me the will to bounce back. I am genuinely excited about getting back in the ring.
BoxingInsider.com: How do you perceive Olubamiwo? Is this just a tune up fight for you or do you rate him as a serious opponent?
DEREK CHISORA: Every opponent and every fight are serious. Especially at heavyweight level, where a single shot can close the show.
BoxingInsider.com: Is this a do or die fight for you?
DEREK CHISORA: I don’t think that one or two losses would end my career or make me a bad fighter. Some of the greatest fighters in history had their defeats but were able to come back. That said, I am focused and, of course, I mean to win.
BoxingInsider.com: What will be your next step if you get past Lanre? Are you still targeting Klitschko?
DEREK CHISORA: Obviously, I aim for bigger things. My sights are on Alexander Povetkin. I am ready to fight him anywhere, Germany or even Russia. I do not consider him a genuine champion but taking his belt would be a stepping stone to get me back into serious elite contention.
BoxingInsider.com: What about upcoming prospects like Wach and Helenius, or European champion Dimitrenko? Would you not fancy a fight with any of them?
DEREK CHISORA: Those types of fighters do not bring excitement. They all train and fight one way, can only box on the front foot and don’t move sideways. They make for a boring, almost robotic fight.
BoxingInsider.com: Do you see anything more interesting on the other side of the ocean?
DEREK CHISORA: There are no American Heavyweights at the moment. Those who were picked by the Klitschkos in the past two or three years were only after a payday.
BoxingInsider.com: Do you have any comment on David Hayes’ retirement from boxing?
DEREK CHISORA: Well, he stayed true to his word and I wish him all the best for his personal life and his acting career.
BoxingInsider.com: Do you have your own deadline for retirement?
DEREK CHISORA: I do have a very precise plan for my career and I will let everybody know before the end of the year, but I don’t want to talk about that now. All there is on my mind is the fight ahead of me.
BoxingInsider.com: Is there anything you want to tell our readers?
DEREK CHISORA: Come to Wembley on November 5th or tune in on BoxNation and enjoy the fight.
Tickets for Gladiators-Burns vs Katsidis are £150 ringside, £100/70 floor, £50/40 tier and can be purchased on www.frankwarren.tv The whole card will be also broadcasted live on BoxNation (Sky channel 456).