By: Hans Themistode
For long-time heavyweight journeymen Dereck Chisora, he appeared only moments away bagging the biggest win of his career and moving from perpetual gatekeeper to certified contender.
Heading into his showdown against former world champion Joseph Parker, Chisora believed his man would fold the moment he felt his power. He almost proved to be Nostradamus as Parker hit the deck within the first ten seconds of the opening round. While he quickly rose back to his feet, Chisora jumped all over him. Not appearing to have his legs completely underneath him, Parker opted to move away from the looping right hands of Chisora.
With round one safely in the bag for Chisora, he followed up his momentum with an aggressive round two. The British native pounded away at the body of Parker and found a home for a deceptive left hand over the top. Parker, on the other hand, was visibly rattled. The former titlist struggled with both the timing and physicality of Chisora and had little to no answers. But while Parker was constantly on the wrong end of an early offensive onslaught, Chisora was slowing down.
The lumbering heavyweight breathed deeply in between rounds as he listened to the instructions given to him in his corner. With a chance to steal a bit of momentum, Parker wasted no time. He pushed out a consistent jab that snapped Chisora’s head back and snuck in a few powerful right hooks that, at least momentarily, stopped him right in his tracks.
As the midway point of their contest rolled by, Chisora was still presumably ahead. Yet, the aggression he displayed early on became less and less apparent. He traded in body shots and hooks to the head for grappling on the inside as he attempted to catch his second wind. Luckily for Chisora, he got what he was looking for as began pushing the pace once again in round eight. Refusing to be outworked for a second time, Parker fired back with several hard shots of his own and towards the end of the round, appeared to hurt the 37-year-old Chisora.
As the championship rounds came around, Chisora was unquestionably dead tired. His high work rate slowed to a crawl as he simply defended himself while walking into big shots. Parker, while tired himself, responded well to the final few rounds. He bounced on his toes as if to say he had plenty left in the tank and landed his left hand at will.
With everything seemingly on the table in the 12th and final round, Parker went for it, hurting Chisora on several occasions as he finished strong. Still, with the early lead Chisora built, the British product believed he did more than enough to bring home the biggest win of his career. Unfortunately for him, however, the second-half surge of Parker edged him over the finish line via split decision.
Despite another loss plastered to Chisora’s resume and regardless of his age inching towards 40, the long-time veteran isn’t keen on ending his career anytime soon.
“I’m getting upset now,” said Chisora following his defeat. “I bring everything and this is the treatment I get from boxing? I think they don’t like me but you know what? I won’t let them slow me down. No way, I will go again.”