By Ezio Prapotnich
As it turns out, size does matter but it’s not just size alone that enabled Tyson Fury (15-0, 10 ko’s) to strip Derek Chisora (14-1, 9 ko’s) of his British and Commonwealth Heavyweight belts. From the start, it was evident that Derek had a precise game plan to which he stuck throughout the fight: to nullify Tyson’s reach advantage by closing the gap between them. It failed not just because it narrowed his offense to one single weapon, left or right hook, but because, much to his credit, Fury was effective fighting close with short punches in combinations. Even though he did not have enough room to put all his weight behind them, those shots where still scoring points in his favour and their accumulation eventually wore his opponent out.
Right from the start, Chisora pressed the fight going to the body with his jab. Although not able to keep him at bay with his own straight left, Fury caught Del Boy on the way in and turned into the aggress or landing his right hand twice. The second was Derek best round of the fight, as he scored two tremendous right hooks that allowed him to explode with a rally and keep the initiative till the bell, with Tyson overtly hurt and unable to counter. In the third, Fury finally started using the jab more, but Chisora was able to get through again with some big hooks.
It looked a fairly even session, as the former champion landed the power shots but Fury kept busy scoring with short punches to the head. More of the same in the fourth from Chisora, who successfully applied pressure keeping Tyson on the back foot and landing again big looping punches, getting only one good straight right in return.
The fifth was a bit scrappy but Fury was busy enough to steal it. Up to this point, things looked still in the balance but from the sixth onwards it became Tyson’s fight as he cut the ring and trapped Del Boy on the ropes and hurt him with uppercuts, although not able to capitalize.
Derek started to look tired in the seventh, swinging and missing with those now predictable big hooks, while Fury scored more and more often with his right hand. Chisora managed to land one big right hand flush in the eighth but Fury regrouped immediately and trapped him on the ropes again where, in spite of displaying bravado by mimicking Ali’s rope-a-dope, he had to take some good hooks.
The ninth was relatively uneventful but went Tyson’s way with Derek still on the ropes. The former champion was slow to come out from his corner in the tenth and found Fury already holding centre ring, from where he fired some nasty straight punches. Trapped again in the corner, Del Boy managed to turn his aggressor around and storm all over him, but without finding openings and that was his swan song.
The eleventh saw Tyson scoring to the head of his constantly plodding forward opponent in the centre of the ring, while in the 12th and final round, with the fight in the bank, he leaned on Chisora as much as he could to secure a deserved and unanimous decision by scores of117-112 twice and 118-111. Great performance from the new champion, who surprised everyone with some new tricks but it’s still early to talk about world titles, although there are no doubts that he will make it that far eventually.
In the main supporting event, British Light Welterweight champion Ashley Theophane (30-4-1, 8 ko’s) retained his title against former EBU champion Jason Cook (28-4-1, 14 ko’s) using the same exact tactics by which he gained it against Lenny Daws in the same venue earlier this year. He preserved his energy giving away the first five rounds, in which Cook pressed the fight relentlessly concentrating the attack on the body and keeping him on the back foot. On top of that, Ashley got also a point deducted in the fifth for low blows, for which he had already been warned by the referee. But, as of the sixth, it began to look a completely different fight, as Jason gave overt signs of tiredness and the champion started picking his shots with impeccable accuracy. In the seventh, Cook started bleeding above his right eye from a gush opened by clash of heads in the previous round and was saved by the bell in the eighth, while eating right hands trapped in his own corner. It was still Theophane’s initiative in the 9th as he stalked Jason and trapped him on the ropes where he scored heavily to the body with hooks and ended the round with a big right hand. Ashley literally ran out of the corner in the 10th going for the kill and another big right closed the show at 00:43. Another brilliant performance by Theophane. Will he be able to use the same plan in the next fight as well, though? We look forward to find out.
Before the Southern Area Light Middleweight challenge between champion Ryan Toms (9-4) and challenger Pat MacAleese (12-2-1), Toms’ brother came around the press seats and boldly announced that Ryan would knock Pat out. And so he did at 2:44 of the fourth round after knocking him down three times after he dominated the fight comfortably.
Also on the undercard, Tyson’s cousin Phil (9-1) lost the 0 in his record after being outpunched thoroughly by Peter Vaughan (3-0-1, 1 ko) in their 8×3 Light Middleweight contest, while Light Welterweight prospect Chris Evangelou (8-0, 1 ko) extended his unbeaten record winning a hard fought 39-37 decision against brave and tough John Bangurey.