by Johnny Walker
The fight was dubbed “The Big Brawl,” and it lived up to that hopeful billing. In a bout that was more like what fans expected from Wladimir Klitschko and David Haye, challenger Tyson Fury outboxed Dereck ”Del Boy” Chisora today at Wembley Stadium in London, England, to win Chisora’s British and Commonwealth heavyweight belts in a good old-fashioned scrap.
There had been much animosity, at least from Fury’s side, in the build-up to this fight, and Chisora got some revenge when he mocked Fury’s ancestry by entering the ring to “Black Velvet Band” by the Irish Rovers. Fury, who had previously entered to the strains of Irish rockers U2, looked offended, and the fighters almost went at it before the bell had even sounded.
Once the action started, it was Fury who established a pattern that Chisora, who looked a bit heavy but not as bad as his announced weight of 261 pounds indicated, was only occasionally able to disrupt. Chisora tried to be aggressive and force the action from the start, but Fury boxed intelligently, landing stinging combinations that had Chisora backing off by the end of the first round.
Round two was Chisora’s best round of the fight: he briefly stunned Fury with a big right hand shot and had the 6’9” Irishman reeling momentarily, but Fury showed good resilience and a decent chin, rallying to hurt Chisora with a solid body shot, one of Fury’s best weapons all night long. Still, Chisora landed two more big right hands as the round came to a close, and the fight looked like it might swing in his favor.
Rounds three through six, however, instead saw Fury take control. While Chisora tried to load up for a big knockout blow, often missing wildly, Fury showed ring savvy that belied his 23 years, fighting behind the left jab, throwing good combinations and landing some vicious shots to the body that would take the steam out of Chisora as the fight progressed.
Chisora rallied again in round seven and landed some big right hands, but once again Fury was able to withstand Del Boy’s increasingly infrequent attacks and steady the ship. By round eight, Chisora was bleeding heavily from the mouth, and the tiring fighter resorted to taunts as he retreated to the corner and dared Fury to hit him. However, in this version of rope-a-dope, it was Chisora who was the loser, as Fury refused to punch himself out, and instead landed some measured shots, all the while building up a big points lead on the champion.
Fury poured on the pressure in round nine, landing some heavy body shots and a big right hand, as Chisora increasingly resorted to holding. Round ten was a scorcher, the first half finding Chisora again trapped on the ropes, with Fury scoring a nice uppercut. Gathering himself, the champion sprang into action in the middle part of the round, throwing big bombs in the desperate attempt to keep his British and Commonwealth belts. Fury, however, again calmly gathered himself, landing two more hard right hands as the round came to a close.
Round eleven saw Fury totally dominant, scoring with right hands and an uppercut as both men looked on the edge of exhaustion from this exciting battle. Chisora’s corner told him to “throw everything he’d ever learned in boxing” at Fury in round twelve, but the Irishman was able to nullify any Chisora rallies by smothering him in the corners. The body work by Fury all night had taken its toll, and a withered Chisora saw his titles slip away.
Two scores of 117-112 and one score of 118-111 summed up the dominance new British and Commonwealth champion Tyson Fury exhibited in this fight.
“All the trash talk and bullshit didn’t mean anything,” Fury said while complimenting Chisora’s heart. “I ain’t the arrogant, cocky person people make me out to be. I’m quite humble, actually.”
How long this humbleness will last is anyone’s guess, but Tyson Fury on this night lived up to his words, and has now become a heavyweight to watch in the future.