By Johnny Walker
UK heavyweight contender Dereck Chisora took his nickname, “Del Boy,” from a character in the classic Britcom Only Fools and Horses, and today, the eccentric Brit showed up for his London press conference with WBC champion Vitali Klitschko, with whom he will do battle on February 11 in Germany, in a replica of the Reliant Regal Supervan, a three-wheeled vehicle popularized on the show.
Chisora showed off his eccentric ride to Vitali, who looked at it dubiously: “Too small for me,” laughed Vitali. “It’s not my dream.”
A mask of a woman’s face in the back window of the vehicle caused Vitali to chide Chisora: “Sometimes to you like to…” (waves fist at the mask).
Chisora, who was once arrested for beating his girlfriend, replied , “Don’t you know that. I’m a freak.”
Vitali ruefully shook his head.
And on it went today with the two heavyweights at a mostly friendly meeting to promote their upcoming title tilt in Munich.
In the press conference itself, Klitschko made it clear that he is tiring of being asked questions about his age, how many fights he has left, and when he will retire. In fact, it sounded like Vitali may be getting stubborn about the issue the more he is bugged about it by the media.
“The main thing in life is experience, in all jobs and also in boxing, said Vitali. “I have defended my title against many styles. I don’t want to break the record of George Foreman, but 40 isn’t old. I’ll show that.”
“I will do my best to take this title and hold this title, and give the title by myself back to the federation when I decide, by myself, to retire.”
As for Chisora, he chided Vitali because of his younger brother, co-world heavyweight champion Wladimir, who twice pulled out of bouts with Chisora in the past year due to a stomach injury (Wlad was spotted out golfing in Florida shortly after cancelling the fight the first time). Chisora’s countryman David Haye eventually got the gig with Wladimir, and put in a half-assed effort in losing, while a depressed Del Boy gained a ton of weight and lost his British and Commonwealth crowns to countryman Tyson Fury.
“I have already said to Vitali, I hope you don’t chicken out like your little brother, just make sure you are there. I just hope you do not come up with excuses, say ‘there is a problem with this or that’. I just want to fight,” said Del Boy, who most feel defeated up and coming heavyweight Robert Helenius his last time out, though Helenius won by split decision.
Chisora, who predicted an eight-round knockout victory for himself over Vitali, repeated the now tired refrain of the Klitschkos being “boring” and the champion acknowledged that criticism, but parried it well by saying he chose Del Boy Chisora as his next opponent precisely because he has an exciting style and will test him.
Perhaps the most interesting moment of the presser came when Chisora mentioned that Helenius had not been prepared for what he brought to the table, and implied that Vitali would suffer the same fate.
“Dereck, I’m sorry, I’m not Helenius,” said Vitali in a serious low voice, before raising his eyebrows and cracking an evil grin.
No, Vitali Klitschko is most certainly not Robert Helenius. He is what Robert Helenius can only aspire to be at this point in time.
The presser fittingly ended up on a humorous note, as one reporter asked about Chisora’s habit of kissing his opponents.
“I already offered Vitali a kiss, but he didn’t shave,” said Del Boy.
“If he shaved, yeah.”
“It’s a hobby of Dereck to kiss the mans, I like to kiss the womans very much, but…” joked Vitali.
“I told him I swing both ways, but he didn’t believe me,” responded Del Boy.
“I am afraid to shave next time for the fight,” laughed Vitali.