By Johnny Walker
WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko defended his title today at the Olympiahalle in Munich, Germany, with a wide unanimous decision win over a very game Dereck “Del Boy” Chisora of the United Kingdom.
The final scores were 118-110 twice, and 119-111.
Boxing Insider scored it 118-112 for Klitschko.
The fight almost took second place to the circus-like atmosphere, in which controversies over hand wraps and water spitting boiled over before and after the main event.
While Chisora had been funny and engaging in the early lead-up to this title fight, winning over many fans in the process, he did much to undo the progress he’d made with the boxing public with some ugly antics as the fight date approached.
First, there was the slap heard around the boxing world yesterday at the weigh-in, when Chisora hit the champion hard across the face, leaving a red mark on his cheek. It would have definitely behooved Chisora to cut the defiant antics out tonight, but he was irked when, perhaps in a bit of payback for the slap, Ring Magazine world champion Wladimir Klitschko visited his dressing room before the fight and demanded that Del Boy’s hands be rewrapped.
Chisora responded by threatening to walk out of the arena, only to be talked out of it by a panicked Frank Warren, his UK promoter. The fight was still on, if now running a bit late.
An irked Chisora then responded by spitting a stream of water in Wladimir’s face during the ring introductions. An enraged Wlad would revisit this incident after the fight.
As for the fight itself, Chisora held to his promise to utilize Joe Frazier-styled bobbing and weaving and forward movement, with mixed results. Early in the fight, Vitali tagged Del Boy repeatedly with big right hands as the Briton tried to bull his way inside. But, in contrast to Vitali’s last opponent, Tomasz Adamek, Chisora, a true heavyweight, was able to absorb some heavy blows from the champ without becoming disoriented, and to keep on coming forward.
As the fight wore on into the middle rounds, Klitschko, who didn’t appear to be in as good a shape as he was for the Adamek fight, began to tire somewhat as the younger Chisora pounded away at his body, Del Boy turning the tide briefly in his favor. But just when it seemed things might be slipping away from him, Vitali got a second wind, pummeling Chisora as he used tactics similar to what he did in his win over Cris Arreola – lots of lateral movement and fighting while backing up, catching a tiring Chisora on the way in with some hard right hands to take rounds nine through eleven.
Chisora rallied to take the final round, but it was too late, and Vitali had reeled off a win, perhaps the toughest test so far in his comeback from retirement.
After the fight, a still-angry Wladimir Klitschko confronted Chisora in the ring, and it seemed as if another main event might break out then and there before the two men were separated.
“I got beat by experience,” a disappointed Chisora said simply after the scores had been announced, before also saying that he felt the refereeing and the judging had been fair on this night.
Vitali Klitschko, however, was both elated to get the win, and saddened that he failed to stop Chisora.
“I’m upset because I wanted to finish this fight before 12 rounds,” Vitali said.
“I have a lot of respect for Chisora as a fighter, but I don’t have respect for him as a human being … he’s not a gentleman.”
Gentleman or not, with this fight, Chisora certainly proved that his showing against Robert Helenius was no fluke, and that his combination of heavyweight power and nimble movement is a formula that places him at the head of the class of current heavyweight contenders.
As for the champion, who again called out rival David Haye (who was in the arena), he said he “will be happy to do it again someday” with Chisora.
“And I will knock him out,” Vitali added.