By Jake Donovan
With a high-profile rematch versus unbeaten heavyweight titlist Anthony Joshua potentially waiting in the wings, Dillian Whyte sets his sights on another past adversary to remain active in the interim.
The top-rated heavyweight contender will once again meet with Dereck Chisora, as their long-discussed rematch is officially set. The sequel to their Dec. ’16 Fight of the Year-level war will take place December 22 at O2 Arena in London, England.
Photo Credit: Matchroom Boxing Twitter Account
“It’s on,” Eddie Hearn, Whyte’s promoter enthusiastically exclaimed through his verified social media account on Thursday. “[The] Dillian Whyte and Derek ‘WAR’ Chisora rematch, Dec. 22 (at) The O2!”
The matchup was formally announced during a press conference Thursday in London. Among the details revealed were broadcasting rights, with the heavyweight scrap to air live on Sky Sports Box Office in the United Kingdom and on sports streaming platform DAZN in the United States, both for whom Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing serves as the primary boxing content provider.
Their rematch comes just over two years after their Dec. ’16 thriller, in which Whyte (24-1, 17KOs) prevailed by split decision in a bout where both men were rattled but neither ever hitting the canvas.
For Whyte, the victory is among a current eight-fight win streak following the lone defeat of his career, a 7th round stoppage at the hands of Joshua who would go on to score knockout wins over Charles Martin and Wladimir Klitschko to become a unified heavyweight titlist.
Whyte’s name has surfaced high among the short list of candidates to man the corner opposite Joshua on a planned April 13, 2019 bill at Wembley Stadium in London. While it was important to remain active ahead of that potential fight date, a rematch with a career spoiler such as Chisora is a risk he didn’t have to take—but nevertheless boldly embraces.
More so, he sees a repeat win as a guaranteed ticket to his first career title shot.
“This will be Chisora’s last fight, the donkey’s last ride,” vows Whyte, whose impressive 2018 campaign already includes wins over previously unbeaten Lucas Browne and former titlist Joseph Parker. “I think that he needs to really have a good think about taking this fight because he’s going to be heading home after the fight looking like he’s been run over by a truck.
“I believe that I’ll knock him out in devastating fashion this time. Last time was my first 12 rounder and I was a little bit inexperienced but this time I’ll know exactly what to do. He’s at the end of the road.”
Wherever he may be in his career, Chisora (29-8, 21KOs) remains a dangerous task for any heavyweight on the planet. The divisional trialhorse—who turns 35 just a week after his forthcoming sequel with Whyte—is a modest 3-1 since their first fight but resurfaced in the heavyweight fold following an 8th round knockout of Carlos Takam this past July.
The bout came on the undercard of Whyte’s win over Parker, a show designed to set up a second pairing between the two. Talks stalled with the two seemingly intent on heading in opposite directions after Chisora signed with Hayemaker Promotions, run by his prior conqueror and one-time heated rival David Haye. Hearn intimated as much to media members when questioned after his October 20 show in Boston, revealing that the hunt was still on for a quality heavyweight to face Whyte.
Momentum somehow picked up in the past couple of weeks, though. With every other notable heavyweight either just coming off of a fight or booked in the foreseeable future, it only made sense for the two UK-based contenders to do it again—even if viewpoints vary on the delay in getting to this point.
“Dillian has spent the last two years avoiding getting back in the ring with me,” insists Chisora. “He knows exactly what it feels like to go toe-to-toe with me. For the next seven weeks he will have sleepless nights knowing what he has finally signed up to. His last couple of opponents didn’t come for battle, they didn’t even put heat on Dillian, on December 22nd I’m coming to burn him up!
“I was cheated in our first fight by the judges, everyone knows that I was the true victor. This time I have a score to settle, Dillian won’t be hearing the final bell to be saved by the judges. I will be stepping in the ring a different fighter. I have everything to prove and it all to lose. ‘Dell Boy’ is no more, ‘WAR’ Chisora doesn’t cut corners, he doesn’t skip sessions, he doesn’t look for the easy option. I’m in the gym every day pushing my body to its limit. I’m in complete control of my destiny, December 22nd will be WAR.”
His longtime rival welcomes the challenge—and the opportunity to once and for all turn the page on this chapter of his career.
“This is Heavyweight boxing and you never know what’s around the corner, but I’ve done what I need to do to secure a shot at a World title,” Whyte believes. “There’s always something getting in the way, other fights being made or money and politics ruining things, but after I finish Chisora nobody can deny me my shot.”
Per Matchroom Boxing press release:
Tickets are priced £40, £60, £80, £100, £150, £200, £300 and £600 VIP.
On sale dates: O2 Priority (Thursday 1 November) Matchroom Fight Pass (Friday 2 November, 1pm) and general sale via StubHub on Saturday 3 November at 1pm.