Tag Archives: Heavyweight

Allen Stops Browne With a Vicious Body Shot


By: Ste Rowen

Adding flames to the already burning rebirth of his career, Dave ‘The White Rhino’ Allen of Doncaster stopped former WBA ‘Regular’ titlist, Lucas Browne inside three rounds at London’s O2 Arena, with a beauty of a body shot and ensured the proclaimed ‘People’s Champion’ would be staying very much in the minds of British fans.

The ‘White Rhino’ has consistently told people that he’s a much better box than it seems, and that was the attitude he started the fight with, standing behind a steady jab with the occasional, wayward overhand thrown in. Browne, dressed in all black was much more accurate with his punches in the 2nd, mainly his right hands, punishing the home crowd favourite when given the opportunity.

A lean looking Allen was trying to time his shots for the finisher and then, in the middle of the third round, the Doncaster native landed a perfect left hook body shot that dropped the Australian, and ensured the fight was won early.

A jubilant Dave Allen, now 17-4-2 (14KOs) spoke immediately after,

‘‘I had to win, it’s all well and good telling your grandkids you headlined the O2 but when they ask ‘Did you win?’ I needed to win. But I’m greedy. I want more.

He (Browne) is a very good boxer but I knew he’d slow down. Everyone I box I beat…Mick Marsden and Darren Barker will take me as far as I can go, how far is that? I don’t know.

David Price, Dereck Chisora, who knows?…99.9% of people have fallen in love with me. I got into boxing to make my dad proud.’’

The feel-good mood was palpable as soon as Allen stepped out of the ring and considering how underwhelming the full fight card was, the ‘White Rhino’ winning, and in that fashion, seemed to make up for it.

Also on the card…

In dominant fashion, Dereck Chisora dealt with Senad Gashi with a 10-round unanimous decision, but it was a disappointing event from beginning to end. The German looked to survive rather than fight for the whole bout. Chisora followed his foe around the ring for the duration, struggling to cut Senad off and end the fight.

The bout was scheduled for 10 rounds and in not one round did it seem like the away fighter would do, literally, anything. Gashi said pre-fight that he’d visualised this fight ten times; nine times he won, one time he was disqualified but there was a serious lack of passion and fight as the bout drew on. Final scorecards were 100-90, 100-91, 99-91 all for Chisora. Gashi never looked like a threat, ‘Del-Boy’ never looked like he had the knockout blow. A disappointing co-main to say the least.

Josh Kelly scored three knockdowns en route to a whitewash victory over the previously unbeaten Przemyslaw Rusnowski. Kelly now improves his record to 9-0 (6KOs)

Lightweight, Joe Cordina claimed the British Lonsdale belt to add to his Commonwealth strap, with an impressive 6th round stoppage of Andy Townend. Cordina, now 9-0 (7KOs) dropped Townend three times before the referee called an end to the bout.

More Headlines

Joshua, Wilder and Fury – Make Greatness Happen


By: Aziel Karthak

Mayweather–Margarito. Jones Jr.–Benn. Bowe–Lewis. Leonard–Pryor. These are fights that could and should have happened but never materialized.

Mayweather–Pacquiao. De La Hoya–Pacquaio. Lewis–Tyson. Tyson–Holyfield. Ali–Holmes. These are fights that did take place but with one or both fighters past their peak.

Which category will potential fights among Anthony Joshua, Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury inhabit? Real boxing fans will hope that they find a place in a third group, graced by Ali, Frazier and Foreman in the 1970s and Leonard, Hearns, Duran, and Hagler a decade later; one where the best fight the best at or near their fighting primes.

Further, the three most accomplished modern heavyweights have the rare opportunity to unify the belts and bring some order to what is presently a circus. Let this sink in: 70 years ago, the sport had one champion each for its nine weight classes. Today, there are 17 divisions and the four major governing bodies have, between them, over 50 belt holders.

In a way, it is out of the fighters’ hands. Promoters rule. From a business standpoint, it makes sense. There are millions at stake and you’d not want your champion to take a loss against a competitor’s marquee fighter. Also, the reasoning is that the more you stall a potential great fight, the greater the demand and the monetary fruits when it finally happens. Not ideal for the sport, but it is what it is.

Still, we hold on to hope of what can be.

When the dust settled on Wilder vs Fury last December, the heavyweight landscape never looked rosier. The possibilities were endless – they could rematch or one of Wilder or Fury could take on Joshua with other to fight the winner. Why were we dreaming? As things stand today, Wilder has a fight lined up with Dominic Breazeale on May 18, Joshua fights Jarrell Miller two weeks later, and a further fortnight away is Fury’s date with Tom Schwarz. This road is fraught with pitfalls though. There are few other sports where the favorite is as vulnerable as he is in boxing. And no chin is infallible. An upset or upsets is not inconceivable. What then?

We’ll all be back to the carousel. Warren, Hearn and Finkel will take the platform and throw practiced rhetoric at the fans, trying to convince us that those were just blips to better days, which will never come. They will do so without fear of a backlash. Besides being the most short-changed audience in sports, the boxing fanbase is, alas, also among the most easily manipulated.

More Columns

Oleksandr Usyk vs Carlos Takam: Can Usyk Make it as a Heavyweight?


By: Waqas Ali
Former unified world cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk will be making his first debut as a heavyweight against Carlos Takam on May 25th at the MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland, USA.

The bout will be aired live on the DAZN streaming service.

The 32-year-old Ukrainian fighter achieved stardom in the cruiserweight division – holding the WBO, WBA, WBC, IBF and the Ring Magazine titles simultaneously.

Without a doubt, Usyk is one of the best talents in boxing today and brings a variety of skills, styles and techniques that really cluster the meat of his talent.

He is praised by boxing writers, historians and hardcore boxing fans.

He currently boasts a record of 16 wins with 12 KOs.

His last fight was against Briton Tony Bellew in November 2018 whom he knocked out in round eight in front 20,000 fans at the Manchester arena.

Usyk does not deny the challenge and wants to aim high in order to achieve greatness in the heavyweight division.

“It’s a tough first fight,” said Usyk.

“But I need to test myself against world-class opposition on my new road to undisputed.”

His opponent Takam (36-5-1) has competitive opponents in the past such as Tony Thompson, Joseph Parker, Dereck Chisora and hard-hitting, Anthony Joshua.

Takam took Joshua to ten rounds with good shots thrown at him but lost in the end.

However, in regards to Usyk facing him in May, Takam feels highly motivated for the opportunity.

“I can promise that this will be a great fight and I will provide Usyk with a huge test on his heavyweight debut,” he said.

“I have huge ambitions of my own in the division and this fight will provide me with the chance to prove that.”

But can Usyk, a former Olympic champion and former undisputed champion succeed in a division that is known more for power and will than skill and mindset?

One must keep in mind that Usyk had actually fought in the heavyweight division previously as an amateur.

In 2013, Usyk defeated future Olympic Silver medallist Joe Joyce in a five-round battle without the use of handguards at the World Series of Boxing event.

He used his straight left hand to win points and provided exchanges too. As a cruiserweight, Usyk is known for his high activity level and astonishing footwork.

There was little activity rate in the bout with Joyce and more pot-shots were executed.

Many question if Usyk’s footwork will drastically change in 200 plus division and will the speed remain against the bigger fighters.

Fighters such as Evander Holyfield and David Haye both unified the cruiserweight division. Haye won the WBA heavyweight title and defended it twice. Holyfield went on to also unify the heavyweight division.

Roy Jones Jr, one of boxing’s greatest fighters of all time went from winning titles at middleweight, light heavyweight and at heavyweight.

He became the first fighter in 106 years to go from winning a title at middleweight all to the way to heavyweight.

By the numbers, Usyk throws an astounding 41 jabs per round which is double what the average heavyweight (20) throws.

Usyk has landed 19% of his total punches to the body.

In the power punching department, Usyk throws around 28 punches and connects at a rate of 42%. While the average heavyweight throws around 24 and connects at 40%.

Usyk opponents landed 29% of their power punches which is well below the cruiserweight avg (37%).

Takam relies on the power punch. 10 of his 13 landed punches are power shots. His opponents have landed 38% of their power shots.

The numbers indicate that Usyk does lead slightly ahead than what the average heavyweight throws and lands. However, this will all depend on next how well he does against the heavyweights. The activity level could in question. Sometimes when it comes moving up in weight, the activity level can go down. Fighters like Anthony Joshua, Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury weigh a median of 17st 2lbs and a median height of 6 foot 7 whilst Usyk only comes in around 14 stone at 6 foot 3 inches. Even if Usyk comes in a stone up it will be a challenging and a hazardous process to take. Nobody can deny the talent that Usyk brings to the table and no doubt he has made the decision in fighting Takam in order to get a taste of the heavyweight division once again but on a professional level.

More Columns

Usyk Set to Make Heavyweight Debut Against Takam


By: Sean Crose

“May 25 marks a major moment in my career when I move to the Heavyweight division,” says the16-0 Oleksandr Usyk. “At Cruiserweight I did it all and became the undisputed champion and that is my goal now in the Heavyweights.” The 32 year old Ukrainian fighter is one of the most highly regarded practitioners in the fight game, courtesy of the fact that Usyk took complete ownership of the Cruiserweight division after besting Murat Gassiev last summer in the final bout of the World Boxing Super Series. Since that time, Usyk has been expected to move up to the heavyweight, having no more worlds left to conquer in the division he dominated.

Usyk’s opening bout in the big guy’s division will go down on May 25th at Maryland’s MGM National Harbor and will be aired live on the DAZN streaming service. The 36-5-1 Carlos Takam will be Usyk’s first heavyweight opponent. Having given heavyweight kingpin Anthony Joshua an impressive battle in 2016, Takam (who ended up losing to Joshua in the 10th round) is no one’s tune up fight.

“Usyk has achieved everything in the Cruiserweight division,” Takam says. “I am ready to welcome him to the new world of Heavyweight boxing,” said Takam. “I can promise that this will be a great fight and I will provide Usyk with a huge test on his Heavyweight debut. I have huge ambitions of my own in the division and this fight will provide me with the chance to prove that.”

Promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing appears happy with matchup. “Takam is the perfect test for the Heavyweight debut (of Usyk),” he says. “A big strong, all action fighter who will welcome Usyk into the fold with a heavy arsenal.” Yet Usyk is clearly looking beyond his respected foe.

“This is the ultimate challenge,” he says, “and it begins on May 25 against Carlos Takam. It’s a tough first fight but I need to test myself against world class opposition on my new road to undisputed.” The Heavyweight division that Usyk now aims to make his own is dominated by a series of colorful, high level fighters. Aside from Joshua, WBC champ Deontay Wilder, and Tyson Fury (who many consider to the be the lineal champ) tower above the division’s landscape. At 6-3, Usyk is somewhat small compared to his new peers. His skill set, however, speaks for itself.

More Headlines

Boxing Insider’s Boxing Beffudlements – The Heaviest Boxers of All Time’


By: Oliver McManus

Boxing Befuddlements is a new feature on Boxing Insider as we take a look at some of the anomalous extremities of the boxing world. For this, the first part, we discover some of the heaviest boxers to have ever stepped into the ring.

An obvious starting point to this exploration is with, Russian behemoth, Nikolay Valuev who officially tipped the scales over the 300lb mark on 47 occasions over the course of a 16 year career. Debuting at the age of 20, in October 1993, the heavyweight emerged as a relative road warrior throughout his early years; his first ten fights saw him encompass Germany, Russia, Australia, England, Japan and America.

In his 13th contest as a professional Valuev would weigh in at his career heaviest, all of 158kg (348lbs in traditional currency). His opponent, Alarim Usyal, weighed in at 72 kilos later and was, perhaps predictably, flattened in the second round. Future heavyweight world champion Vitali Klitschko would also fight on that show, recording a sixth round stoppage victory.

The Russian’s career only began to bounce into any sort of tangible rhythm with the turn of the new millenium. Crowned as the PABA heavyweight champion, Valuev would defeat Taras Bidenko (at the time in his third pro fight) and began to build some stability. Settling in Germany, in 2003, would be the catalyst for success as Valuev targeted getting himself in a position to fight for the WBA belt.

By the time such an occasion came about, the Russian had built an impregnable forty-four fight winning streak, albeit without much in way of a stiff challenge. Guided by Wilfried Sauerland for the latter part of his career, Valuev claimed the WBA championship with a controversial majority decision over, ageing, John Ruiz. At 147kg (324lbs) Valuev had secured his place as the heaviest heavyweight champion of all time. Subsequent defences came against, equally questionable, Owen Beck, Monte Barrett and Jameel McCline before Ruslan Chagaev defeated the Russian.

Having reclaimed a version of the title he would bow out with a less than glamorous, for either fighter, points loss to David Haye in 2009. The original Beast from the East had already defeated the odds having suffered with acromegaly from an early age – hence his distinctive wide-jawed look. The heaviest champion the sport has ever known but, don’t be fooled, by no means the heaviest man to step foot in a boxing ring.

Wade Bruins can lay claim to that particular honour with the Illinois resident crashing onto the scales at a gigantic 249.5kg (550lbs) for his only professional contest. The 18 year old, yes 18, had his only fight so far on February 2nd this year when he took on Alfredo Cervantes in Davenport, Iowa.

Cervantes, himself 46, had built up a record of 2-4-1 before taking on this particular bout but, bizarrely, his last fight had come just 36 days before Bruins was even born. You really couldn’t make this story up. Annoyingly there is very little information available about Bruins despite my best efforts to dig some up.

The fight itself was quite a laid back affair, fought in the spirit of an exhibition contest, with Cervantes punching upwards in a relaxed fashion. Bruins, the significantly taller man, resembled a less-muscular Eddie Hall (World Strongest Man, 2017) and possessed a quite spectacular chinstrap of a beard.

Indeed the contest was to raise awareness and money for brain cancer with Cervantes’ wife having been diagnosed with Huntington’s disease. A worthy cause that provided a surreal four rounds of boxing.

If we begin to add some rules into this, in an attempt to avoid flukes, and stipulate that the boxers in question must have had more than one professional fight then Frank Finnegan is the man in pole position.

Born in Elkton, Maryland in 1966 it was until Finnegan was 34 years old that he made his professional debut. Though his debut weight is officially unrecorded, Ken Hissner reported him as 210.5kg (464lbs) – 91kg (200lbs) heavier than his opponent, Josh Waters. Finnegan recorded a second round stoppage of Waters, four years the older man.

The Animal , an appropriate nickname, would find himself having to go the distance in his next fight, a rematch with Waters, in a contest that was surely a test of his stamina as much as anything. Joking aside, Finnegan’s short career came to an abrupt end less than four months after it all began.

A lonely Tuesday evening in a now-abandoned Kahunaville Night Club – a venue that had seen Bob Dylan, Green Day and Hall and Oates pass through their doors – housed a mere splattering of people as Finnegan edged his way past, debutant, Brian Aro. A majority decision over four rounds with Finnegan weighing in at a career-high 211kg (465lbs).

He retired thereafter in a bid to shed some of that weight although no-one is sure just how he fared with that mission – Finnegan opted to step away from his fifteen minutes of fame. Aged 49 he passed away, on January 21st 2016, having suffered from an apparent heart attack.

Eric Esch is a name etched, or should I say esched, in the memory of many a fight fan having made his mark across a plethora of combat sports. A kickboxer and mixed martial artist between 2003 and 2011, Butterbean , as he is known in legacy, had 91 professional boxing contest with 77 victories – 58 of those coming by way of knockout.

Regularly weighing in between 136kg (300lbs) and 145kg (320lbs), Esch’s weight ballooned as he reached the tail end of his career, his stature was always imposing despite being just 5ft 11 inches. Never with any misconceptions as to his ability, boxing was more about the love and enjoyment as opposed to achieving materialistic glory – the affection afforded to him is one that resonated across the world.

The majority of his contests took place over the course of four rounds, aside from when Esch was brought in as an “away opponent”, and entertainment was always guaranteed with Butterbean in the ring. Perhaps the oddest honour of his career came when he took on, former world champion, Larry Holmes in 2002 – Holmes, 53 at the time, was spuriously knocked down by Esch but was a comfortable victor.

My personal favourite double-heavy heavyweight, however, “Big G” Gabe Brown . The Pensacola heavyweight, who gave as good as he got in a career full of twists and turns, tipped the scales at 166.5kg (367lbs) for his first fight against Saul Montana. Lasting all of 175 seconds, Brown dropped Montana before succumbing to the power of La Cobra , himself.

This brings us nicely to the conclusion of Boxing Insider’s first ‘boxing beffudlements’, a new series designed to provide some light-reading. It really is quite a crazy sport but, as you’ve seen, it is a sport for anyone. Wade Bruin is, as it stands, the heaviest boxer of all time and it looks like he’ll take some beating – well, on the scales anyway.

More Columns

Tyson Fury and the Heavyweight Alliances


By: Hans Themistode

When news broke of Tyson Fury’s (27-0-1, 19 KOs) mega deal with Top Rank worth 80 million dollars over his next five fights it sent the boxing in a frenzy. Reason being is that it was so unexpected.

Fury, who is the Lineal Heavyweight champion was thought to be in deep discussion with WBC champion Deontay Wilder (40-0-1, 39 KOs) for a rematch of their 2018, December showdown. That contest saw two knockdowns and plenty of back and forth action. The match would ultimately end in a highly debated draw which had the fans wanting to see them jump back in the ring against each other once again. News of this new deal complicates matters to a certain degree.


Photo Credit: Tyson Fury Twitter Account

Deontay Wilder, Tyson Fury and current unified champion Anthony Joshua (22-0, 21 KOs) are the very best in the Heavyweight division. All three fighters are also affiliated with three separate networks that don’t exactly play nice with one another.

Wilder is associated with Al Haymon and Premier Boxing Champions, Joshua is aligned with Eddie Hearn and DAZN while Fury is now apart of Bob Arum and ESPN.

The news of Fury’s deal is even more perplexing to fans when you consider that Top Rank has no big name Heavyweights that can truly challenge him. Wilder has Dominic Breazeale, Luis Ortiz, the undefeated Adam Kownacki and several others who can provide fun entertaining matchups for the fans. Joshua has quite a few interesting dance partners as well. Dereck Chisora, Jarrell Miller (whom he is fighting June 1st) former unified Cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk, a rematch with Dillian Whyte and plenty of others can provide a stiff test for Joshua.

Fury on the other hand has a considerably shorter list. In fact it is non existent. One time title challenger Bryant Jennings would represent the best challenge to Fury from the Top Rank stable. With all due respect to Jennings but he fails to move the needle as a true title contender.

Deontay Wilder is a proven knockout artist with a ton of charisma. Anthony Joshua also has a penchant for knockouts but he also has major drawing power as well. Tyson Fury possesses all of those traits and more. He is must see television. Furys deal with Top Rank and ESPN should be applauded as he has seemingly set his family up financially for years to come but the bottom line is that fans want to see him take on the best that the division has to offer.

Both Fury and his new promoter Bob Arum have assured the public that this new alliance will not do away with their plans of hammering out a deal with Wilder to secure their much anticipated rematch. Let’s all hope that these words ring true.

If all three of these networks can somehow work together then fans can finally get there long awaited question answered.

Just who is the king of the Heavyweight division?

More Columns

Wilder Believes Fury Rematch Close, Joshua Will Be Next


Deontay Wilder is expecting his rematch with Tyson Fury to be made soon, then he says he will take on Anthony Joshua.

Speaking to UK radio station Talksport Wilder said the deal for the rematch is all but confirmed. Rumours are suggesting an April 27th showdown.

“Unless Fury backs out if it, or anything of that sort of nature, it’s definitely going to happen again.” Wilder said.

“But to my understanding, as of right now, everything is good. It’s looking like maybe Vegas, maybe Barclays Centre in New York, who knows?”

A lot of UK fans had been hoping to see the rematch take place at a stadium in the UK, Wembley, Old Trafford and the Millenium Stadium had all been mentioned as possible venues however Wilder explained why the fight will take place back in the States.

“It will definitely be back here, our pay-per-view prices are just way higher than over in the UK.

“You guys pay only like $25, but we can go from $50 to $100 easy and that’s with everything!”

Moving on to Anthony Joshua, Wilder is ready to take him on if he gets past Fury, for a shot to unify the heavyweight division.

“If he is ready, I am ready,” Wilder said, “like I said, he (got to) be fair, it’s got to be right down and that is the thing about it.

“They thought they were going to be the only people and everybody has to abide by their rules and rotate around them.

“But we had to show them! I had to grab my career and I had to go and do my own thing and that’s what I’m doing ”

More Headlines

Heavyweight Boxing – Out of the Crossroads and Into the Light


By: Aziel Karthak

A thundering right and a follow up left from the most potent hands in boxing dropped Tyson Fury in the 12th round of the WBC heavyweight title fight in December. The die seemed cast. But the hulking Englishman rose up from the canvas, before the fat lady could belt out the first note and just after Referee Jack Reiss had counted “nine.” In a way, his astonishing recovery mirrored the revival of heavyweight boxing in recent times.

The sport overall is healthier than people give it credit. The middleweights have Canelo and Golovkin. Below them in a range of weight divisions are refulgent talents such as Terrence Crawford, Errol Spence Jr, Mikey Garcia and the incredible Vasily Lomachenko. Old hands like Pacquiao are still around. Yet, it is the heavyweights, or rather DeontayWilder’s classic with Fury that was the apex of 2018.

Sometimes, we make too much of too little. Yet, it’s understandable in this case. For so long, the heavyweight division was the most important in boxing, though fans of Sugar Ray Robinson and Marvin Hagler may take umbrage. To be heavyweight champion was to be the most famous sportsman on the planet.

So, what happened in the 21st century that made the division so forgettable? Was it lack of skill? Was it lack of personality? Was it both? The Klitschko brothers were doubtless amazing, albeit robotic fighters, even if the competition around them left a lot to be desired. Alas, they did not have the fighting style or the controversy to keep the division at par with what the likes of Pacquiao and Mayweather were doing do in the lighter weights. Yet, their most damning issue was the comparison against what came before in the division.

The 1970s had Ali, Frazier and Foreman as champions and a rung below them were accomplished fighters such as Norton, Quarry and Bonevena who were capable of holding their own against anyone. Between them Ali, Frazier and Foreman fought each other a combined six times, some of them wars that are indelible marks on the game’s history. Norton himself fought Ali to three close fights, winning one in the process.

The closest decade to the 1970s in terms of genuinely skilled heavyweights at or close to their prime was the 1990s. There was Holyfield, Bowe and Lewis, with Tyson missing for a large part of the first half of the decade. The one issue with this lot was that, apart from Holyfield who fought the other three a combined seven times, the rest did not meet each other in their primes. By the time Lewis knocked out Tyson in 2002, the latter was a mere shadow of the wrecking ball that had terrorized admittedly average competition in the 1980s. (You can argue Tyson was never the same after he fired Kevin Rooney late in the decade.)

The first 15 years of the new millennium had very few memorable heavyweight fights. Lewis-Tyson was 10 years too late and Lewis–Vitali Klitschko was a case of what could have been. Then suddenly out of the blue like an Ali short right, we were blessed with the surprisingly good Joshua–Wladimir Klitschko in 2017 that provided gasoline to the flickering embers of heavyweight boxing.

The current generation has it in them to make the next few years a special time in what is historically the blue-riband division of the sweet science. For one, as Fury and Wilder showed, they are willing to fight each other. Is Joshua willing to dance with them like he did with Wladimir? Chances are, he is, but boxing promoters have always sought to protect their golden geese from the time of Jack Johnson and Jack Dempsey.

Joshua remains the most marketable – a good-looking and seemingly well-mannered champion, who has three of the four belts and is the youngest of the triumvirate. The matchmaking though sometimes embarrassing is understandable in this day and age. How wonderful would it be though, if his handlers just bit the bullet and put him in against any of the other two?

What’s amazing to note is that the two Englishmen and the American have never lost in the combined 91 times they’ve stepped into the ring. Also, that the division’s health is peachy is reflected by the competition immediately below them. The likes of Joseph Parker, Dillian Whyte and Luis Ortiz are hardly cans and have the skills and the styles to give anyone fits.

Said the immortal Rocky Marciano after besting Jersey Joe Walcott to win the heavyweight crown in 1952, “What could be better than walking down any street in any city and knowing you’re the heavyweight champion of the world?”

The answer may still be “nothing” as long as today’s promoters stay out of the way and let these warriors at each other. We shall wait and hope.

More Columns

Better Chance of Joshua Fighting Fury than Wilder According to Hearn


By: Michael Kane

According to Matchroom supremo, Eddie Hearn, there is more chance of Anthony Joshua fighting Tyson Fury at Wembley in April than a fight against WBC champ Deontay Wilder.

It would seem tentative negotiations are taking place between all the interested parties, with a match up between any two of the three likely to be welcomed by fans.

As it stands the most likely fight to take place is a rematch between Wilder and Fury, with Las Vegas or New York appearing to be the favoured locations, disappointing the UK fans who had hoped for the rematch in one of the UK’s football stadiums.

Hearn however has said both Wilder and Fury have been offered the fight with Joshua.

“Well, to say Deontay Wilder’s camp has gone quiet, that’s saying it lightly,” Hearn told Sky Sports News. “Probably up to six unanswered emails now.

“In fact, I sent one a couple of days ago, saying I just want to check these haven’t gone into your Spam items.

“It is frustrating because you walk out there on the street ‘When’s he going to fight Deontay Wilder?’ It’s like, whenever they want it, but sometimes the public want to believe a fighter on Instagram all day.

“If they wanted the fight, they would talk to me. They’re not even talking to us. We’ve made offers, we’ve made percentage splits. Everything we can do, to try and make that fight.

“I think right now, there’s more chance of fighting Tyson Fury. There’s a man that knows he can have this fight, if he wants it. I’ve spoken to him. He knows if he wants to fight Joshua, it can happen April 13.”

Dillian Whyte and Jarrell Miller are two other names that have been mentioned to face Joshua, it appears Whyte wasn’t happy with the deal offered. There has also been rumours that Anthony Joshua may not appear at Wembley in April but instead make a debut in America, most likely against Miller.

“There’s Dillian Whyte, there’s Jarrell Miller, but Joshua is back from holiday, he’s started training now, he wants to know,” said Hearn. “We’ve probably got 10 days to two weeks before we officially have to pull the trigger.

“All those guys that I’ve mentioned, particularly Wilder, Fury and Whyte – that fight is there for them.

“What I can tell you is, Dillian, I was with him this morning. He wants a great deal to fight Joshua. I don’t blame him for that. He’s been through a hard road to get where he is to No 1.

“He can wait and become mandatory at some point, but if Dillian Whyte wants to fight for the world heavyweight title on April 13, there is the opportunity for him to do so, right now.

“It’s almost like a race against time, particularly for those three, Wilder, Fury and Whyte. They’ve all had offers, they could all sign now today, and get the fight. But do they want the fight? I believe the offers, some have been made, some are about to be improved, it’s put up or shut up time.

“You want to win these four title belts, you believe you can beat Anthony Joshua, then let’s go, but everyone wants to negotiate, and rightly so.”

More Headlines

When Heavyweight Champions Retired with Their Titles


By: Ken Hissner

James J. “The Boilermaker” Jeffries retired as World Heavyweight Champion in August of 1904 with a 19-0-2 (16) record. He had defeated the likes of Australia’s Peter Jackson, 51-3-13, from the Virgin Islands, Ireland’s “Sailor” Tom Sharkey, 26-2-6 (twice), New Zealand’s “Ruby” Bob Fitzsimmons, 55-7-13 (twice & for the title the first time), former world champion James J. “Gentleman Jim” Corbett, 10-2-3 (twice), and Gus Ruhlin, 27-6-3 (reversing an earlier draw).

It was only the demand from his pastor stating “we have a coward amongst us” not coming out of retirement that forced him back. He had gained over 100 lbs and hadn’t fought in a month shy of six years but came back as the “white hope” to dethrone World Champion Jack “Galveston Giant” Johnson, 52-5-11, on July 4th, 1910 in Reno, Nevada before approximately 16,528 in attendance under the blistering hot sun. Promoter and then referee Tex Rickard would halt the bout in the 15th round of a scheduled 45 rounds as Johnson retained his title.

“The Fighting Marine” Gene Tunney, took the title from Jack “The Manassa Mauler” Dempsey, 57-4-11, in September of 1926 at Philadelphia’s Sesquicentennial Stadium before a whopping 120, 557 fans in attendance. One day shy of a year Tunney repeated the win though having to come off the canvas during the “long count” in Chicago, IL. Tunney would retire after his next fight defeating New Zealand’s Tom “The Hard Rock from Down Under” Heeney, 32-8-5 on July 26th 1928, with a 65-1-1 (48) record. His lone loss and draw were with Middleweight great Harry “Pittsburgh Windmill” Greb, 195-10-16, prior to winning the heavyweight title. He had four more bouts with Greb going 3-0-1.

It wasn’t until Rocky “The Brockton Blockbuster” Marciano retired in September of 1955 did another heavyweight world champion retire while still champion. He won the title knocking out “Jersey” Joe Walcott, 51-16-1, in September of 1952, while behind in the fight in the 13th of a scheduled 15 rounds. He knocked out Walcott in his first defense in the first round. He defeated former World Champion Ezzard “The Cincinnati Cobra” Charles, 85-10-1, in back to back fights before ending his career coming off the canvas against Light Heavyweight Champion Archie “Old Mongoose” Moore, 149-19-8, to score a knockout in the 9th round.

The last world heavyweight champion to retire with the title was Lennox “The Lion” Lewis, the 1998 Olympic Gold Medalist Super Heavyweight for Canada, but born and now lives in London, UK. He won the world heavyweight title defeating Tony “TNT” Tucker, 48-1, in May of 1993.

Lewis would lose and regain the title in bouts with Oliver “The Atomic Bull” McCall, 24-5, and Hasim “The Rock” Rahman, 34-2. He would retire after in June of 2003 stopping on cuts Ukraine’s Vitali “Dr. Ironfist” Klitschko, 32-1.

More Boxing History

Winners and Losers From a Wild and Furious Weekend


By: Kirk Jackson

A legendary late, great trainer informed the public six years ago about the greatness awaiting the heavyweight division.

Before his untimely passing in 2012, Emanuel Steward spoke highly of two rising heavyweights geared to take over the division once Wladimir Klitsckho’s reign ended.

“There’s one kid in America no one speaks of and that’s Deontay Wilder. He was on the Olympic Team (United States) he lost but he’s a big kid,” said Steward.

“I’ve had the fortune of; he has trained with me before, he’s a big kid too, bigger than Wladimir (Klitschko) and he’s got good speed and power and best talent… and best talent is going to be Tyson (Fury) and Deontay Wilder.”

This past weekend exhibited the rare instance in which the main event matched or arguably exceeded the pre-fight hype building over the course of several months.

The WBC heavyweight champion Wilder 40-0-1 (39 KO’s) battled the Lineal heavyweight champion Fury 27-0-1(17 KO’s) over the course of 12 exhilarating rounds.

Although the bout ended in a draw, there were winners and losers for this event. We’ll start with the losers.

It’s hard to be considered a loser when you’re the unified champion of the division, holding three of the coveted world titles and undefeated. But for Joshua, who wasn’t in attendance due to business obligations, appears to be an afterthought amidst the excitement and controversy stemming from the past weekend’s event.

The perception amongst many boxing circles suggests Joshua or his team is avoided possible unification with Wilder for quite some time now. These very same circles of people may possibly add Fury to the list for Joshua.

Fury spoke his piece on the potential of facing Joshua in the near future post-fight with Wilder.

“That’s me and Joshua, everybody wants it and the only people who don’t seem to be his team,” said Fury. “We are the two best heavyweights in the world right now. I am No. 1 and he (Wilder) is No 2. We had the balls to put it all on the line.”

Now for the winners. The first obvious choice is the Gypsy King.

Battling depression, ballooning up to 400 lbs., over two year lay-off, battling substance abuse, Fury’s struggles are well recognized at this point.

“I think it’s all been well documented. But it didn’t get me. I found a way. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, more determined. My story has got more pain in it now. I believe that rain has passed and the sun is shining brightly,” said Fury about his struggles and comeback.

Realistically, Fury entered this situation as a win-win opportunity. Some of us within the boxing community believed in Fury’s boxing ability and mental capacity to come back and defy the odds – in which he did successfully.

If he were to lose, the narrative casted was he supposed to be destroyed by the knock-out artist Wilder and there would be no shame in losing.

Contrary to Showtime commentary, Skysports commentary and other observers, Wilder is the winner because he walks away with his title.

“I think, with the two knockdowns, I definitely won the fight,” Wilder said after the bout.“We poured our hearts out tonight. We both were warriors. We both went hand to hand. But, with those two drops, I feel like I won the fight. I don’t think he had control of the fight. I wasn’t hurt. I came out slow. I rushed my punches.”

We must remember, rounds are scored subjectively and judges do not have access to punch stats. While analyzing the punch stats, cumulatively and round-by-round, Fury has the edge regarding accuracy and efficiency, but the statistics are closer than you would think and Wilder was the aggressor.

Kevin Iole from YahooSports.com, scoring the fight 113-113, provided excellent analysis of the fight:

“I thought Fury was clearly the better boxer, but he wasn’t active enough. And while I vehemently disagree that Wilder won the first four rounds, I also disagree with the contention I’ve heard that Fury dominated those rounds. There wasn’t a lot to pick from in a lot of rounds.”

Either way, there’s a compelling case for a rematch.

Ultimately, the fans won Saturday night as well. No matter the result of the fight, it was highly entertaining.

The walk-out introductions for each fighter was captivating, with Fury walking out to a mixture of three songs and capturing the support and adoration of the United Kingdom contingent travelling to U.S. soil to support their fighter.

The pitch-black setting for Wilder, walking out to large bombastic sounds and accompanied by budding Hip-hop star Jay Rock, performing his popular song “Win.” The fitted golden mask/crown was a nice touch as well.

Each fighter throughout the course of the event whether it was the walkout entrance, post-fight interviews and most important through-out the course of the fight exhibited their showmanship as fighters and displayed their contrasting, unique personalities.

How often do we get to see large, stylistically awkward, elite level fighters? They’re mirror images of each other regarding uniqueness, but obviously their styles and stories are different.

But when blended together the equation is pure entertainment. The ultimate winner was the sport of boxing.

More Headlines

Wilder-Fury And The Continued Heavyweight Resurgence


By Jake Donovan

Even without a winner being produced in the memorable heavyweight title fight showdown between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury, or going 12 more months without Wilder and Anthony Joshua colliding in the ring, 2018 will still go down as a year that saw restoration in
the sport’s most storied division.

That’s a very good thing for boxing.

It wasn’t a year where Wilder and Joshua challenged each other—at least where it matters—but where both faced serious challenges and manage to persevere in the face of adversity.


Photo Credit: Showtime Boxing Twitter Account

Some 17 months after recovering from the lone knockdown of his career to knock out former World champion Wladimir Klitschko in their 2017 Fight of the Year, Joshua found himself in a tough assignment versus Alexander Povetkin this past September at Wembley Stadium in London, England.

The official scores had Joshua ahead through six rounds, but even many among the partisan crowd of 80,00 in attendance along with those watching live via Sky Sports or DAZN saw the unbeaten, unified champ having a difficult time keeping the former titlist at bay while fighting through the sight of his own blood. It changed in a hurry, thanks to a pair of knockdowns in round seven putting away Povetkin for good.

It was a far more memorable night at the office than was his unification clash versus New Zealand’s Joseph Parker earlier in the year. The fight itself turned out to be a disappointment, especially when playing to the backdrop of a unification bout between unbeaten titlists coming in front of 78,000 in attendance.

The threat of a war never quite broke out, as Joshua was content to box his way to victory in going the distance for the first time in his pro career. The feat came four weeks after Wilder would stare down adversity for the first of two times in 2018, rallying from early struggles versus Luis Ortiz to put away the previously unbeaten Cuban southpaw in the 10th round of a terrific heavyweight battle worthy of Fight of the Year consideration.

The feat was far more definitive—and considerably less controversial—than his relying upon a pair of knockdowns and suspect scoring to escape with a 12-round draw in Saturday’s instant classic versus Fury at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, Calif. Most had Fury winning, but the unbeaten 6’9” Brit was also forced to rise from adversity—literally, as he twice peeled himself off the canvas following hard knockdowns in delivering arguably the best performance of his wild career.

That Fury survived the 12th and final round simply should’ve been enough to give him the win and Wilder’s alphabet title along with it. Only one judge saw it that way, with Robert Tapper scoring the contest 114-112 for the former unified heavyweight champion.

Mexico’s Alejandro Rochin lived down to every negative stereotype heaped upon the sport, disgracefully turning in a 115-111 card in favor of Wilder, including his inexplicably scoring the first four rounds for the defending titles. England’s Phil Edwards ruled the bout 113-112 to produce a stalemate—and the possibility of a rematch during the first half of 2019.

Of the four aforementioned bouts, only Joshua-Povetkin didn’t feature unbeaten heavyweights on both sides of the marquee. It’s not at all a bad exception, considering that Povetkin had only lost once in his pro career prior to his September showdown versus Joshua—that defeat coming five years prior in an Oct. ’13 points loss to Klitschko.

It’s always a letdown when we can’t get a fight between the two best boxers in the division particularly when they are both unbeaten and in their respective primes. But at least we were given the next best thing throughout 2018—a steady stream of heavyweight fights worth caring about and not even limited to the very top level.

On the heels of his first pro defeat, Parker was eager to remain in the mix and claw his way back toward the too of the divisional heap. In doing so, he agreed to yet another away game in England, his third straight. He’d only go 1-2 on his road trip, having outpointed Hughie Fury in 2017 prior to his loss to Joshua, only to suffer a second straight loss in falling short versus top contender Dillian Whyte this past July.

The win was enough to keep Whyte in the title hunt, as the UK-based heavyweight is the frontrunner to land a coveted showdown versus Joshua next April. Such a bout would give Whyte a shot at avenging the lone loss of his career, having suffered a 7th round knockout in Dec. ’15, Joshua’s final fight as a contender before blasting out Charles Martin in two rounds for his first title win four months later.

Even with the lure of a lucrative rematch, Whyte decided there was plenty of room to make at least one more statement. Rapidly approaching is a December 22 rematch with Dereck Chisora, whom he barely edged in their 12-round thriller in Dec. ’16.

If the sequel is even half as good as the original, then the clash will serve as a fitting close to what was a fantastic year for the heavyweight division. Even better, the final month of the year will figure to set the stage for two more big bouts right out the gate in 2019 in Joshua-Whyte II and Wilder-Fury II.

Given Joshua’s massive drawing power in the United Kingdom and the instant buzz that came with Saturday’s thriller between Wilder and Fury in Los Angeles, the upcoming calendar year will boast two true super fights in what has once again become the sport’s glamour division. That’s what happens when the best in the world consistently square off, even if it stops short of a promised pairing between the very best.

More Columns

Tyson Fury: The Path to Heavyweight Clarity


By Thomas Choong

Lennox Lewis versus Vitali Klitschko, held on June 21, 2003, was the last time I recognized the winner of a bout as being boxing’s “true” heavyweight champion of the world.

How Lewis obtained that status is up for debate. For some, such status was obtained when he unified the 3 major belts of his era (those being the WBC, WBA, and IBF belts – the WBO still straddled the line of relevance at the time).

For others, Lewis’ championship status was derived from having earned his place in the lineage of this sport’s great line of heavyweight kings. Lewis defeated Shannon Briggs, who defeated George Foreman, and further preceded by Michael Moorer, Evander Holyfield, so on and so forth – a line of champions that had remained unbroken since the Floyd Patterson defeated Archie Moore to claim the championship mantle after the retirement of Rocky Marciano in 1955.

The latter is a title of status that stands above sanctioning bodies or politics. If anything, the path is simple: the champion is “the man who beat the man,” and in doing so, is cemented in the annals of boxing history.

In theory, filling the vacant spot shouldn’t be difficult. By unifying all of the major belts, there ought to be universal consensus as to who is the world’s top heavyweight. To note, once Lewis retired, boxing fans accepted the relevance of the WBO belt alongside the ones Lewis had held, and the chase began.

While many people recognized Wladamir Klitschko’s status as universal champion through his obtaining of the WBO, IBF and WBA belts, let’s not forget that our acceptance of Wlad’s status was under unique circumstances on account of the impossibility of Wlad unifying the the 4th belt against his elder brother, then WBC champion Vitali Klitschko. Vitali’s retirement did not resolve this issue as a string of mandatory defences for Wlad, alongside boxing’s (unfortunately) accepted political turmoil prevented us all from getting the universal clarity that we sought. Deontay Wilder picked up the elder Klitschko’s former title in April of 2015 and we, the fans, were essentially left with a better known and more established European champion in Klitschko, and a lesser known American Champion in Wilder who still sought a career defining fight.

Tyson Fury, hailing from Manchester, England, defeated Wladamir Klitschko in November 2015, and with that, the belts and adulation of defeating a respected champion. The narrative that followed his triumph was far from epic after his victory, as the promotion for Saturday’s fight has well noted Fury’s fall from grace which includes battling depression, obesity and substance abuse. His journey back from his life’s hellish abyss is nothing short of inspiring, as is his desire to reaffirm his place at the top of the heavyweight heap.

It wasn’t politics that stripped Fury of his belts; he did that on his own. His two comeback fights have been less than inspiring against non-descript opposition. He knows this.

However, as we count down to Saturday’s bout, Fury’s willingness to challenge Deontay Wilder and add the WBC belt to his trophy case is a feat that his “sanctioned” successor, another Brit, and current WBA, IBF and WBO champion Anthony Joshua, has demonstrated an aversion to – much to the dissatisfaction of the boxing community.

Respected veteran coach/trainer Nazeem Richardson recently stated in an interview on Fighthype.com that the winner of this bout will be entitled to hold Mike Tyson’s old moniker of being “the baddest man on the planet” by virtue of noteworthy wins on their respective resumes. A win for Wilder would allow him to boast victories against Tyson Fury and his recent, come from behind, triumph over previously undefeated Cuban amateur standout Luis Ortiz in April of this year. Fury’s victory would allow him to cement his legacy by way of having won all four major titles in the ring against Wilder and Klitschko.

For Fury to win this fight, he’ll have to be back to the same form he was when he defeated (and dominated) Klitschko three years ago. While styles make fights, I’d bet the house on that version of Fury to render Joshua’s skillset ineffective. Joshua’s still developing legacy is also highlighted by his own win against Klitschko, though Joshua’s battle with Klitschko was a life-and-death, see saw affair that, although thrilling, showed Joshua struggle against a 41 year old former champion coming off of his loss against Fury and 17 months of inactivity.

As far as the heavyweight picture goes, there is no comeback story that compares to the one Tyson Fury hopes will unfold on Saturday night. History has not been kind to past champions who retired on top and attempted to return to their former glory. However, this story isn’t that of Jim Jeffries coming off a 6 years of inactivity to return as America’s Great White Hope to challenge Jack Johnson in 1908, nor is it the story of a 36 year old Joe Louis returning from a 27 month layoff to challenge Ezzard Charles in 1950. We’re talking about a 30 year old, 6’9” giant who, in this part of his career, has shown the fortitude to overcome near insurmountable adversity, take the steps he felt necessary to return to top form, and challenge the man who many consider the most dangerous boxer on the planet.

As the odds narrowly suggest, Deontay Wilder is expected to come out victorious on Saturday night with many people already prepared to criticize him for facing a man who is merely a shadow of his passed prime. However, the fact that the odds are so close despite Fury’s inactivity signify the level of respect for his boxing acumen within the pugilistic community, provided he’s as ready as he claims to be.

On Saturday night at the Staples Center, the same site where Lennox Lewis made his final successful defence of the heavyweight crown before retiring, this writer will be rooting for Fury to bring clarity to the heavyweight division. Within the modern era of boxing where multiple titles and politics have managed to confuse the masses and push boxing to the brink of fringe status in North America, a win by Fury would not only re-establish his status as being “the man to beat,” but he would also be the reigning, undefeated WBC Heavyweight Champion of the World whose trophy case also includes the WBA, WBO, and IBF titles.

For this fan, a Tyson Fury victory will finally bring clarity to who stands on the mountain top of our sweet science.

More Columns

Fury Joins Line of Former Heavyweight Champions Who Aimed For Comeback Glory


By: Sean Crose

And so this Saturday evening in California, Tyson Fury, undefeated fighter, one-time heavyweight kingpin, and – in the opinion of some, at least – still lineal heavyweight champion of the world, will step back into the ring to attain lost glory. His opponent will be WBC heavyweight champ Deontay Wilder, a thunderously hard punching American who, like Fury, is far more skilled than he’s been given credit for. What makes this bout particularly interesting is the fact that Fury went over two years without a fight after winning the heavyweight crown by shocking Wladimir Klitschko back in 2015. What’s more, he’s only had two matches – against less than stellar opposition – since returning to the sport.

During his time away from the ring, Fury drank, drugged, ate, and fell into a profoundly deep depression. He argues that he’s pulled out of his funk since that time (here’s hoping he truly has) and that he’s ready to shock the world. Perhaps he will. Yet it’s worth considering the fact that Fury is only the latest in a line of former heavyweight rulers who came back to attain past glory. Most have failed – though there’s at least one who was able to return in stunning and glorious fashion. Only time will tell on which side of the equation Furry will end up on. Until then, let’s take a look at some others who have found themselves on the same path Fury does now.

Way back, on the Fourth of July, 1910, a former feared and undefeated heavyweight champion named James J Jeffries stepped back into the ring after more than five years to try to wrest the heavyweight crown away from Jack Johnson, the world’s first black heavyweight champ. Jeffries was able to lose over a hundred pounds before the bout, but he wasn’t able to satisfy the white supremacists who wanted a Caucasian heavyweight kingpin. Johnson easily won the fight. It’s been claimed that Jeffries later admitted that, had he been in his prime, he still couldn’t have bested Johnson. He may well have been right.

Flash forward seven decades, to Muhammad Ali’s nearly tragic October 1980 attempt to win back the title after two years away from the ring. Larry Holmes may have previously been Ali’s sparring partner, but eight years before he himself fell victim to a younger champ, Holmes performed a one sided shellacking of the man known as the “Greatest.” Even the victorious Holmes, perhaps the greatest heavyweight titlist aside from Ali, was said to be profoundly depressed by the experience.

Then, on January 22nd, 1988, it was Holmes who decided to return to boxing, after a span of close to two years, in an attempt to regain his crown. His opponent? The feared and dominant undisputed boss of the big men, Mike Tyson. The world was promised a ready Holmes, but, although the “Easton Assassin” had a brief moment or two, Tyson destroyed the older man within four rounds in Atlantic City.

Yet there was one who was able to come back to the ring after a prolonged absence and regain the heavyweight crown. That man? Big George Foreman. Young people today may see Foreman as a ubiquitous pop culture figure, but as a young man, Foreman was truly a force to be reckoned with. Muahmmad Ali put an end to his glory train in 1973, but Foreman was able to return in the late 80s, and eventually, amazingly, win back the heavyweight championship a full 21 years after he had first won it against Joe Frazier. To put things in perspective:

Foreman was 24 years old and 217.5 pounds when he first won the title. When he won it again, he was 45 years old and a good thirty plus pounds heavier- a stunning feat by anyone’s standards.

A Fury victory on Saturday wouldn’t be nearly as stunning as Foreman’s comeback win against Michael Moorer back in 94, but considering the weight of his demons, and the 150 or so pounds he’s said to have taken off, it would quite the feat nonetheless.

More Headlines

Whyte vs. Chisora II Officially Announced


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.”

TICKET INFO

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.

More Headlines