Chisora ready to repel fists of Fury

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The Independent Online

Dereck "Del Boy" Chisora is a fan of the comedy Only Fools and Horses, is the current British heavyweight champion and is a heavy betting favourite for his fight tonight against Manchester's Tyson Fury.

The pair fight at Wembley in what is arguably the most eagerly awaited fight for the domestic championship since Lennox Lewis beat Gary Mason in 1991 in the same ring.

The fight has been planned, scrapped and on and off a few times during a turbulent few months of purse bids, promotional rivalry and even the arrival of a new broadcaster in Channel Five.

Amazingly, the two fighters have never been the full 12 rounds of a championship contest and, to be brutally honest, a dedicated look at their combined records of 28 wins in 28 fights reveals just two, maybe three, opponents with a realistic chance of ever beating either of them.

However, the very fact that they have been developed in the time-honoured tradition and yet, at this early stage in their careers, are both prepared to fight each other is what has made the fight such a fantastic attraction; in British boxing we get far too few fights like this and yet in the last three months we have had Olympic gold medallist James DeGale losing to George Groves and now this.

Chisora went nine rounds in his last fight with Sam Sexton in a title defence, but he looked desperately short of breath and desire at the end of round eight.

Fury has vowed to lose the fat that he has been carrying after waking up one morning and deciding that "champions don't look like me". He has gone 10 rounds once and looked fortunate to get the decision over John McDermott. However, in a rematch, McDermott was punished and stopped in nine rounds.

"I know that Chisora is brave and that he will have a proper fight with me, he's a proper fighter and I respect that about him," claimed Fury, who had made a few regrettable comments before the combination of sense and the lurking presence of Max Clifford made him issue an apology to Chisora: "Don't be a plonker, I wasn't serious," Fury offered. Chisora has twice prepared in vain for planned and then scrapped fights against Wladimir Klitschko during the last six months; in April the fight was called off less than 48 hours before the first bell and there is every reason to believe that if he beats Fury there will finally be a multiple world-title fight against Klitschko.

1 Lennox Lewis1991-1992

Lewis made two defences of his title and won the first of two world heavyweight championships just 13 months after the last defence. British title classic with Gary Mason in 1991 was the last great fight for the old title.



2 Joe Bugner1971, 1976-1977

Bugner remains one of British boxing's best fighters never to win a proper world title and that is because his peak coincided with a decade of brilliance featuring Muhammad Ali and Co.



3 Henry Cooper1959-1969, 1970-1971

Sir Henry reigned supreme for a decade and took part in a total of 12 British title fights. He dropped Ali, he splashed it all over and he was a fierce but good sport.



4 Herbie Hide1993-1994

Hide, a terrific mover, is often overlooked as a champion because of his excessive lifestyle and destructive loss to the great Riddick Bowe in 1995.



5 Danny Williams2000-2004, 2007-2010

Williams beat Mike Tyson, lost to Vitali Klitschko and had a total of 11 British heavyweight title fights. During the last decade he took on the onerous burden of keeping the British heavyweight division alive.

       Boxers chosen from the modern era

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