Boxing: Chisora sentencing date casts doubt on Klitschko fight

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The Independent Online

Dereck Chisora, the British heavyweight contender, is due in court next month for sentencing on theft and assault charges, casting doubt over his world title bout with Wladimir Klitschko.

Chisora must appear before the City of Westminster Magistrates' Court on 10 November, four weeks before he is scheduled to meet Klitschko in Mannheim, Germany.

On Friday the 26-year-old from Finchley, north London, pleaded guilty to the offences which took place on 28 May. A pre-sentence report is being compiled. Assault alone caries a maximum penalty of six months in prison and/or a fine. However, a source involved in the fight's promotion does not expect the court appearance to have an impact on the staging of the contest.

The British and Commonwealth champion, who was born in Zimbabwe, is unbeaten in 14 fights but is rated a heavy underdog against the IBF and WBO title holder Klitschko. Last year he was banned for four months and fined £2,500 for biting opponent Paul Butlin at York Hall in May.

Klitschko yesterday praised Chisora. "Dereck has impressed me with his latest win, a spectacular knockout of Sam Sexton," he said. "I think boxing fans around the world would love to see Dereck fight me. I respect Dereck that he took the chance without considering it too long. He heard about it and took it. I know another man [David Haye] that is fighting next month with his London buddy Audley Harrison.

"Haye was talking a lot but never coming into the ring. Dereck is young and has only had 14 fights, but that doesn't say a lot. The fact he's confident says a lot, his will says a lot."