Boxing: Chisora takes risk with slap in the face

 

Munich

We will find out tonight whether Dereck Chisora's slap around the chops of Vitali Klitschko was a wise move or stupid one when the pair meet here for the WBC heavyweight title.

It was some blow and Chisora's camp were as shocked as Klitschko when it happened and are seriously not happy.

Chisora said: "It was not planned. It was just something that happened and I did it because they [the Klitschko brothers] have messed me around for two years." Twice in the past this fight has been called off due to Klitschko's late withdrawals. Chisora's trainer, Don Charles, was still stunned two hours after the incident and said: "I'm very worried. I'm disturbed. That was not meant to happen. This is a sport and that was not good."

Klitschko deserves more respect. There was a point in his career, before Lennox Lewis altered his cheekbones and eye socket and drained him of several pints of blood, when nobody took him seriously. Chisora owns a Smart car and a London taxi and has fought just 17 times; he is still waiting to be taken seriously and that slap won't have helped.

In 2003 Klitschko was ruled out of his fight with Lewis and in the melee that followed Klitschko was trying to throw a few illegal punches. "His face was a mess, his people said he couldn't continue, but he wanted to fight," remembered Lewis. "His wife still asks me to give him a rematch. She has told me that he talks about it every day. He is an old-fashioned fighter, a proper fighter."

The fight made Klitschko a respectable heavyweight and he is unbeaten since that night in 11 fights, including 10 for the WBC belt, and he possibly has not lost a single round; he has certainly not been under pressure by any of the men who have stood to attention in the opposite corner.

It has to be said that some of the sacrifices have shaken in fear, knowing that a savage mauling was coming their way. They have left the ring for their uncertain boxing futures, some via a local hospital for a check before flights home, not understanding why they took up the sport in the first place. It is doubtful if any of Klitschko's victims since the night he lost to Lewis have left the ring with their reputations enhanced, which is a sad reflection on the realistic desires of trash-talking modern fighters and the slim pickings in the desperate ratings where promoters conceal their contenders. It is into this extreme world that Chisora now finds himself as the latest on a bloody conveyor belt of men who will never be remembered or missed.

Chisora has arguably the worst record of any fighter to share a ring with Klitschko since somebody calledIsmael Youla fell over in two easy rounds in 1999. Chisora has lost twice in 17 fights, has performed like he was bored on more than one occasion, has lost out at the scales, been banned for a bite and admitted to being hurt in other fights. He is honest, open, raw, fearless and, when he starts swinging, reminiscent of the group of tragically neglected American world heavyweight champions from the 1980s. The group were dubbed the Lost Generation because of their love of the crack pipe, prostitutes and bling. "They self-destructed but they could really fight and Dereck reminds me of them," said Adam Booth, who trains David Haye.

Chisora insists: "I needed a fight like this to get me up, to get me motivated. I can just go out and fight and that is what I want to do. Klitschko doesn't like to fight – he likes to bully." Chisora has been trying to get in Klitschko's face and the slap was just the latest in pre-fight tests as part of a ploy to make Klitschko fight with emotion.

Last December, Chisora fought the unbeaten Robert Helenius in front of a capacity crowd in Helsinki. It was supposed to be an easy fight for Helenius before he stepped in with Klitschko. However, it was a slugfest, a throwback heavyweight fight contested over the centre of the ring and when it finished Chisora looked like a clear winner.A split decision went to Helenius, but his body suffered and he has retreated from the sport and left an opening for Chisora.

Tonight Chisora will need some luck from a variety of sources if he is to pull off one of the biggest shocks involving a British fighter in a world championship contest. He needs Klitschko to have taken him lightly, which is just possible following his admission that 90 per cent of his time is devoted to politics in his native Ukraine. He needs Klitschko's joints to cause him trouble and limit his movement. This is also possible because Klitschko took a four-year sabbatical from the ring in 2004 and in his last fight he suddenly just crumpled to the canvas when it looked like his knee collapsed. It is possible that the slap means that Klitschko will now make the fight personal and that could seriously backfire on Chisora.

Klitschko has stopped only one person quickly in his last 10 world title fights and that was because of a leg injury in round one. He actually hovered above the fallen victim, swearing, frothing at the mouth and telling him to get up. He likes to make sure before the end and has slowly ruined three men in the eighth round, one in the ninth, three in the 10th, one in the 12th and one on points. He needs to know there is no resistance before letting his big arms fly.

Chisora is in the spotlight and, unlike most of the carefully selected boxers that fight Klitschko, he is less predictable, less well known. There is no "revert to type" model with Chisora. He might freeze, he might fall over, he might run scared; the truth is that nobody really knows.

"I don't have a plan. I'm just going to fight," said Chisora. He is probably telling the truth and that will make every second of the fight a lot of fun.

Heavyweight Upsets

James Douglas bt Mike Tyson

Iron Mike was undisputed world champion going into the bout with 42-1 shot Douglas in Tokyo in 1990. But "Buster" – just three weeks after his mother's death – overturned the odds with a 10th-round knockout.

Hasim Rehman bt Lennox Lewis

1The Canadian Brit opted to film a movie role as part of his training for the 2001 fight but paid the price in South Africa, going down to a fourth-round knockout. Lewis won a rematch seven months later.

Leon Spinks bt Muhammad Ali

By then one of the great names in sport, even at 36 years of age Ali was expected to win this 1978 fight with ease, but was outpointed over 15 rounds in Las Vegas by a 24-year-old tyro from Missouri.

Sarah Cobb

Life and Style
Customers can get their caffeine fix on the move
food + drink
Life and Style
techCould new invention save millions in healthcare bills?
Sport
David Moyes gets soaked
sport Moyes becomes latest manager to take part in the ALS challenge
News
peopleEnglishman managed the quintessential Hollywood restaurant Chasen's
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
Mosul dam was retaken with the help of the US
voicesRobert Fisk: Barack Obama is following the jihadists’ script
Arts and Entertainment
Flat out: Michael Flatley will return to the stage in his show Lord Of The Dance
danceMichael Flatley hits West End for last time alongside Team GB World champion Alice Upcott
News
Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
i100
Life and Style
Black Ivory Coffee is made using beans plucked from elephants' waste after ingested by the animals
food + drinkFirm says it has created the "rarest" coffee in the world
Arts and Entertainment
Loaded weapon: drugs have surprise side effects for Scarlett Johansson in Luc Besson’s ‘Lucy’
filmReview: Lucy, Luc Besson's complex thriller
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie T plays live in 2007 before going on hiatus from 2010
arts + entsSinger-songwriter will perform on the Festival Republic Stage
Life and Style
food + drinkThese simple recipes will have you refreshed within minutes
News
Jermain Defoe got loads of custard
i100
News
peoplePamela Anderson rejects ice bucket challenge because of ALS experiments on animals
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Data Insight Manager - Marketing

£32000 - £35000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based o...

Data Centre Engineer - Linux, Redhat, Solaris, SAN, Puppet

£55000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A financial software vendor at the forefro...

.NET Developer

£600 per day: Harrington Starr: .NET Developer C#, WPF,BLL, MSMQ, SQL, GIT, SQ...

Data Centre Engineer - Linux / Redhat / Solaris / Puppet / SAN

£65000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A financial software vendor at the forefro...

Day In a Page

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

Make the most of British tomatoes

The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Malky Mackay allegations: Malky Mackay, Iain Moody and another grim day for English football

Mackay, Moody and another grim day for English football

The latest shocking claims do nothing to dispel the image that some in the game on these shores exist in a time warp, laments Sam Wallace
La Liga analysis: Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Pete Jenson starts his preview of the Spanish season, which begins on Saturday, by explaining how Fifa’s transfer ban will affect the Catalans
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape