Steve Bunce on Boxing: Could Chisora be the man to end Klitschko era?

 

Nearly 60,000 people will watch three world heavyweight title fights in Germany during a 13-day period starting next month and there will not be one American fighter involved.

These are just the latest fixtures to add distance between the traditional home of heavyweight boxing and the place that has laid siege to the belts with a seemingly endless line of big men since about 2000.

The Klitschko brothers, who control three of the four recognised belts, have ruined a total of 16 American challengers during a 12-year spell of domination; Wladimir, the younger of the pair, has stopped or knocked out all 11 of the American men he has beaten in world-title fights.

"We are all bored with the Klitschko brothers," was one of Dereck Chisora's lines on Monday when he met with Vitali in London to promote their WBC fight in Munich on 18 February. It is a variation on a theme that a long and often distinguished line of fighters has been uttering since the brothers assumed dominance when Lennox Lewis retired in 2003 after stopping Vitali on cuts.

"The challengers arrive with their big talk and their plans," said Wladimir last summer before exposing David Haye's ambitions. "They get in the ring and they do nothing. What is wrong with them?"

The answer to Wladimir's question is not easy to find; good boxers travel to Germany with solid records, quality teams and their ambitions intact, and slowly and methodically they get a beating at the controlling fists of the brothers. The fights are repetitive to watch and predictable and most of the beaten men still have no idea how they ended up on the floor and crushed.

"They are faster than you think, they move better than you think and they just get all over the ring," offered Eddie Chambers, whose nickname Fast Eddie looked wholly inappropriate as he was jabbed into pulp and blasted out in the 12th round by Wladimir in 2010. By the way, over 51,000 people paid to watch and 13.7m watched live on TV, which was the biggest audience since the football European Championship two years earlier.

"I've watched a lot of their fights and their opponents are scared to death when they get in the ring," said Shannon Briggs in 2010. "I'm going to put the pressure on – I've got no fear." Briggs is right in some ways and he was brave, but he failed to put any pressure on and went the distance with Vitali. He was also in hospital for over a week with a series of facial fractures after the prolonged massacre.

"I heard what Briggs said before he went in with Vitali and what was the point of that? What did he prove when he was in hospital all smashed up?" asked Chisora. "I have nothing to prove about my bravery – I want to win and that is what the other fighters have forgotten when they get in the ring with the Klitschkos."

Chisora was twice meant to fight Wladimir but in 2010 the fight collapsed with less than 48 hours to go and last year it was called off a few weeks before the bell. Wladimir had valid excuses on both occasions but Manny Steward, the American who trains him, had concerns. "Dereck is a good fighter and let's just say I'm glad he's not fighting Wlad," Manny told me last month.

Could it be that Chisora, an Only Fools and Horses fanatic with a constant line in lunatic comments, is the one heavyweight with a chance of actually toppling a Klitschko's grasp on the title? We will find out on 18 February.

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Austen Lloyd: Private Client Solicitor - Oxford

Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: OXFORD - REGIONAL FIRM - An excellent opportu...

Austen Lloyd: Clinical Negligence Associate / Partner - Bristol

Super Package: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL - SENIOR CLINICAL NEGLIGENCE - An outstan...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Consultant - Solar Energy - OTE £50,000

£15000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Fantastic opportunities are ava...

Recruitment Genius: Compute Engineer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Compute Engineer is required to join a globa...

Day In a Page

Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

Diana Krall interview

The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

Pinstriped for action

A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

Michael Calvin's Last Word

How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us