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Klitschko-Chisora: Can Vitali handle Dereck’s pressure?

Image: Klitschko-Chisora: Can Vitali handle Dereck's pressure?By Sean McDaniel: WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko (43-2, 40 KO’s) hasn’t ever faced a come forward type of fighter with the power and the head movement of what he’ll be facing in challenger Dereck Chisora (15-2, 9 KO’s) on February 18th at the Olympiahalle in Munich, Germany.

The closest thing that Vitali has come to fighting someone like Chisora was in his fights against Samuel Peter, Chris Arreola and to a certain extent Chris Byrd. Vitali handled Arreola and Peter without too many problems because both of them were easy to hit with head shots because neither of them moved their heads very much at all.

It was like target practice for Vitali. But in his fight against the much better defensively skilled Byrd, Vitali missed with punch after punch as Byrd came forward pressuring him. In fact, Vitali missed so often with his shots that he eventually tore up left shoulder and had to quit after the 9th round because of the pain. Some say that Vitali just plain quit because was beginning to be humiliated by Byrd.

The German crowd had completely turned on Vitali by the 8th round, and were cheering Byrd as he took the fight to the much bigger Vitali. Chisora has the same exact skills that Byrd has but with much better power in both hands.

I think Chisora is even harder to hit cleanly than Byrd because he’s got that Joe Frazier-like head movement that keeps him from getting hit when he’s in close. Chisora is hittable on the outside to jabs and well-timed right hands and left hooks, but once he’s in close, he’s very hard to hit.

Chisora is going to be getting inside on Vitali and that’s where this fight could change quickly. If Vitali can’t keep Chisora on the outside, he’s going to be forced to fight an inside war that really favors the younger, quicker and stronger Chisora. We could see a big upset here with Vitali getting outworked and outpunched like Robert Helenius was in his recent fight against Chisora.

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