Chisora vs Fury: The Calm Before The Storm
by Owen Hammond: The waiting is almost over for the highly anticipated Bad Blood event tonight at London’s ExCel arena. I have recently previewed the chief support fight, Saunders vs Eubank Jr, and I now turn my attention towards the main event which sees Tyson Fury (22-0-0, 16 KOs) challenge Dereck Chisora (20-4-0, 13 KOs) for Del Boy’s EBU Heavyweight title. The fight is also for the vacant British Heavyweight belt, but perhaps more importantly doubles up as an eliminator for the WBO Heavyweight title currently heald by the machine that is Wladimir Klitschko.
The last few months has seen a somewhat controversial build-up to this fight, that was originally scheduled for July 26th, mostly due to the questionable yet perhaps entertaining antics of the charismatic Tyson Fury. A man of many words, Fury has been seen flipping over a table and storming out of a press conference; hurling foul-mouthed abuse at Chisora as well as offering him to fight at another press conference; and turning up with his mouth taped and refusing to speak at a further press conference after being fined by the BBBofC for his previous antics. Throughout all of the build-up however Dereck Chisora, a former angry man himself who has been involved in many controversial encounters (brawling with David Haye at a post fight press conference, spitting water in Wladimir Klitschko’s face etc), has remained calm and collected.
Whether due to Chisora’s calmness and unwillingness to retaliate, the fact that the BBBofC have been on Tyson’s case, or a whole number of other reasons, the most recent build-up has remained unusally uneventful. The final press conference on Thursday saw both men looking relaxed and building the fight up as a 50-50 encounter in which either man could win. There was clearly mutual respect and no animosity whatsoever. The weigh-in on Friday was a little more lively, with both men facing off and exchanging a few words however this was still relatively calm considering the reputation of both men.
We are now in the calm before the storm. All of the talking has been done in the many press conferences during the build-up and all that remains is for both men to climb in the ring and back up their words. After their very forgettable encounter in 2011, which saw an out-of-shape Chisora outpointed by a less than impressive Fury, both men have gone their separate ways and done their separate things en-route to this second meeting. While Chisora has racked up a further 6 wins and 3 losses (1 by KO at the hands of David Haye), Fury has had 7 consecutive wins (6 inside the distance). At first glance it would appear that Fury has done more, however looking at the people who he has fought it is quite the opposite. Though Chisora has suffered three defeats (two in my eyes as he was robbed against Helenius), two of those defeats have been against elite world class fighters in Vitali Klitschko and David Haye. Despite these losses, Chisora went on to capture the EBU crown and has won his last five fights. Fury however has beaten less than impressive opposition and, let’s be honest, hasn’t exactly looked brilliant in doing so. Having said that, he has always found a way to win.
This time around its a totally different story. I believe we could be in for a treat, which is a big claim given the recent disappointment in the Heavyweight division. As opposed to their first fight, Chisora is clearly in fantastic shape and perhaps more significantly has developed mentally. He is focussed on the game and has learnt to stay calm and manage his anger. He is quite literally a different person. Fury is also in fantastic shape, probably the best shape he has even been in. He too is confident, an asset that he has never lacked, and appears to be in the right state mentally. Throw in the fact that this fight is an eliminator for the WBO title, with the winner looking to get a shot next year, and we have a brilliant fight.
I can see why people will be sceptical about this fight living up to expectation, but i honestly believe we will see one of the most entertaining Heavyweight fights for a long time. Chisora not only has a point to prove after their first fight, but this is perhaps the final shot for him to make it big in boxing. Fury has his undefeated record to protect, and his many claims to back-up not to mention the potential for big money fights against the likes of Klitschko, Deontay Wilder, and even Anthony Joshua.
To me this is a genuine 50-50 fight. Both men have it all to lose and a lot to gain. Fury is the clear favourite and holds a victory over Chisora already, however Chisora has done more since their first encounter. I believe this may be a big factor in the ring. The experience Chisora has gained, both in winning and in losing, has made him a much better boxer. This, coupled with his new-found dedication and relaxed disposition, could be the defining factors in this fight. It is a really tough fight to call and it would be easy to sit on the fence, but that is something that I don’t like to do. For this reason, I’m leaning towards Chisora. I believe Tyson Fury is the same boxer he was when they last fought, only in better shape, whereas Chisora is twice the boxer he was back then. Though I wouldn’t be at all surprised at a victory for either man, I’m picking Chisora to win by mid to late KO in an explosive encounter.
If your not currently interested in this fight, please re-consider as the winner of this fight will be a significant part of a new era of Heavyweights. People like Anthony Joshua, Deontay Wilder and perhaps even David Haye again will all be in the mix, and over the next few years there is the potential for the Heavyweight division to be revitalised. Pay attention and get ready for the storm that is coming.