By Scott Gilfoid: It looks like British/Commonwealth heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn will be looking to take him backwards for his next fight in terms of competition for his fight on April 9th, as Hearn is saying that the 31-year-old Dereck Chisora (24-5, 16 KOs) is at the top of the list for Joshua to fight.
For those who have kept track of Chisora, he’s lost every major fight he’s had in the last three years. Chisora beats the 2nd and 3rd tier fodder, to be sure, but he fails each time he’s put in against anyone decent.
“April 9 is the date when he will return to The O2 and we’re looking for a tough test. There are no steps back now for Anthony Joshua – he needs to keep progressing,” Hearn said to skysports.com.
Hearn is saying that there are no steps back for the 26-year-old Joshua, but I definitely see Chisora as a step back from Whyte. Granted, I think Whyte was little more than Chisora 2.0 in terms of talent, but I still think Whyte was a better version of Chisora. The only areas where Chisora is superior to Whyte is with his stamina, defense and experience.
Those are all pretty important areas to have going for you, but I think the 6’3” Whyte, as flawed as he is in the stamina department, would wipe the deck with smaller 6’1” Chisora if that fight happened between them. It would be a wipeout. If you the 6’6” Joshua in with Chisora, he’ll be able to stand back and drop bombs on him without having to worry about getting hit. Joshua would be like a giant B52 bomber dropping his payload of bombs from afar without even getting a scratch.
It would be a cringe worthy fight, and it’s pretty sad that Hearn is even contemplating making the fight. Even if you ignore Chisora’s failures inside the ring in the last three years, it’s still a horrible size mismatch. We saw how Chisora gave no effort at all to try and close the distance in his loss to Tyson Fury last year in November. Chisora looked like he gave up after a token effort in the 1st round to get to Fury. The fight wasn’t even interesting to watch because Chisora looked like he’d mentally give up after just one round.
“I think if we’re looking at defending that British title then Chisora is top of the pile of options in that respect,” Hearn said. “He is promoted by Kalle Sauerland, who I know very well. Chisora boxed on the card on Saturday night.”
I see Hearn’s ideas of wanting to match Joshua against Chisora as little more than a money grab. Hearn obviously knows that Chisora is a well-known name that the British boxing public knows about, and he also knows that he can fill the O2 Arena with a fight between those two and sell the fight/mismatch on Sky Box Office. But nothing more than a money grab in my view, because it’s not a competitive fight on paper, and it’s clearly a step backwards for Joshua from Whyte. Believe me, Chisora is a big step backwards from Whyte.
If you throw Chisora in the ring with Whyte, he’s going to get bully and battered by him. Chisora would have nothing to keep Whyte off of him. Joshua was able to survive against Whyte because he was able to get to the outside and use his long reach to keep from getting nailed. The smallish 6’1” Chisora would be forced to go right into the teeth of Whyte’s offense all night long to try and throw his wide punches. It would be a total slaughter. The same for Joshua facing Chisora.
I had a feeling that Hearn was Chisora as Joshua’s next opponent when he stuck him on the Joshua-Whyte undercard last Saturday night. Chisora is promoted by Sauerland Events, and there was no reason for Hearn to put him on his card at the O2 unless he had plans on matching him against Joshua in the near future. Sure enough, it looks like that’s what Hearn’s grand designs are. The wheels in Hearn’s head were spinning around even before the Joshua vs. Whyte fight.
Chisora fought a tubby 3rd tier fighter named Jakov Gospic and knocked him out in the 3rd round. If you saw that fight you’ll have noticed that Chisora literally stayed in 1st gear until briefly switching into 2nd gear to knock Gospic out with a chopping right in the 3rd. It was just a miserable mismatch.
I don’t think Hearn is going to get Chisora at a cheap cost, because he has a chance to fight all of Sauerland’s fighters David Price, Kubrat Pulev and Erkan Teper. If Hearn wants Chisora, he’s likely going to have to come up with some big cash to get him, because another loss for Chisora at this point could pretty much put him at the journeyman level in terms of his career. Like I said, Chisora is not an upgrade from Whyte. On the contrary, I see him as a poor man’s version of Whyte once you strip away the punching power, youth, size and aggression.
I think the Joshua-Chisora fight would have been a reasonable fight to make last year before Chisora was battered and beaten by Tyson Fury. But with the fight taking place now, it’s just bad timing. Unfortunately, I don’t think Hearn cares. It’s a money grab type fight, and the British public will gladly pay to see this mismatch. This is kind of sad because it makes me dread the future if Joshua gets a hold of one of the world titles.
We’ve seen how Hearn matches up one of his other title holders IBF welterweight champion Kell Brook by putting him in with softies like Frankie Gavin, Jo Jo Dan, Vyacheslav Senchenko, Carson Jones and now Kevin Bizier. If Joshua wins a world title, I can see Hearn putting him in with all kinds of bottom feeders and/or old past their prime fighters from the UK like David Haye and whoever else he can dig up for a safe title defense that the British public will want to see.