Dereck Chisora willing to fight Oleksandr Usyk behind closed doors without fans
By Charles Brun: Dereck Chisora says he’s ready to fight Oleksandr Usyk behind closed doors if need be on May 23 in order to keep the contest from being postponed due to the COVID 19 pandemic.
(Photo credit: Matchroom Boxing/Mark Robinson)
To show how serious Chisora (32-9, 23 KOs) is about wanting to prevent becoming ill with the coronavirus, he came to Friday’s news conference dressed in his mask, sunglasses, and gloves to protect himself.
Usyk vs. Chisora could be postponed
Unfortunately for Chisora, none of those measures will save his May 23 fight card from being postponed if the UK government chooses to ban mass gatherings and sporting events, which attract large crowds.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to put a ban in place this week in the UK that will prevent the gathering of people for events. If that is done, it could jeopardize Chisora’s fight with Usyk on May 23.
As far as the chances of the Chisora-Usyk fight being staged behind closed doors, It’ll be up to Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn whether he’s agreeable to that idea.
There are two problems with Chisora’s wish to stage the fight with Usyk (17-0, 13 KOs) without a crowd present on May 23. They are as follows:
1. Will the loss of gate money prevent the undercard fights from taking place? If so, how will that affect the viewership on DAZN and Sky Box Office?
2. Is there going to be testing be done on the fighters BEFORE the fight takes place to make sure they’re not already infected with coronavirus? It’s believed that an infected person can be asymptomatic for coronavirus and still spread the disease.
Chisora ready to fight Usyk behind closed doors
“I just think it’s cyberterrorist happening now,” said Chisora in talking about the COVID 19 pandemic. “That’s what’s happening now. The stock market is down, and if you go share the same things, you’re bankrupt, and people are bleeding out there and people are dying. So this is the new war now. Yes, behind closed doors just me and him and the officials, and I’ll be happy with that, yeah.
“I’m very confident of that [knocking Usyk out]. I’m going to grind him, he’s going to grind, and we’re going to grind each other,” said Chisora. “But I know for a fact that I’m going to come with a power punch and I’m going to rock him and take it. And then I’m going to take him off after that,” Chisora said of Usyk.
As long as Usyk stands perfectly still with his back against the ropes like Chisora’s last two opponents David Price and Artur Szpilka, he has a good shot of knocking him out. However, Usyk doesn’t fight that way. He stays in the MIDDLE of the ring and moves a lot, and he’s hard to hit.
Hearn talked on Friday about wanting to load up the Usyk-Chisora undercard with fighters from the March 28 fight Josh Kelly vs. David Avanesyan card if it gets canceled due to the COVID 19 crisis.
It’s going to be an interesting fight once the Usyk-Chisora contest takes place, but the only question is WHEN it will be taking place? If it’s on the originally scheduled date of May 23 with the crowd present, then that’s great. But if the fight needs to be postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, then who knows how long it’ll take before the two of them meet.
Chisora: Usyk’s performance against Witherspoon wasn’t bad
“That was his announcement that he was coming to the heavyweight division,” Chisora said of Usyk’s heavyweight debut against Witherspoon last October. “He [Usyk] trained for a guy and the guy came in on 4 weeks’ notice, and he didn’t know much about the guy,” said Dereck about Chazz Witherspoon.
“I would have boxed the same way he did because he didn’t have that fear factor. The opponent has been changed. I don’t judge that as a bad performance. I just looked at it like he did what he needed to do to get the win, and he’s in the heavyweight game,” said Chisora.
Usyk only got hit by the 38-year-old Witherspoon when he was attacking him. When Usyk was jabbing and moving, Witherspoon couldn’t lay a glove on him. Granted, it was boring to watch, as many of Usyk’s fights are, but he was effective at what he was doing.
When Usyk uses his amateur fencing style of fighting, he’s difficult to be hit by his opponents. If he fights like that against Chisora, his chances of success are high. The only negative is Usyk will be booed by boxing fans at ringside [if there are any fans present], and people at home will be turned off.
A lot of people that aren’t familiar with Usyk’s fighting style mistakenly believe he’s a slugger, which is completely untrue. He’s more of a Chris Byrd type of fighter, who uses his skills to outbox his opponents.
Chisora interested in Joshua fight in the future
“It interests me down the line, but right now I’m concerned with this guy, and AJ has a massive guy in front of him this time and he’s got so much confidence because he’s been training so hard, Pulev,” said Chisora. “He’s been fighting nobodies waiting for his big-name time.
“Now he thinks he’s got it. Everybody is busy right now. Tyson Fury and Wilder is happening, and Dillian [Whyte] is busy,” Chisora said. “The Polish kid [Adam Kownacki] just lost, so everything is up in the air. It’s nuts, but that’s good for boxing. That means we’re going to get 10 to 15 fights this year, which is amazing for the sport I love,” said Chisora.
Dereck knows better than to overlook Usyk and start talking about a fight between him and IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua. Chisora needs to beat Usyk, and currently considered the undercard, and Joshua will need to beat Kubrat Pulev and the Tyson Fury vs. Deontay Wilder 3 winner.
If everything works in Chisora’s favor, he could face Joshua in the first half of 2021, but definitely not this year. Joshua’s schedule is already filled for 2020, and there’s little hope that he’ll take the fight with Chisora.
Wilder put too much weight on his upper body
“When I saw Deontay Wilder, I saw that he put so much weight in his upper body, but he forgot his legs,” said Chisora. “So it was difficult for him to keep Tyson Fury off him and release his punches,” said Chisora. “But if he took all that weight and put it in his legs, it would be a different story, you know? Tyson is an unbelievable fighter.
“He’s big, tall, and he knows all the skills as a Gypsy. It’s one of those ones that I’d like to do it too. He has to let me win one. He’s beaten me twice, so he has to let me win one. If it’s your time to go, it’s your time to go, trust me,” said Chisora in giving his thoughts on the coronavirus. “If it’s your time to go see your maker, then it’s your time to go,” said Chisora.
Wilder might have thought he could bulk up with muscles and still fight effectively the way that Tyson Fury does, but that was a mistake. Deontay has never fought well when he’s been up near 230. He’s not able to carry that kind of weight without being slowed down and dealing with fatigue problems. Wilder is at his best between 212 to 215 lbs.
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