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Chisora responds to Usyk while taking body shots from David Haye

Alexander Usyk Derek Chisora

By Jim Maltzman: Dereck Chisora responded to Oleksandr Usyk on Saturday in calling his name while getting brutally punished with body shots by his manager David Haye while hanging by a beam. “Hell, Usyk,” Chisora said.

Some of the left hooks that Haye hit Chisora with looked like they hurt him. Haye was putting a lot of power in the punches, but Dereck (32-9, 23 KOs) took them well.

On Friday, Usyk (17-0, 13 KOs) posted a video clip on his Instagram of him lying down and getting hit repeatedly by a medicine ball by his trainer. While Usyk, 33, was being beaten, he said, “Dereck, I’m coming for you.

The former undisputed cruiserweight champion Usyk is trying to put pressure on Chisora and put the scare in him. For Chisora, he’s traditionally been the hunter, the guy that is letting his opponents know that he’s coming for them. But in facing the young lion Usyk, the tables are reversed, and it’s him that is playing the mind games.

Chisora is now an old lion at 36, and he’s been hand-picked by Usyk to give him a win over a name guy to build up a fight between him and IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua in 2021.

Alexander Usyk Derek Chisora

It’s Chisora’s job to show Uyk that he picked the wrong guy to be used as a tool to build his fight with AJ.

Chisora stands to gain a lot if he beats Usyk. If he gets the win over him on October 31, he’ll take over as the WBO mandatory, and it’ll be him that takes on Joshua next year. That’s the working date Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn is looking at for the Usyk vs. Chisora fight.

Hearn giving Usyk vs. Chisora an “outside chance” of happening

“Fans are the $64 million question, isn’t it?” said Hearn to Sky Sports Boxing in responding to a question about when crowds will return. “We have some calls this week to the government to see if we can bring fans back for the [Joshua] Buatsi card [on October 4], the Lewis Ritson card, and, of course, for the Whyte-Povetkin card as well.

“There’s a cheeky outside chance for Usyk-Chisora as well. But for AJ on December 12, it looks like the O2 Arena. We want to make sure we get that place filled up again with great people, great energy, and a great noise.

“We are, of course, bound by the science, by the news, and by the government, but we are making progress. We’re hoping to bring fans back to the arenas, but it’s important to know that the entire schedule, and that includes the AJ fight, are going ahead fans or no fans.

“We can’t afford, and the fighters in their position can’t afford to sit back and wait for an uncertain resolution because we don’t know when that’s going to come. All the guys are saying, ‘I want to progress my career.

“Let’s get in there.’ Fans are no fans, we saw a great series here with no fans, but the bread & butter stuff is to bring them back. We want the energy, we want the walk on, and we want the noise. We miss it, so hopefully, we get some good news soon,” Hearn said.

The hard work that Chisora and Usyk are doing right now in training camp suggests that they WILL be fighting on October 31 as planned. It’s hard to imagine either of those two fighters wanting to put in the grueling work they’re doing now if they didn’t believe that they’ll be fighting next month on Halloween.

Alexander Usyk Derek Chisora

If you’re Chisora, 36, you don’t come out ahead fighting Usyk in 2020 without fans. Not only is Chisora making less money fighting Oleksandr this year, but he can’t take advantage of the fans being there live to encourage him. Those are two massive reasons why Chisora wouldn’t want to fight Usyk this year.

If Hearn is going to make up the difference by giving Chisora the kind of money that he would be getting by fighting in front of a large crowd of 20,000 at the O2 Arena, then it would be okay for him to take the fight.

It would be nice to know why Hearn picked October 31 to stage the Usyk-Chisora fight. For Americans, that’s a night that involves going to parties or handing out candy to the kids.

If it’s not as big a deal in the UK, then it’s understandable why Hearn picked that day. It would be any other day for British boxing fans.

Eddie regrets tearing down Fight Camp

“There’s a number of places that we’re looking at for the moment,” said Hearn when asked if he’s thinking of doing another Fight Camp. “We want to do something special, you know? We want to do something special.

“I turned down doing it in the studio because I don’t think that you’re giving the fighters enough respect. I wanted to create something special here [at Matchroom Fight Camp], a spectacle, and we did it. Now we move on to the next phase.

“Phase two was always about bringing back fans, but if we can’t do that, then we need to create another spectacle. I’m a bit gutted that we brought this [Fight Camp] down, but I thought the weather in September would be a bit dodgy.

Alexander Usyk Derek Chisora

“It shows you how wrong I was. The lawn has definitely seen better days, but we’ve got big plans. Like I say, we hope it’s in front of fans, but our plans and our schedule will go ahead regardless,” said Hearn.

More than a few people didn’t understand the logic behind Hearn taking down the Fight Camp so early. The pandemic isn’t expected to go away anytime soon, and it’s possible that it could linger well into next year. Even with a vaccine, the virus will still be there because many aren’t going to take it.

Hearn has the money to have the Fight Camp reassembled at the Matchroom Boxing HQ if he wants. He needs to stop worrying about his lawn being torn up and focus on the good that he’s giving the fans.

There is still no venue for Anthony Joshua vs. Kubrat Pulev or Alexander Povetkin vs. Dillian Whyte II. What better place to stage those fights than back at the Fight Camp. I’m sure Hearn’s neighbors won’t be thrilled, but that’s no big deal.

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