By Barry Holbrook: Dereck ‘Delboy’ Chisora can make millions if wins tonight’s fight against Oleksandr Usyk to take his WBO mandatory position, according to promoter Eddie Hearn.
He says Usyk’s WBO mandatory will, in fact, be up for grabs tonight in his 12-round heavyweight fight against Chisora (32-9, 23 KOs) at the Wembley Arena in London, England.
Up until now, there’s been a bit of confusion about whether the WBO mandatory spot that Usyk (17-0, 13 KOs) currently holds could be transferred over to Chisora if he were to win, but that’s what the case is, says Hearn.
With the WBO mandatory position an extra motivation for Chisora, he has a lot to gain if he can win tonight against the former undisputed cruiserweight champion Usyk.
The winner of tonight’s fight will be mandatory for WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua.
Hearn says that Chisora’s manager David Haye will try and push the World Boxing Organization to force Joshua to defend against Dereck next rather than facing WBC champion Tyson Fury. However, Hearn isn’t sure that the WBO will make that move.
Even if the WBO does order Joshua to face Chisora, he likely won’t do it. He’ll vacate and leave the WBO for Chisora to fight over against the next highest ranked contender in the sanctioning bodies’ top 15 rankings.
Haye wants Chisora to show no respect for Usyk
“I think in the last couple of years, Dereck Chisora has calmed down,” said Hearn to Boxing Social. “Dereck is not fake. If he likes someone and doesn’t have a problem with someone, he’s actually a really nice geezer.
“He really likes Usyk. Usyk is very difficult to dislike. Tony tried to do that in the fight. But you can’t give him that respect in the ring, and that’s what Haye has been pumping into Chisora all week.
“David has been on fire this week. David Haye is absolutely smashing the pay-per-view. He’s very good at it as well. I told Dave yesterday, ‘You are selling this to the hilt. Keeping doing it.’ He’s totally convinced.
“He’s been telling Chisora, ‘When you get in there, zero respect.’ It’s all quite friendly-friendly,'” Hearn said about what Haye has been telling Dereck ahead of his fight tonight with Usyk.
Chisora can’t afford to show Usyk too much respect in there tonight if he wants to win. All friendly banter between Dereck and Usyk will need to go out the window tonight for Delboy if he wants to win.
Haye never had that problem with his opponents leading up to his fights during his career because he always made it clear that they were the enemy from day one. Chisora has taken a different tack in being nice to Usyk and flattering him with compliments.
Chisora will have Haye and Bellew to motivate him
“Usyk, I think he got sick and tired of people saying he’s not big enough, he doesn’t punch hard enough, he’s not strong enough, and he’s trying to justify himself in talking about the World Series of Boxing,” said Hearn.
“‘You don’t have to be an elephant, you can be a lion’ and all this kind of stuff. It’s a unique experience. It’s behind closed doors, and I’m not sure who it’s going to favor because both guys are a little bit concerned about not having that 20,000 roars and having to do it.
“I think it’ll favor Chisora because he’ll have Haye, and he’ll have Bellew, and they’ll be all night. ‘Keep going, let them go, let your hands go.’ He [Chisora] needs that kick up the a** during the fight,” Hearn said about the support he’ll be given by Haye and Bellew tonight at the Wembley Arena.
As long as Chisora can follow Bellew and Haye’s shouted instructions, he might be alright tonight when things can tough. But the things that Chisora’s rooting section is asking him to do maybe beyond his capability.
It’s not as if Usyk can’t understand English and will know what Bellew and Haye are asking Chisora to do against him.
Overall, Chisora is better off having Haye and Bellew shouting instructions to him because with the crowd not being there tonight, he’ll be able to hear what they’re telling him.
Chisora won’t want to let Haye down, so he’ll make sure he follows his instructions to the letter.
Dereck can make millions if he wins tonight
“Usyk is set already. He’s due to fight the winner of Joshua-Pulev unless someone changes their mind,” Hearn said. “Usyk is happy with the undisputed fight.
“Chisora is in the same position as Alexander Povetkin was in going into the Dillian Whyte fight. Dillian was sorted, but Povetkin is not. So Delboy, in my opinion, will take the mandatory position.
“What David is trying to force is when AJ hopefully beats Pulev, Chisora is the immediate next fight. I’m not sure if they’ll [World Boxing Organization], but I do think they’ll install him as #1.
“I do think they’ll install him [Chisora] as the mandatory. It’s a massive fight for Chisora. I haven’t really thought about that, but I’ve heard him talk about it a lot yesterday.
“It’s obviously a carrot that David has been dangling, saying, ‘It’s a big-money fight if you win this one. You’re cooking on millions.’ So that’s obviously a big motivation for Dereck as well,” said Eddie.
The money Chisora can make by winning the WBO mandatory spot tonight will be huge. As long as Chisora doesn’t lose the WBO spot in his next fight or two in 2021, he’ll be in a good position to battle for that title in 2022.
Besides Chisora needing to win his one or two fights in 2021 to hold onto the WBO spot, there are no guarantees that Joshua or Fury will keep the strap when confronted with a fight with Chisora.
If they feel that Chisora isn’t a worthwhile fight, they could give up the WBO title and hold onto the IBF, WBA, and WBC belts.
Usyk doesn’t want to step aside
“They don’t want to step aside, and that conversation will come post-Joshua-Pulev,” Hearn said about Usyk not willing to step aside to let AJ face Tyson Fury while he waits.
“I’ve got a good relationship with [Alex] Krassyuk, a good relationship with Egis [Klimas] and Usyk. If there’s a sensible deal to be done, I think they’ll consider it.
“Ultimately, Usyk is not about the money. Usyk wants to win the world’s heavyweight championship. Usyk wants to become undisputed in both weights,” said Hearn.
“So he doesn’t want to wait around, and so it’s got to be something that makes sense for him. Not, ‘Here’s a few quid, wait.’
“One of the greatest pound-for-pound kings against the British bulldog Dereck Chisora with Tony Bellew and David Haye on that team,” said Hearn. “They are going to war.”
Usyk probably won’t step aside for the Joshua vs. Fury fight if he beats Chisora tonight, which will result in the WBO title being vacated. That doesn’t matter to Usyk, according to Hearn.
Usyk wants to collect all the belts at heavyweight, whether all at once or one at a time. He’s not going to sit around and wait until 2022 for his mandated title shot against whichever heavyweight winds up with the WBO title.
The problem with Usyk waiting until 2022 for his title shot is the winner of the second Joshua vs. Fury fight in 2021 could vacate the WBO title after their match, which would mean that Usyk will have waited for nothing.
If the whole thing for Usyk to fight Joshua or Fury, there’s no certainty that he’ll get that fight by waiting until 2022.
That’s why Usyk should insist on the WBO that he gets his title shot next year. At least if Usyk captures the WBO title, he’ll have a valuable chess piece that will increase his chances of getting the Joshua-Fury winner to face him in 2022.
They’ll want to fight Usyk because they’ll need his WBO title to become the undisputed heavyweight champion.
The main risk involved in Usyk, forcing Joshua to vacate his WBO title, is that he would still need to fight for the vacant belt against the highest-ranked contender.
Under that scenario, Usyk would need to face either #2 Daniel Dubois of #3 Joseph Parker for the vacant WBO title. Those would be hard fights for Usyk, and he could lose to whichever of those two elects to face him for the WBO belt.