By Barry Holbrook: Derek Chisora wants a “War” this Saturday, May 1st, in his long-awaited fight against former WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker, but he expects him to flee the battlefield.
Chisora (32-10, 23 KOs) expects Parker (28-2, 23 KOs) to take an ugly finesse approach to their clash at the Manchester Arena in Manchester, England.
Parker vs. Chisora will headline on Saturday on DAZN in the U.S and Sky Sports Box Office. The two were supposed to fight in 2019, but the New Zealander Parker pulled out, complaining of having been bitten by a spider.
Chisora, 37, wasn’t buying into the excuse, and he feels that there might have been something else going on with Parker that made him decide against taking the fight. Was it fear on Parker’s part?
After all, he’d recently suffered back-to-back losses to Dillian Whyte and Anthony Joshua in 2018. Had Parker lost to Chisora in 2019, his career would have been all but offer for all intents and purposes.
Fortunately, Parker has decided to fight with Chisora, but the timing plays into his hands. Chisora is coming off a 12 round split decision defeat against Oleksandr Usyk last December, and his career isn’t where it was two years ago when he attempted to fight Parker.
Did Parker change his mind about fighting Chisora because of his loss to Usyk, or would he still have fought him if he’d won that fight?
Chisora: Parker will run away
“You have to have a good excuse,” said Chisora about Parker’s bizarre reason for pulling out of their 2019 fight. “Him saying he had a spider bite was shambles of an excuse, to be honest with you.
“I’m going to punch him up. I’m expecting Joseph to run away. That is 100%. I know for a fact he’s going to run away.”
“I’m just going to pound on him when I see him. What can I do better than Joseph Parker? That’s a good question. Everything,” said Chisora.
It’s going to look odd to see the former WBO heavyweight champion Parker running from the older, shorter Chisora on Saturday, but he’s got to do what he feels will work.
What we saw of Parker in his last two fights against Junior Fa and Shawndell Winters is a fighter that has lost both hand and foot speed. Parker is not the same fighter he was three years ago when he fought Joshua and Whyte.
What happened to Parker’s speed?
It’s strange how quickly Parker has lost speed in his game. Normally, fighters physically age at a slower place over a period of a decade when losing speed.
But in Parker’s case, it happened rapidly within three years of his fights with Whyte and Joshua. Is Parker’s deterioration a result of the punishment he took in those two fights, or is this something that genetically was timed to happen when he hit his late 20s?
Top sprinters in track sometimes begin losing their speed in their late 20s. Perhaps this is what we see with Parker. What we do know is that without the speed that Parker once had, he’s going to be like a butterfly brought down to earth on Saturday.
It could be tough for him in the trenches against Chisora, who thrives in trench warfare.
Roy Jones Jr says Parker can win if he’s focused
“Joseph Parker is a really good fighter. He’s a punching heavyweight who can also throw combinations,” said Roy Jones Jr to Matchroom Boxing in analyzing Joseph’s fight with Chisora on Saturday.
“I thought Joseph Parker had a really good showing against Anthony Joshua [in 2018]. I thought that fight was closer than they made it, and I thought Joseph Parker, if he’s motivated, he’s a really tough guy to beat.
“A good thing about the heavyweight division, though, is that when a guy is a good puncher like Chisora, anything can happen.
“So what will really determine the outcome is what kind of shape and what kind of mentality they come into the ring with. If Chisora comes into the fight in shape and has that ‘can’t be touched, can’t be beat’ mentality more so than Joseph does, then he can upset Joseph Parker.
“But if Joseph Parker comes in focused and ready with that ‘can’t be touched’ mentality, then he should beat Chisora,” said Roy Jones Jr in previewing the Parker-Chisora fight.
Parker looked focused in his last fight against Junior Fa last February, and yet he was still slow and sluggish.