By Thomas Cummings (@tj_cummings)
As few of you will have noticed I did not contribute what I had originally intended on being a weekly column for the site last week.
This was as a result of a lack of inspiration and a packed weekend of action, for which First Class Boxing’s more accomplished writers covered superbly.
It was in fact our esteemed editor who led me to pen (old school, Messrs Bunce and Lillis will appreciate that reference) this article after Paul posted a photo to Twitter of Dereck Chisora doing a very convincing impression of the Pigeon Lady from Home Alone 2.
Earlier this month Frank Warren announced that he had severed ties with the former British and European heavyweight champion. From exactly which promotional company Chisora has left, whether it be Queensberry, W. Promotions or which ever company is moonlighting as Warren’s latest promotional entity, is a debate for another article.
This development has left ‘Del Boy’ it is fair to say, a little like Macauley Culkin, lost – not necessarily in New York, however.
It also got me to thinking, as Chisora attempts to climb out of the obscurity that a lack of a deal with Frank Warren or Eddie Hearn leaves many established British names, how the Zimbabwe-born cult favourite’s career might be perceived.
Chisora’s career has been, like every great comedy, a matter of timing.
Unfortunately for ‘Del Boy’ stand-out performances in the ring have come at a time where for whatever reason the boxing Gods have not been kind to the Finchley fighter.
In late 2011 Chisora travelled to Finland to contest the vacant European crown with Robert Helenius, where I think it is fair to say he was victim to one of the biggest robberies of a British fighter on the content.
The result, while adding a second loss to the resumé, saw ‘Del Boy’s’ stock rise, securing a crack at a fading WBC champion in Vitali Klitschko. While the scores on the cards were wide a rousing finish from the challenger left Dr. Ironfist looking every bit his 41 years of age –– and had it been an old fashioned 15-round fight, who knows the conclusion?
What followed set up Frank Warren’s greatest triumph since the incarnation of BoxNation: an ugly confrontation at the post-fight press conference with David Haye, in Germany, seeking a crack at Vitali after a dismal display against younger sibling Wladimir.
Punches were thrown involving bottles, camera tripods swung and exclamations of “he glassed me.” Following the altercation Chisora claimed that he would “physically shoot David Haye” – whatever that means.
Of course ‘Del Boy’ did not fire upon The Hayemaker.
Instead, facing one another at what can only be described as a moist Upton Park, home of West Ham United, under the guise of a Luxembourgish boxing license after the British Boxing Board of Control denied the bout a license.
Once again timing was not Chisora’s friend as David Haye downed Dereck twice in the fifth round leading referee Mickey Vann (remember him) to wave off the contest. The fact that at this point Haye was blowing out of his proverbial backside leads many to wonder, had Chisora weathered the storm if things might have turned out differently.
Conversely Chrisora’s worst performances have come at pivotal times, and in contests that ‘Del Boy’ could and probably should have won. A first fight against Tyson Fury in 2011 saw a bloated Chisora lose a unanimous points decision. Fury then stopped a corpse-like Chisora in 10 rounds last November to secure the shot at Wladimir’s belts later this month.
Unfortunately for Chisora, who’s record reads 22 wins, 14 within the distance, and five losses, had his career possessed the same timing harnessed by the series from which the ‘Del Boy’ nickname is derived ‘Only Fools & Horses’ things could now be very different.
Where and with whom Chisora ends up remains to be seen, but one cannot help but guess that Eddie Hearn will be plotting a route and ironically the timing at which Del Boy can be lined-up as fodder for Anthony Joshua, like two British champions before him in Michael Sprott and Matt Skelton.by