Derek Chisora (33-12, 23 KOs) pulled off a career-saving twelve-round split decision victory over Kubrat Pulev (29-3, 14 KOs) on Saturday night in their rematch in front of a large crowd at the Ow Arena in London, England.
The 38-year-old Chisora landed the harder, cleaner-landing shots against a very slow & weak Pulev to grind out a narrow decision.
Pulev came on in the championship rounds to get the better of the action due to Chisora fading badly, and spending long stretches perched with his back against the ropes.
- 116-112 – Chisora
- 116-112 – Chisora
- 116-112 – Pulev
Pulev did a great deal of clinching and allowed Chisora to work his body. The referee warned Pulev about his obsessive holding, but it didn’t do much to keep him from continuing to grab the entire 12-round fight.
Pulev was cut over his left eye from a clash of years in the seventh. In the eleventh, Pulev suffered a cut over his right eye.
Chisora was staggered in the eighth round after getting nailed by a big uppercut from Pulev. Surprisingly, Pulev chose to go to the body of Chisora after hurting him, and missed his opportunity to try and finish the job.
After the contest, Chisora said he wants to fight Deontay Wilder next. That would be a tall order for his promoter Eddie Hearn because it’s not a fight that would sell to U.S boxing fans, who view Chisora as a journeyman fighter, who is shot to pieces at this stage of his career.
Israil Madrimov (8-0-1, 6 KOs) vs. Michel Soro (35-3-2, 24 KOs) rematch resulted in a disappointing three-round technical draw in their WBA junior middleweight title eliminator.
The 34-year-old Soro suffered a deep gash over his left eye when he collided heads with Madrimov in the third round. After examination of the cut by the ringside doctor, the referee Steve Gray halted the contest, ruling it a three-round technical draw.
This was the second time Madrimov and Soro had fought, as they battled last December in a fight that resulted in controversy. Madrimov stopped Soro by a ninth-round knockout, but the finishing shots that he landed came after the bell ending the round.
A rematch was then ordered. At this point, it’s unclear whether Madrimov and Soro will meet for the third time.
Caoimhin Agyarko (12-0, 7 KOs) kept his perfect record intact with an impressive 10-round unanimous decision over the tough Lukasz Maciec (28-5-1, 5 KOs) to win the vacant WBA international junior middleweight belt. The scores were 100-90, 100-90, and 99-93.
Unbeaten female super bantamweight prospect Ramla Ali (6-0, 1 KO) stayed undefeated with an eight-round points decision victory over Agustina Rojas (6-2, 0 KOs). The score was 80-72.
Heavyweight Fabio Wardley (14-0, 13 KOs) turned in a sparkingly performance obliterating the capable replacement opponent Chris Healey (9-10, 2 KOs) by a second-round, two knockdown performance.
Wardley, 27, landed a crushing right hand to the head of Healy that floored him in the first round. In round two, Wardley flattened the 278-lb Healy for a second time with a peach of a right hand. The referee then stepped in and halted the fight at 0:40 of the round.
Unbeaten heavyweight Solomon Dacres (3-0, 1 KO) put in a dominating performance beating Kevin Nicolas Espindola (7-4, 2 KOs) by an eight-round points decision, winning by an 80-72 score.
Super bantamweight Yousuf Ibrahim (2-0, 0 KOs) boxed his way to a four-round points win over Francisco Rodriguez (1-7, 1 KO). The score was 40-36.
It’s going to take a lot of luck for the popular British journeyman Derek Chisora to win because Pulev is the far more talented fighter of the two in technical skills.
Unless the 38-year-old Chisora can land one of his miracle shots around the backside of Pulev’s head, as we saw in his come-from-behind victory over Carlos Takam, he’ll probably lose tonight.
Pulev looked world’s better in his recent lopsided 10-round unanimous decision victory over Jerry Forrest on May 14th in comparison to the dreadfully poor performance by Chisora, losing to Joseph Parker in their rematch last December.
You can argue that Pulev looks better now than he did earlier in his career, as he’s using his right hand more, and attacking with combinations rather than jabbing exclusively.
In the co-feature, Israil Madrimov (8-0, 6 KO) battles Michel Soro (35-3-1, 24 KO) in a WBA junior middleweight title eliminator to decide a mandatory for champion Jermell Charlo.
“Pulev needs to somehow keep Derek Chisora off of his chest,” said David Haye to DAZN Boxing when asked what Kubrat Pulev must do to win tonight.
“When Derek Chisora is effective is when he’s close when he’s able to hit behind the back of the head, around the kidneys.
“All those shots don’t look like much to the laymen, but when you’re in there with a guy, a solid 18-stone man, pinging you with those tiny 10-ounce gloves, there’s not much padding in those knuckles, it starts to mark you up, it starts to drain your energy.
“He [Pulev] needs to somehow keep Derek Chisora at bay, but what had Derek done recently? He’s learned to get inside. Joseph Parker has got a great jab. He [Chisora] was able to get inside that.
“I believe he can get inside Pulev’s [jab], but is Pulev treating this fight as one of the toughest fights of his life? is he training as hard as he did for [Wladimir] Klitschko or AJ [Anthony Joshua] or is he looking at Derek Chisora’s last three fights thinking, ‘He lost his last three fights. If I can’t him, then what’s it about?’
“The mindset of both fighters coming in here is very, very important. I don’t know Pulev, I don’t know where his head’s at. I know Derek Chisora is ready to go to war, but it’s all up to Pulev,” said Haye.
Derek Chisora meets two-time former world title challenger Kubrat Pulev tonight in their “Total Carnage” card on DAZN at the O2 Arena in London.
As the underdog, Chisora (32-12, 23 KOs) is up against in, battling a fighter that is still firing on all eight cylinders in Pulev (29-2, 14 KOs).