Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn has confirmed that a heavyweight clash between former world title challengers Dereck Chisora (30-9, 21 KOs) and Artur Szpilka (22-3, 15 KOs) is being negotiated for the undercard of Dillian Whyte vs. Oscar Rivas for Sky Box office on July 20 at the O2 Arena in London, UK.
Despite the Chisora vs. Szpilka seemingly looking like a mismatch, Hearn is calling it a “50-50” fight, and he’s quite excited by it. For the hardcore boxing fans, they know of Szpilka as the fighter that was carried out of the ring on a stretcher after being knocked cold by WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder in January 2016. A year and a half later, Szpilka was knocked out in the fourth round by Adam Kownacki in July 2017.
“Yes, that is in negotiations right at the moment,” Hearn said about a fight between Chisora and the 30-year-old recently knocked out Szpilka. “There’s a very strong chance of that fight happening. There are other options for Chisora, yeah, but I like the fight,” Hearn said.
Chisora vs. Szpilka is NOT a 50-50 fight
It’s disappointing to some that Hearn is already trying to sell the Chisora-Szpilka fight as a “50-50” match-up, because it’s nothing of the sport. Szpilka’s punch resistance or lack thereof, is very much in question. He’s shown an inability to take hard shots dating back to his first fight against Mike Molla in February 2013. Molla dropped Szpilka in both of his fights against him.
Chisora lost his last fight against Whyte by an 11th round knockout last December in London, but he was competitive with him. The 35-year-old Chisora got a little sloppy in the 11th round, and it cost him with Whyte knocking him out. That was a fight in which the referee was paying a lot of attention to Chisora’s roughhouse tactics, taking points from him, but Whyte was doing the same thing without being penalized. Chisora twice had points taken away by the referee in that fight. It’s no surprise that Chisora started showing desperation in the 11th round by winging wild shots, which ultimately left him open for a left hand counter from Whyte.
“They’re both lunatics, and it’ll be part of a massive card,” Hearn said about the potential Chisora vs. Szpilka fight on the Whyte vs. Rivas card. “You’ll have Rivas vs. Dillian Whyte. You’ve got Dave Allen vs. David Price. You’ve got Chisora vs. Szpilka,” an enthusiastic Hearn said.
Chisora-Szpilka would have been a good fight in 2016
Had the Chisora-Szpilka fight taken place in 2016, before Szpilka was knocked unconscious by Wilder, it would have been a good contest, but not now. Szpilka has done nothing since losing to Wilder. As mentioned previously, Szpilka was knocked out by Adam Kownacki in four rounds in 2017. After that, Szpilka came back to beat 44-year-old Dominic Guinn and 39-year-old Mariusz Wach. Those guys were WAY too old for Szpilka to get much credit in beating them. It would be one thing if Szpilka came back and defeated someone like Sergey Kuzmin, Oscar Rivas, Michael Hunter, Evgeny Romanov or Andy Ruiz Jr., but it’s unlikely that he could beat any of those guys. In fact, the chances are high that Szpilka would be knocked out by all of them.
Hearn needs to raise the bar for Chisora in terms of his opposition, because it’s almost embarrassing that he’s putting the 35-year-old in with Szpilka. However, if Chisora is good with this fight, then that’s on him. He was recently offered a match against Joe Joyce, but didn’t take it. It’ll look a little odd for Chisora to be rejecting the Joyce fight and taking a match against the recently twice knocked out Szpilka.