Dereck Chisora: Appreciating The Heavyweight Warrior Who Just Won’t Quit

Dereck Chisora never won anything this year. Officially, that is. Yet in his two losing wars with Joseph Parker, the astonishing 37 year old won our hearts with his sheer guts, raw courage and utter refusal to give in. Heart? Chisora has the biggest heart in the heavyweight division, if not in the entire sport. Look at last night’s brutal battle with Parker in their return fight – how the fight went the full distance we will never know. How many times did Chisora look out of it, gone, exhausted, hurt bad?

Too many times to count, yet there was Chisora at the end, still chugging forward, still slinging out shots as hard as as venomous as he could muster. It was an incredible fight last night, even if it was largely one-sided. But it was also alarming to see a fighter ship as much punishment as Chisora took. Even more alarming is the fact that Chisora, who now has 12 losses on his pro record, is insisting he will not retire. “I’ll be back in the summer,” a defiant Chisora said after digging deeper than he ever has before in his long career.

But it’s now a case of Chisora’s fans and admirers worrying about his long-term health. Chisora has appeared to be super-human in some of his fights, where he has been drilled with nasty punches, has appeared to be on the verge of collapse, only to somehow roar back. He did it again last night, yet at what cost? Chisora is as we know a born fighter, he loves it. But if last night’s performance from him, as brave and as mind-boggling as it was, did not look like the last effort from a faded fighter, then what else was it?

Chisora’s days as an elite heavyweight have come to an end, that much seems clear. Last night’s heroic effort would make the perfect swansong for Chisora: he went out swinging, he made it to the final bell and he had the fans screaming with excitement. Yet Chisora says he will carry on. Chisora is as stubborn out of the ring as he is inside it. How will he look in his next fight, though? Chisora’s legs looked shaky very early on last night and he was soon looking tired (really, it cannot be overstated how much of a miracle it was that Chisora was not knocked out or stopped by Parker).

Numerous times, people have urged Chisora to retire yet he has ignored any such talk and he has come back and fought hard. But it does now look as though this proud, thrilling, indeed magnificent servant of the sport has no other sensible option than to stop pushing his luck (and his brain and body) and finally retire. Chisora has nothing left to prove and, as much as we fans thoroughly appreciate all Chisora has given to boxing, there is nothing left to give.

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