Top-rated heavyweight contenders Dillian Whyte and Derek Chisora took part in the final press conference before their highly anticipated rematch Saturday, December 22 live on SHOWTIME at 5:00 p.m. ET/2:00 p.m. PT from The O2 in London.
(Photo credit: Jamie McPhilimey/Matchroom)
Whyte (24-1, 17 KOs) and Chisora (29-8, 21 KOs) will run back one of 2016’s best fights as the bitter rivals will continue what they started two years ago with Whyte narrowly edging Chisora in a close all-out war. The winner will have the inside track at a possible future mega-fight with IBF, WBA and WBO Champion Anthony Joshua, who will be in attendance Saturday night.
The SHOWTIME BOXING INTERNATIONAL telecast is hosted by Brian Custer and Hall of Fame analyst Steve Farhood. Live fight coverage will be provided by Sky Sports Box Office.
Here is what the principals had to say Thursday from the Canary Riverside Plaza Hotel in London:
“There are levels to this thing and my levels just keep rising. I keep improving. Derek will see how strong I am come Saturday night.
“This is boxing and I’m used to people saying, ‘I’m going to do this or that’ to get into my head. I’ve been around long enough and heard fighters say ‘I’m going to come out banging in the first round,’ and then they come and do something else. So I don’t think Derek himself knows what he’s doing or where he’s going.
“I respect everyone. It’s a tough job getting in the ring. I respect everyone from the journeyman to the world champion of the sport.
“You know me, I do whatever it takes to get the win. I don’t need to get up and shout, ‘I’m going to do this or that.’ I just conserve my energy. I’m relaxed. You guys know what I bring and that I can fight, and I can box, and I can hit. You guys know my power. So I don’t have to sit here and scream about what I’m going to do. There will be blood on Saturday night.”
“David [Haye] put together the pieces for my training. He didn’t train me, but he sat me down and said, ‘This is what we’re going to do to get what we want to get.’ It’s gone well training-wise and lifestyle-wise. Now it’s time to go to war and have a great fight.
On his table-throwing episode during the last press conference two years ago:
“I think the tables are screwed down so you won’t have to worry about that. I don’t think I’m going to do that anymore. I do something when I want to do something and now I’m just happy that training’s gone well and everyone’s fine in my camp.
“I’m going to bring the same game I do for every fight and we’re going to come to fight. His coach says that his fighter will be a boxer and all of that. But truly he’s not in the ring and Dillian’s the one that has to fight and he’s going to try to run, or he can meet me in the middle which would be great for me. Whatever game plan they have is fine. We will come in and seek and destroy.
“The first fight was a great fight. The boxing fans loved it. My brain cells didn’t love it but I enjoyed it. We are going to drown him from the get-go. We know he’s fit, but we want to see how fit he is. We’re going to go BOOM from the gates.
“I don’t want this to go to points. I’m going to knock the sucker out. Hundred percent. I’m going to hit him. I’m going to pound him.”
MARK TIBBS, Whyte’s Trainer
“Ninety-nine point nine percent of the time, a good boxer will beat a good brawler. [Dillian] is not only just a good boxer, he’s a boxer-fighter. We will box and fight our way to a very good victory. It ain’t going to be easy, but we will meet him and greet him and beat him to the punch.”
DAVID HAYE, Former Heavyweight Champion and Chisora’s Manager
“I think Derek has always had in him what he needs to be one of the best heavyweights on the planet. He’s had opportunities in the past but hasn’t capitalized on them the best he could and I think he realizes that now. His experiences have taught him that he needs to work hard and make the sacrifices, and that’s what he’s done. He no longer does the things he used to do and when he stands on the scales tomorrow, you’ll be able to see.
“I’m very confident and I know he has the capabilities. I’ve been in there with him, and I’ve felt his power and his presence in the ring. I’ve seen it. The intensity and ferocity I’ve seen in sparring shows that he’s coming for war. I think the first time he didn’t have 12 rounds of war in him. I think this time he does. I think the power Derek brings will make Dillian very uncomfortable, but the fans are going to love it.”
EDDIE HEARN, Head of Matchroom Boxing
“The winner of this fight Saturday night is so important to the global heavyweight scene and so much is at stake.
“I think the crowd is going to be with Chisora. You know the British fans love the underdog. What makes this fight intriguing to the average fan is that these guys are both characters and very entertaining fighters. At the first fight I sat next to Wladimir Klitschko and he said, ‘I don’t think this fight is going to be very good.’ And after three rounds we looked at each other just shaking our heads.
“The Whyte fight is a big fight for Anthony, but I will stress again the one fight we want is with [Deontay] Wilder. We’re talking now. People shouldn’t assume the rematch with Fury is happening because the deal won’t be that easy. It never is for a fight of that size. It all depends really on Wilder; if he wants to be undisputed and if that matters to him. He can fight Fury after if he believes he can beat A.J. We don’t get chances very often to have undisputed champions, and that’s what everyone wants.