Boxing fans have plenty to be thankful for with a jam-packed holiday weekend which includes a return trip to Omaha on HBO Championship Boxing and a rematch across the pond between much hated Heavyweight rivals.
Let’s start with a rematch pitting Tyson Fury against Derrick Chisora at the ExCel Arena from Dockland, London. These two characters met over four years ago in a back and forth fight that saw Tyson Fury walk away victorious.
The combatants traded punches and rounds until somewhere in the middle the pace slowed to a crawl with both fighters gassed. Fury’s excessive holding and Chisora’s inactivity made for an uneven contest.
The fighters have improved their skills and increased their stamina which will make it more enjoyable throughout. The winner of this fight will be mandatory challenger for Wladimir Klitschko, who will likely fight in the spring against unbeaten American Heavyweight contender Bryant Jennings.
Tyson Fury is the clear-cut favorite heading into this showdown but the “Delboy” shouldn’t be overlooked. Both men are knocking at the door in the division and this scribe is calling for an ultra-competitive fight.
Fury’s camp have made it clear their fighter has made great strives since 2011 performance from Wembley Arena. Tyson has no doubt improved his hand speed, working his body in better shape, save his fight with Joey Abell in February.
On that night it was easy to see that Fury had taken “Minnesota Ice” lightly and looked out of shape and sluggish.
In the last 19 months Tyson Fury has been stood up at the alter on two separate occasions and one wonders how it will effect him.
On one hand it forced Fury to stay in the gym consistently. On the other hand he runs the danger of peaking mid-camp which can take its toll both physically and mentally this Saturday night.
Chisora’s best win ironically may have come in a loss to Vitali Klitschko. Derrick left a lasting impression before and after with his performance and his ability to play the heal to a tee.
Chisora would graduate to bad-boy infamy in his post-fight dust up with David Haye. “He glassed me” goes down as one of funniest and bizarre spectacles in recent times.
All jokes aside, David Haye obliterated Chisora in 6 rounds leaving him down and out as a true contender.
Chisora went back to the drawing board and came back slimmer, now able to keep pressure on his opponents more consistently. Five victories in a row along with shedding weight put himself back in the conversion at Heavyweight.
In their first fight Fury controlled much of the pace and distance with his sturdy jab, something you can bet on being a major key once again. He also mixed up his punches throwing combinations at a higher rate.
Although theirs a chance of Fury already shooting his load because of a Chisora injury days before their schedule fight, I would expect him to come in tip-top shape. Fury will be keen in making his opponent pay for the delay and all the build up frustration if channeled correctly could spark Fury’s performance.
In their first meeting Chisora was in the worst shape of his professional career. He still managed to buzz Fury early but inactivity would cease when he gasped for air and killed any chance he had of winning.
In this second tilt Chisora must close the gap in order to land power shots. An improved jab and constant pressure is a must to disguise that chopping overhand right that shook Fury at times back in 2011.
Body work by both men will be important and pay dividends late if the fight is still on the table.
At range the advantage goes to Fury who has good hand speed and counter punching ability. Fury will pump his jab early and often, to help set up his right hand and an improving uppercuts.
Can Chisora come forward successfully enough to string a few rounds without Fury landing from a safe distance? Fury stands a full 6’9 sporting a 10 inch reach advantage and that in its self could be literally be the sticking point.
Fury will showboat by leaving his hands excessively low or raising both arms to incite the crowd. Unless he gets caught with something while hot-dogging this should be a close but clear win for Tyson Fury.
However, Chisora is much more dangerous and refined in 2014 and I believe he will give a sold account of himself. Although I favor Fury at some point he will get hurt and/or score a knockdown. it’s at the moment will see what Tyson is made of.
My official prediction is Tyson Fury Majority Decision.