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The Transformation of Derek Chisora

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  • The Transformation of Derek Chisora

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    By Ted Sares

    No one will ever question Derek Chisora’s courage or his heart, but too many wars are, well, just too many. The Zimbabwe-born British professional boxer has held multiple heavyweight titles at the regional level, including the British and Commonwealth titles from 2010 to 2011 and the European title from 2013 to 2014 and, in between these reigns, challenged Vitali Klitschko for the WBC heavyweight title.


    At one time, Chisora – “Dell Boy” (aka “War”) -- was known more for his outrageous stunts and clashes with other fighters at weigh-ins and press conferences. Slaps, kisses and bites were part of his repertoire.

    Christopher Walker recounted some of Derek Chisora’s pre-fight antics in an April 28, 2021 story for DAZN. The first notorious incident, noted Walker, occurred in 2009 when he was an emerging heavyweight prospect. Facing Paul Butlin, Chisora was cruising in a fight that he would win on points when he inexplicably bit Butlin on the shoulder. That got him suspended for four months.

    The Londoner’s villainous unpredictability showed itself again the following year when he kissed Carl Baker during a pre-fight conference.

    One of the darkest days for British boxing, says Walker, occurred at the start of 2012 when Derek and [David] Haye brawled at the press conference in Munich for Derek’s match with Vitali Klitschko. “After confronting Haye, Chisora was hit with a vicious shot before the pair became entangled.”

    “My decision was to render this ***** unconscious,” -- Haye.

    At the weigh-in, Del Boy slapped Klistchko in the face. He also spit at Klistchko in a separate stunt.

    Chisora was harshly reprimanded by BBC officials before narrowly losing on points to his bitter rival Dillian Whyte in 2016. During a pre-fight interview, Chisora picked up a table and hurled it towards where Whyte and his team were standing. Fortunately, no one was injured. The fight itself was a close one in which both men let it all hang out to the closing bell.

    A Change

    At some point, Del Boy changed. No longer the villain, he became a warrior through and through sans antics. And most curiously, David Haye became his manager in 2018 and Chisora, then 34, now called himself “War.” He seemed to have something of a renaissance after beating tough Carlos Takam in 2018, but then five months later, in his second meeting with Dillian Whyte, he was knocked unconscious by a frightening left hook. “War” then came back to viciously crush Artur Szpilka (it was difficult to witness) and sent 6’9” David Price into retirement with a convincing stoppage. Fans now cheered him as something had changed.

    His last three fights were against Oleksandr Usyk and Joesph Parker (twice). The two against Parker were thrillers in which both men gave it their all. Parker won both, but boxing was the winner.

    This is what boxing historian and former promotor Dennis Rappaport had to say about the last one:

    “Parker Chisora. WOW what a Fantastic Fight War! Filled with drama, glitz, scintillating thrilling. Parker looking very impressive scoring knockdowns with the right cross and particularly with the right uppercut Now-in the 11th round both fighters are totally exhausted Chisora never stopped trying in spite of being out on his feet had a surprising good round, his heart has been bigger then a lion, Gut galore, somehow ,some way it has gone to the distance Chisora heart was beyond belief Both showed tremendous heart, moxie with fierce determination This wasn’t a good fight this was a Great Fight Both guys deserve a standing Ovation and that doesn’t do them justice Parker wins a unanimous decision no losers but boxing a big time winner!”

    However, therein lies the rub as War’s incredible heart can have long range health risks. He has nothing more to prove. He has turned around his image. He should carefully ponder his next move.

    Ted Sares can be reached at and welcomes comments and questions.

    Check out more boxing news on video at the Boxing Channel

  • #2
    "Joseph Parker Wants Dereck Chisora To RETIRE After Latest Loss" BUT, After the fight, a defiant Chisora said "he WON’T be retiring and that you could expect him back in the summer."


    • #3
      Didn't Chisora spit on Wlad Klit? Yes, he's taking way too much punishment. But, nah, he won'd retire.


    • #4 Chisora says no to naysayers. Plans to continue.


      • Kid Blast
        Kid Blast commented
        Editing a comment
        "Promoter Frank Warren has joined the long list of people that believe British heavyweight Dereck Chisora should retire following his punishing 12 round unanimous decision loss to Joseph Parker..."

      • Kid Blast
        Kid Blast commented
        Editing a comment
        Rich Gagne says,"Love it! Chisora has a full tool box as a solid pro who can be a nightmare for 95; percent of the division sans crazy antics. His best days are done, but he was a rock solid pro."