Chisora Keeps The Flame Alive

Credit; DAZN

Why mention just Chisora? Joseph Parker was the WBO Intercontinental Heavyweight champ, wasn’t he? They were fighting for his belt, weren’t they?

This DAZN fight wasn’t about that. This was about Chisora burnishing his reputation.

Del Boy Chisora is 37 now. He’s held multiple belts. But it isn’t about that.

Derek puts bums and butts in seats. His promos are legendary. He set this up as ‘War’ and that soundbite resonated. He is a fighter who doesn’t give up.

And the incursive outsider Chisora did his job again. So this wasn’t about boxing. Parker was clearly the better, more tactical fighter, but it wasn’t about that. This was about characters.

And as a side issue, the fight was rather good too.

Another Word About DAZN

I’ll keep saying this until the naysayers are quiet; DAZN are a force for good in world boxing at the moment.

Like Chisora, they are an outsider brand, seen as latecomers, providing a different way to watch boxing.

They pack in the product and I personally love that. Others don’t.

But the comments around DAZN not making the fights people want to see should be quieter now, shouldn’t they?

This was a fight many wanted to see. Del Boy is always a draw, Parker is a man who nearly made it to the top.

Ah, they’ll say, it isn’t a big draw in the US. To them, I point to two things:

Haney v Diaz and many more. Big, nationally important fights. This isn’t just about the US. DAZN‘s willingness to look at the European market, I believe, sometimes leads to sniffy responses.

Who could complain about the full AO areaa, a barn of a place that looked packed and were, as an undeniably pro Chisora crowd, up for the fight.

It had a Big Fight feel. It was a return that many thought should settle the rivalry. The only thing worrying was whether a sometimes somnolent Parker and a time-served Chisora could turn it on.

The Fight

They did. Oh how they did.

Parker was 10lbs heavier than their last fight, Chisora looked to be lighter, perhaps to aid mobility.

They started early, even the 1st round saw Parker looking dangerous but by the second they traded and after Chisora showed a bit of betterment in cutting the distance in the next round, Parker took control with an uppercut, the damage punch for Parker tonight.

Parker v Chisora
Credit; newshub

Chisora, wandering by the ropes, looked startled.

But then Parker gave him a pass; he smothered his own work and then literally backed off, allowing Del Boy, who never needs an excuse to come forward, to get back into the round.

Chisora came out resoute for the 4th, finding his jab, with Parker happy to lean on him in the hope that work inside would magically open up.

And then the uppercut from nowhere. Chisora felt it. Knees buckled. He reached for the ropes and sagged against them. Howard Foster counted.

And Chisora went to a neutral corner, as if to say ‘I’ve been down, I’m cornered, I need to fight’ and fight he did, smacking in punches and bringing the crowd to their feet.

The Chisora crowd were singing his name to try to raise his game, but he was still being hit by that uppercut, in round 5 as Chisora expected an overhand punch and bent straight into it.

Parker was doing some great work in the early rounds, the hard and spiteful punches ensuring Chisora kept away, didn’t try to dominate or bully. His movement was consistent, not sparky but effective and his punches had pep.

Parker v Chisora
Credit; Manchester Evening News

Which is why it was odd to see him a little tired by the next round; if this continued it was going to be a long night for the champ.

Nevertheless, he hit some lovely shots in this 3 minutes, a 2 punch combination, jab to right hand and a right hand over the top at the 10 second mark.

He did look tired though.

Parker looked to be in control by the 7th although punches thrown stats showed they were close in connections, but the champ’s quality showed through.

He went to the right uppercut again, set up by a one-two and Chisora sank to his knees.

And did that hunted, strange thing of going to a corner. And started to throw and land after another Parker uppercut, which had his opponent in trouble – who would have thought that after a knockdown?

From this point in the pace started to show, after all, they had really put the work in so far, hard hitting heavyweights who moved rather like cruisers.

Parker v Chisora
Credit; Talksport

Chisora was in trouble in the 8th and held onto the ropes again for his 3rd count, in the 9th he was asked by Howard Foster, after shipping punches in the corner and not firing back, whether he wanted to continue and they traded in the 12th as if it were the first.

What a fight.

The Result?

Never in doubt really, although one judge had it 114-112 the other two were 115-110 and 115-111 for Parker.

He showed his quality in this fight, DAZN summing it up well; ‘The New Zealander turned back the clock to his world title-winning days as he produced a busy performance that combined his boxing skills with his power.’

According to Boxing News 24/7, respected boxing commentator Chris Mannix said this on social media about the scorecards; “criminally bad,” and are “investigation-worry scorecards.”

I don’t feel that way about them, Parker looked untroubled but Chisora stayed busy, landed regularly and the punch stats half way through showed they had landed about the same amount.

Or do I just like Del Boy?

Parker stayed busy, picked his punches well, knew which ones were successful and utilised one, the uppercut, in all 3 knockdowns.

He showcased significant boxing skills which don’t always seem apparent. It was a big performance against a difficult opponent.

What’s Next For Parker Then?

He has resurrected his title aspirations. Eddie Hearn is not getting overly excitable, he told Boxing News 24/7 that a title eliminator with Filip Hrgovic may be on the cards, adding; ‘The career is alive and kicking for Joseph Parker. This was a brilliant way to end 2021.’

Hearn also mentioned that there was a queue and he’s right. In a fantastically fulsome heavyweight picture, Parker isn’t a go to name, you hear anyone fantastic matchmaking with his name.

He will probably have another chance. But if you’re a top heavyweight, a Parker fight may be about who you can beat.

And Chisora?

That’s more difficult. This was his 12th defeat. He’s 37. But that’s if your talking about boxing business.

Chisora is about show business. As the BBC reported Parker saying about his opponent after the fight; ‘Derek Chisora is a credit to the sport of boxing. The crowd went mental when he walked out. They just want to support him.’

And it’s that support which is key. There are plenty of tasty heavyweight names that come to mind.

Alen Babic.

A raw boned, swarming and heavy hitting heavyweight who would be tailor made for Derek. He doesn’t seem to need the impetus of a belt to get him up for a fight and he loves to battle.

Plus his battles make money. This man can go until he’s 40? But should he?

Words like ‘warrior’, the report by the Guardian that Parker commented; ‘He keeps coming at you, it’s crazy when he’s in fights’ make it a big proposition.

Chisora doesn’t have much of a defence, he takes shots and carries on, that’s one of his core appeals.

But that’s dangerous. He had nothing to prove now and nothing to aim for. We all love warriors in boxing.

But Chisora is a great talker. His future is perhaps behind the mic rather than in from of a glove.

Much as those fights with tough heavyweights are tasty, Chisora doesn’t need to ship lots more punishment.

This was him at his best. If he went now, surely no one would begrudge him that at all.

Written by Steve Swift

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