By Jake Donovan
There were plenty of elements of truth in Thursday’s announcement of a June 15 bill at Wembley Arena topped by Dereck Chisora.
However, there exists one tiny detail – the finalization of his opponent.
Promoter Frank Warren declared to the world a massive heavyweight collision next month in London, with unbeaten American contender Deontay Wilder once again traveling abroad to face Chisora in a major crossroads clash. The quick turnaround time coupled with Wilder’s present legal issues piqued the interest of the skeptical sector, wondering if a potential bait and switch was upon us.
There is truth that a clash between the two has been discussed. Members of Wilder’s camp are not yet ready to go on record, but have confirmed that contracts have not yet been signed and that such a quick turnaround is entirely dependent on the outcome of his legal issues surrounding last weekend’s arrest in Las Vegas.
Wilder(28-0, 28KO) has made plenty of headlines in recent weeks, for the right and wrong reasons. The 2008 Olympic Gold medalist registered the biggest win of his career, a 1st round knockout of faded Audley Harrison last month in England. The bout served as his first as a pro to take place beyond North American borders.
However, his trip to Las Vegas last weekend – intended as a special ringside guest for Floyd Mayweather’s ring return – resulted in an arrest, as he was charged with domestic violation-strangulation. The incident was reportedly over a misunderstanding between the parties involved, but still carries a court date that could severely hinder Wilder’s travel plans.
One week prior to Wilder’s knockout of Harrison, Chisora (16-4, 10KO) returned to the ring and the win column with a 9th round stoppage of Hector Avila. Chisora looked sluggish in the bout, but eventually prevailed to secure his first victory in 17 months, having lost three straight during that stretch. Among the losses was a controversial split decision landing in favor of Robert Helenius in their Dec. ’11 contest, followed by high profile losses to Vitali Klitschko and David Haye.
Chisora’s behavior before and especially after the Klitschko contest landed the Brit in hot water with the British Boxing Board of Control, who refused to sanction his fight with Haye. The July ’12 bout ultimately took place with the blessing of the Luxembourg Boxing Federation.
The BBBofC eventually came around and reinstated Chisora’s boxing license prior to last month’s bout with Avila.
Wilder and his team are still very much interested in such a fight, despite claims to the contrary earlier in the week from promoter Richard Schaefer. The two sides have feverishly discussed the possibility of such a fight but are unable to fully commit until the American’s legal issues and travel visa are cleared up.
Tickets are already on sale for the June 15 show at Wembley. The card also includes a clash between unbeaten welterweights Frankie Gavin and Denton Vassel, as well as a rematch between domestic rivals Paul Smith and Tony Dodson. Whether or not ticket price points will be impacted by any potential change in the main event has yet to be determined.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com, as well as a member of Transnational Boxing Ratings Board, Yahoo Boxing Ratings Panel and the Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox