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Dereck Chisora Now Faces Kevin Johnson at Copper Box

By Jake Donovan

Heavyweight contender Dereck Chisora has a new opponent for his February 15 headliner at Copper Box Arena in London, England. The headline-generating Brit will face American heavyweight Kevin Johnson, whose place on the show was confirmed Monday morning by Queensberry Promotions.

Johnson steps in for original opponent Andriy Rudenko, who was forced to withdraw earlier in the month due to injury. The American is coming off of a one-sided loss to Christian Hammer last December, delivering a lethargic performance that has become customary in his career spent as a frontrunner. 

Chisora (19-4, 13KO) has won four straight, all coming in a tremendous bounce back 2013 campaign following a disastrous stretch in his career which included frequent losses, hefty fines and a near exit from the sport. The career turnaround comes at a perfect time, with the February 15 show designed to set up a future opportunity to reverse one of his four losses. 

Also included on the show is the ring return of heavyweight Tyson Fury, the first to beat Chisora in their July '11 matchup of unbeaten prospects. Chisora came in at a career-fattest 261 lb., but still managed to overcome the setback - and several others in the next year or so - to remain an attraction in his home land.

Fury has remained unbeaten as a pro, but his stock remaining unsteady. The towering Brit made his U.S. debut last April, climbing off the canvas to knock out former cruiserweight champ Steve Cunningham in seven rounds. The bout was his last, with his ongoing inactive period largely the result of two canceled dates with former two-division champ, oft-injured David Haye. 

The February 15 show is now designed for Chisora and Fury, should they both win, to meet in a summer blockbuster event. Promoter Frank Warren, who guides Chisora's career and recently entered an agreement with Fury's promoter Hennessy Promotions, plans to have the pending matchup build as a final eliminator to determine a future mandatory challenger for current heavyweight king Wladimir Klitschko. 

Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com, as well as a member of the Transnational Boxing Ratings Board, Yahoo Boxing Ratings Panel and the Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox
User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by boxingfocus on 01-28-2014

[QUOTE=andrewa1;14176259]Say what you will, but the fact is if Chisora wins, Johnson would be arguably the biggest name credited to Chisora as a win (the only other possibility being Danny Williams). He deserved the win against Helenius but it went…

Comment by Gypsy John Fury on 01-28-2014

I got the impression watching the press conference footage that Delboy was massively annoyed at the late change of opponent to King Pin. He said he'd just "found out twenty minutes ago" or something. Also, I wonder whether the fight…

Comment by yoz on 01-28-2014

[QUOTE=Weebler I;14178578]Chisora says he doesn't want to fight Johnson, he's worried Johnson is going to stink the place out. [/QUOTE] He's spot on. This will be ugly.

Comment by Weebler I on 01-28-2014

[QUOTE=joe strong;14177542]Kingpin is better then he shows. When he was a threat early he couldnt get fights but once he lost a few & started slacking his phone rings frequently now. I think he doesn't try so he can get…

Comment by joe strong on 01-27-2014

Kingpin is better then he shows. When he was a threat early he couldnt get fights but once he lost a few & started slacking his phone rings frequently now. I think he doesn't try so he can get fights.…

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