By Jake Donovan
Here we go again.
A new date and venue has been secured for a heavyweight rematch between Tyson Fury and Dereck Chisora. Their once-anticipated sequel has been rescheduled for November 22 at the ExCel Arena in London, England.
“It’s been a roller-coaster few weeks, but I’m delighted to say that the fight is definitely on with Chisora and Fury ready to clash on Saturday 22nd November," promoter Frank Warren announced Saturday. "It was an extremely unfortunate set of circumstances that caused Chisora to pull out with a fractured hand and then Fury’s uncle’s tragic condition."
Tickets are due to go on sale in the coming days, with a press conference scheduled at a yet-to-be-confirmed mid-August date to formally announce the show.
The two were supposed to meet on July 26, which gave the bash Brits plenty of time to jaw back at one another in the weeks leading up to the planned event at the Phone 4U Arena in Manchester.
Apparently, too much time was left, as Chisora wound up pulling out of the bout due to a hand fracture suffering during sparring just prior to fight week.
“The important thing is we have a new date for the fight, it’s on, and Fury and I will finally give the fans what they want to see, a fight," promises Chisora (20-4, 13KOs). "What happened with my hand has happened and the timing of the injury was terrible, it couldn’t have happened at a worse time and of course Fury had personal issues going on with him.
Chisora fractured his hand during a session with chief sparring partner Alexander Ustinov, who agreed to fill in for the heavyweight contender in order to save the show. The makeshift main event was well embraced by fans and media, only for that backup plan to fall through when Fury abruptly pulled out of the fight at the 11th hour, citing family issues and emotional distress.
The timing of the rescheduled date announcement comes across as somewhat ambitious, given the events that have developed in the past few months and what still remains in queue.
Of course, the hulking heavyweight doesn't quite see it that way, fishing for proper motivation ahead of the new fight date. Fury went on one of his renowned profanity-laced tirades on social media, the latest act drawing the ire of the British Boxing Board of Control (BBBoC), who requested a hearing with the unbeaten heavyweight scheduled for this month.
The move was viewed by many as the board's attempt at grandstanding, since the hearing was scheduled to take place after the original fight date for the rematch. With the postponement now comes into question whether such a hearing could affect any plans for a November showdown.
Chisora is also due for a medical examination in September to assure that his hand has fully healed and that he is clear to fight.
Nobody involved with the bout seems particularly concerned with such matters, least of all the fighter who stands the most to lose as time marches on.
“Chisora is now going to get a beating twice as bad than the one that he was going to get for pulling out," guarantees Fury (22-0, 16KOs), who has been plagued by inactivity due to a variety of circumstances. "All Chisora is to me is an obstacle and I’ve got to smash through him to get where I want to be and that’s fighting for the world title. He’s messed me around and now I’m going to make him pay. I’m happy for the fans who will get to see me crush Chisora for second and final time and send him into retirement.”
Their one actual fight took place in July '11, when both were unbeaten prospects. Fury scored a decisive points win over a pudgy Chisora, who physically cleaned up his act to the point of punching his way towards title contention.
The promotion to the top tier of the heavyweight division left Chisora with a three-fight losing streak. The first loss came under dubious circumstances, dropping a split decision to Robert Helenius in a Dec. '11 clash that most felt should have went the other way, to the point of the fight being regarded as among the worst robberies of the year.
Chisora's following two losses were far more decisive, first dropping a competitive but clear decision to then-heavyweight titlist Vitali Klitschko. The fight was best remembered for Chisora's unprofessional antics - slapping the elder Klitschko across the face at the weigh-in, spitting water on Wladimir on his way to the ring and then playing a major role in a full-scale brawl with David Haye during the post-fight press conference.
The mess with Haye prompted a head-on collision in July '12, though one which went unsanctioned by the BBBoC, who revoked Chisora's license at the time. Haye went on to win by 5th round knockout, signaling red alert status in Chisora's suddenly free-falling career.
He has since won five straight, including a 12-round points win over underachieving Kevin Johnson in February. The same show saw Fury end a 10-month hiatus, knocking out American journeyman Joey Abell in four rounds.
The show was designed as a prelude to the scheduled summer rematch, only for the aforementioned events to cause the fight to implode. Now armed with a new date, Chisora hopes to finally move on with his career.
"I just want to fight Fury, get revenge, beat him good and proper, and move on to fight for the world title.”
There is no word if the bout will serve as an official eliminator to one of the belts currently in possession of Wladimir Klitschko, also recognized as the division's true lineal champ. The July 26 rematch was billed as a final eliminator, although there was question as to whether the proper paperwork was submitted and formally approved by the sanctioning body.
Nevertheless, event handlers insist all systems are once again a go, of course barring another freak occurrence.
"Despite the setbacks, they were both determined to fight each other and I believe that we could see a genuine old fashioned ring war between them," Warren says.
All we need to do now is make sure they actually make it in the ring.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene.com, as well as a member of Transnational Boxing Ratings Board and the Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox