By Terence Dooley
Tyson Fury and Derek Chisora spearhead boxing’s return to terrestrial TV when meeting for Chisora’s British and Commonwealth heavyweight crowns in a bout that was hit with a weigh-in face-off ban by the BBBoC due to the bad blood between the two boxers.
Fury hit the scales at 18st 3lb; Chisora weighed 18st 9lb. ‘Del Boy’ is 6 1½lb and was generally expected to come in lighter than his 6’ 9’’ opponent. Derek, though, is a stone heavier than he has been in recent outings. The 27-year-old has been on the sidelines since his last fight, a stoppage win over Sam Sexton, due to signing on for two aborted fights with consensus champion Wlad Klitschko.
Indeed, this is Derek’s heaviest ever weight, prompting his 23-year-old foe to remark that “Chisora looks fat” when speaking to Danny Wright of Boxrec News. Tyson, 14-0 (10), also feels that this one will be similar to Mike Tyson’s destructive single stanza win over Michael Spinks, telling Sky Sports earlier this week that his London-based opponent is in serious trouble.
Mick Hennessy won the purse bids to stage the fight, the promoter also produced a bit of a coup by staging the fight on Channel 5, a terrestrial TV channel here in the UK, in a move that could help bring boxing back onto the regular networks should the night prove to be a success.
However, Hennessy also told Boxrec News that the simmering ill feeling between the two fighters, which has seen Chisora, 14-0 (9), refuse to publicise the fight as heavily as had been expected, has turned the reigning champion from a confident braggart into an elusive recluse.
“In the past, whether he's kissing people or insulting them, he's had a lot of success at intimidating his opponents. It's impossible to do that with Tyson Fury. Chisora became fully aware of that in the first press conference back in May. Tyson is mentally very, very strong. Chisora certainly can't handle him in that department,” insisted Hennessy.
Adding: “It spoiled my media week, really. At the same time, the most important thing is that the fight happens. It was a volatile situation. That’s why I haven't protested too strongly.”
Channel 5’s broadcast begins at 10pm. Even though the preamble to the fight has been entertainingly spiteful, fans are praying that the bout itself catches fire early, fairly and without any controversy in order to showcase the sport at its best.
Certainly, Chisora has caused a few stirs in the past, kissing Carl Baker during their Valentine’s Day eve of fight photo call, biting Paul Butler mid-bout, for which he received a four-month ban, and often cutting a brooding figure.
Despite his surreal trash talking outbursts, Fury has rarely caused in-ring controversy during his eighteen-month career, only becoming embroiled in a scandal when Terry O’Connor produced a typical bizarre scorecard at the end of Fury’s first fight with John McDermott. There is every reason to hope and expect that the battle will be a good advertisement for the sport.
Certainly, it may also lead to a long-term TV deal for Hennessy. Mick has managed to keep things together since losing his ITV contract in 2009 and has ridden the loss of Carl Froch, John Murray and Darren Barker to produce a big night of free-to-air boxing at Wembley Arena.
Channel 5 televises from 10pm tonight.
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