Advertisement
Advertisement
Boxingscene.com

Vitali Klitschko-Dereck Chisora: The Pre-Fight Report Card

by Cliff Rold

It was the slap heard ‘round the internet. 

Once upon a time, the world would have been a fair assessment.  Such is the state of the Heavyweight division that Friday’s weigh-in shenanigans are limited to igniting interest in only certain pockets of the globe. 

So be it.

It only takes a spark to start a fire.  The challenger has met the burden of selling up a fight without much promise on paper.  Given his style and fighting mentality, if he can make it a real go, Heavyweight could well have excitement at hand. 

Two times, Dereck Chisora has stepped into big fight situations.  Both times he lost, once legitimately.  Now he has one of the two best Heavyweights of the last ten years.  Tyson Fury and Robert Helenius were steps up. 

Vitali Klitschko is the turbo lift.  He will do more than slap back. 

Let’s go to the report card.

The Ledgers

Vitali Klitschko 

Age: 40

Title: WBC Heavyweight (2008-Present, 7 Defenses)

Previous Titles: WBO Heavyweight (1999-2000, 2 Defenses); WBC/Ring Magazine Heavyweight (2004-05, 1 Defense, Retired)

Height: 6’7 ½ 

Weight: 243.6
lbs.
Average Weight – Last Five Fights: 247.1 lbs.

Hails from: Kiev, Ukraine

Record: 43-2, 40 KO

BoxingScene Rank: #1 at Heavyweight

Record in Major Title Fights: 13-2, 11 KO, 2 KOBY

Current/Former World Champions/Titlists Defeated: 7 (Herbie Hide, Orlin Norris, Corrie Sanders, Samuel Peter, Juan Carlos Gomez, Shannon Briggs, Tomasz Adamek)

Current/Former World Champions/Titlists Faced in Defeat: 2 (Chris Byrd, Lennox Lewis)

Vs.

Dereck Chisora
Age:
28
Title: 1st Title Shot
Height: 6’1 ½
Weight: 241.2 lbs.
Average Weight – Last Five Fights: 246.7 lbs.
Hails from: London, U.K. (Born in Zimbabwe)
Record: 15-2, 10 KO
BoxingScene Rank: #10 at Heavyweight
Current/Former World Champions/Titlists Defeated or Faced in Defeat: 0

Grades
Pre-Fight: Speed – Klitschko B; Chisora B+
Pre-Fight: Power – Klitschko B+; Chisora B
Pre-Fight: Defense – Klitschko B+; Chisora B
Pre-Fight: Intangibles – Klitschko A; Chisora B+

Analysis of this fight can begin at the weigh-in on two levels.  Let’s get the slap out of the way.  While the odorous WBC has leveled a fine (and who exactly enforces that?), the real reaction it warrants is pretty simple.

Good for Chisora. 

Brought together for the customary face-off, Klitschko and Chisora went forehead to forehead.  Klitschko pushed forward and down.  Chisora slapped him in the mouth.  While not the usual happening, responding to a physical provocation rather than just taking it speaks to some of the intangibles of the fight.  Unlike Victor Ortiz last September, who grinned like a doofus when Floyd Mayweather put a hand on his throat, Chisora gave a physical reply.

It might mean he’s a bit psyched out by the challenge in front of him.  It might mean he’s serious about trying, against long odds, to actually beat Klitschko.  Either way, it beats the hell out of grin and bear it.  Anyone want to place odds that, if Chisora finds himself behind against Klitschko, we can also not expect him to go all huggy?

Time will tell.

The other thing the scale says is that both men are in good shape for them.  Of the two, Klitschko’s condition appears superior.  He’s the lowest he’s been on the scale since Corrie Sanders in 2004.  It implies he recognizes a quicker, more aggressive foe in front of him.

Chisora, even at 241, looks like he could be better off with another ten pounds shed.  At 241 and change, he’s at what has been, in the past, his best weight.  With a, so far, sound chin, Chisora is going to need to be conditioned to make any sort of run here.  It looks like he held up his end as best as could be expected.

Conditioning and chin aren’t going to win the fight though.  Tactics are.  In that sense, Klitschko holds the edge.  He’s not as athletically quick as Chisora, but he’s long and fights tall as well as any big man ever has.  His awkward jab is a weapon and a range finder.  Chisora has to get around it or he has no chance.  No one has been up to the task in years and no one has ever done it well enough to leave Klitschko a genuinely beaten man. 

To borrow from Apollo Creed, Klitschko has lost, but he’s never been beaten.

One of the things he has done proper with aggressive fighters in the past is get them to stop being offensive.  Sanders and Chris Arreola pressed early but he broke them down, reducing both to unanswered prayers in the form of single shots.  Chisora has a habit of offensive lulls no matter the shape he’s in.  Against the ropes, he can lock himself inside a shell defense and be reduced to dancing, mocking…but not throwing. 

If Klitschko solves what distance issues evolve in the fight, Chisora is going to have a heck of a time clearing the ropes.  Chisora’s best shot was on display, strategically, in last year’s debated decision loss to Robert Helenius.  Chisora slipped well, used his jab, got inside, worked the body and was able to land hard shots upstairs.  He created offense.  His right hand was straight, unlike the Fury fight where extra weight had him winging shots with less authority as the rounds wore on.

Chisora isn’t likely to score a single shot knockout so volume, and the ability to still press hard if the fight goes into the second half, is critical.

Klitschko merely needs to be himself.  As he stated to Chisora in their “Face-Off” on BoxNation, he intends to measure his man, up the tempo each round, and eventually break him down.  It’s how he has won for years.  Despite any anger about the weigh-in slap, it’s likely how he wins on Saturday. 

The only question is, if Klitschko thinks Chisora is ready to go, does he extend the beating for fun, for a measure of revenge?     

The Pick

Klitschko just might.  He’s not, in the ring, a nice man.  It’s very difficult to pick against him versus anyone on the current landscape.  The best that can be hoped for is that he gets a fight, something that makes the mean in him count.

In that sense, like Chisora’s chances to simply compete.  Could he win?  Sure.  It’s at least a possibility if he can get, and stay, inside (and if he doesn’t let himself be tied up when he’s there).  It’s not the most likely scenario so hope lies best in just seeing as good scrap. 

If the challenger wants to fight as bad as he says, and his past performances indicate he will bring it, then the question is when and if he folds.  The first couple rounds of this one could be the best action in a Klitschko fight (either brother) in some time.  Past, say, four rounds, it should settle into normal patterns. 

Klitschko is the more experienced fighter and appears the better one.  The thinking here is by round five, he’s in control and able to extinguish occasional firefights.  Based on the bombs Chisora took against the big punching Helenius, the thinking is he joins the rare circle of fighters who have lasted the distance with Klitschko.

He’ll stand there as the scores are read to be announced defeated by unanimous decision. 

Report Card Picks 2012: 3-1

For the latest BoxingScene Divisional Ratings: http://www.boxingscene.com/forums/view.php?pg=boxing-ratings

Cliff Rold is a member of the Ring Magazine Ratings Advisory Panel, the Yahoo Pound for Pound voting panel, and the Boxing Writers Association of America.  He can be reached at [email protected]

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by crold1 on 02-18-2012

Went about like I thought with Chisora able to stay competitive longer than I thought. Good win for Vit but, seriously... ...A+ power? Wrong Klit.

Comment by hillbilly on 02-18-2012

[QUOTE=b morph;11794625]i was thinking the same thing as i read the article, vitali should defiantly be an A+ for power, i've never even heard of dereck, but then again, a lot of these heavyweights come from half way around the…

Comment by crold1 on 02-18-2012

[QUOTE=Ravens Fan;11794899]Is this a joke? I will admit I did not read anything but the grades. I thought that was enough crap for one day and figured I would lose my lunch if I read any further.[/QUOTE] They have antacids…

Comment by Ravens Fan on 02-18-2012

Is this a joke? I will admit I did not read anything but the grades. I thought that was enough crap for one day and figured I would lose my lunch if I read any further.

Comment by Neglect on 02-18-2012

Americans watch the fight for free at epixhd.com if you sign up for a free trial. Just a heads up. I don't think we have any other ways to watch it besides sh[I]i[/I]tty illegal streams.

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (11)
Top Headlines Amir Khan: I Embarrassed Myself By Making Joshua Accusation Chavez Jr. Return: Alfredo Angulo Now The Frontrunner Denis Shafikov vs. Rene Alvarado, HBO Latino, December 9 Wilder's Trainer: Deontay Wants To Be First Heavyweight at 50-0 Dejan Zlaticanin Returns on December 14, Broadway Boxing Jessie Vargas vs. Aaron Herrera Finalized - Dec. 15, PBC on FS1 Ricardo Mayorga Rules Out Retirement, Plans February Return Diego De La Hoya vs. Jose Salgado - Golden Boy on ESPN, Dec. 14 Bellew: It's Disgusting That Wilder Insinuated Joshua is on Steroids UK News: Tommy McCarthy, Lewis Crocker, Ricky Summers Miguel Cotto Career Special on HBO, November 25 Photo: Carl Frampton, Horacio Garcia Ready For War in Belfast Joseph Parker: I Have 'A Lot of Options' Other Than Joshua, Wilder Frampton: All The Big Fights Interest Me, The Best is Yet To Come Shawn Porter: Crawford Beats Horn Easy, Everybody is a Target! Teddy Atlas Explains Why He Favors Lomachenko Over Rigondeaux Ishe Smith: I Asked For Julian Williams, Confident I'll Get The Win Nathan Gorman Welcomes Daniel Dubois: He Knows Where I Am Alexander Povetkin vs. Christian Hammer - Full Card is Set Truax: I Have To Be at My Absolute Best To Beat James DeGale Jarrell Miller: I Would Stop Dillian Whyte in Four or Five Rounds Ryoichi Taguchi vs. Milan Melindo Unification Set, December 31 Wilder Would Agree to Fight Ortiz Again, Wants to 'Punish' Him Kovalev: The Pressure Will Be High To Fight Beterbiev, Bivol Roy Jones Jr. Brings WinnaVegas Casino Card To BeIN Sports Jamie Conlan Plans To Box Jerwin Ancajas, Not Go To War Jose Martinez Stops Jesus Martinez for NABO Championship Parker Says Forget Wilder Fight: I'm Knocking Anthony Joshua Out! Vasyl Lomachenko: The Fight With Rigondeaux Will Be Historic Kellerman on De La Hoya-McGregor: It's Amazing Conor is Favored Photo: Giovani Santillan, Dodzi Kemeh Ready For Battle Photos: Anthony Dirrell, Denis Douglin - Nearly Brawl at Weighin Canelo-Golovkin Rematch: Update on Negotiations, Date, Venue Jarrell Miller: Muscles Won't Save Joshua - He Has a Glass Jaw Ferdie Pacheco - "The Fight Doctor" - Passes Away at 89 Naoya Inoue vs. Yoan Boyeaux on December 30 Artur Beterbiev, Sergey Kovalev Eager To Settle Their Old Dispute Roach: Jose Ramirez Will Take Amir Imam's Heart, Knock Him Out Bellew: Parker Aiming For 40% For Joshua is Absolutely Ridiculous David Lemieux: One Month Until Ugly Saunders Gets Destroyed!
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement