By Jake Donovan
News continues to come at every turn regarding Saturday evening’s heavyweight title fight between long-reigning champ Vitali Klitschko and challenger Dereck Chisora at Olympiahalle in Munich.
Friday’s weigh-in was hardly an exception, with Chisora continuing to push the envelope on the psychological front.
The charismatic Brit has been outspoken throughout the press tour, with most of his ribbings taken in good nature. He crossed the line on Friday, however, after slapping Klitschko across the face during the obligatory stare-down following the weigh-in.
Klitschko weighed in at 243.6 lb, while Chisora came in at a near-career low 241.2 lb. Despite a mere two pounds separate fighters six inches apart in height, the relatively low weights for both fighters speak to how seriously each fighter is taking this fight.
Chisora’s outburst speaks to his inability to pump the brakes in regards to hyping up the fight.
Klitschko (43-2, 40KO) is bound to go down as possibly the most dominant fighter in heavyweight title fight history. The hulking Ukrainian has barely lost a round since returning to the sport in Oct. ’08, and has never trailed on the scorecards for more than three rounds in any given fight throughout his professional career.
In returning to the ring following a 46-month hiatus, Klitschko began his third tour as a titlist in easily dismantling Samuel Peter in eight one-sided rounds. The win netted him the same alphabet title he was forced to concede after repeated injuries hampered his career in the mid ‘00’s.
Between his three reigns, Klitschko has been in nearly as many title fights (16) as Chisora (15-2, 9KO) has been in through just four years as a pro.
Besides charisma and personality, Chisora doesn’t bring much more to the table. The Brit is a 10-1 underdog to pull off the upset this weekend, though worth noting that he faced a similarly uphill battle on paper in his last ring appearance.
Few gave him a chance against streaking unbeaten contender Robert Helenius last December, but Chisora turned in perhaps the best performance of his career. His efforts appeared to be for naught, as the judges somehow had Helenius coming out ahead in a fight that would rank high among the year’s worst robberies.
All was not lost for Chisora, however. Helenius cited a hand injury for his own poor performance, with the wound being enough to remove him from the mix for the time being. His misfortunes turned out to be a blessing for Chisora, who was offered his first crack at a major title.
The fight will mark Klitschko’s eighth defense of his third reign. His most recent defense came in September, when he traveled to Poland to whip on Tomasz Adamek before stopping the former light heavyweight and cruiserweight king in ten painfully uncompetitive rounds before the fight was mercifully halted.
This weekend’s showdown will air live in the United Kingdom on BoxNation TV and in the United States on premium network EPIX, along with a live online stream on its website (EpixHD.com) as well as a live showing in the middle of Times Square in New York City, where EPIX’ headquarters is located.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter at twitter.com/JakeNDaBox or submit questions/comments to [email protected]