By Jake Donovan
Dereck Chisora has once again punched his way towards at least one more big payday.
The nine-lives heavyweight contender remained relevant in a very big way, annihilating Poland’s Artur Szpilka in two rounds Saturday evening at O2 Arena in London, England.
Chisora is well beyond his best years but continues to remain on the bubble of heavyweight contention. He showed as much both in victory and defeat in back-to-back fights in 2018. A shocking knockout win over Carlos Takam paved the way for a rematch with heated rival Dillian Whyte last December. The bout was as fiercely contested as their first fight, which Chisora lost by split decision.
He wasn’t as fortunate in the rematch, suffering a stunning 11th round knockout in their Fight of the Year level war. He rebounded with a 10-round win over Senad Gashi at this very venue in April keep alive his dream of capturing a heavyweight crown, though in a dull affair.
Saturday’s shootout with Szpilka was bombs away from the opening bell, something the Polish southpaw wasn’t prepared to handle. Chisora (31-9, 24KOs) forced a fast pace early, shooting right hands past the long jab of Szpilka, who only enjoyed marginal success with his left hand shots.
It was Chisora’s right hand which caused the beginning of the end. Szpilka was rocked early in round two and left nearly defenseless as Chisora landed five more clean shots in drilling him to the canvas.
Referee Mark Lyson immediately waved off the contest without issuing a count, stopping the fight at 1:01 of the second round.
Szpilka falls to 22-4 (15KOs) with the loss, snapping a two-fight win streak in the process. All four career losses have come inside the distance, including a failed title bid versus Deontay Wilder in Jan. 2016.
Chisora came up well short in his lone career title bid, a 12-round decision at the hands of Vitali Klitschko. The 2012 clash best remembered for the post-fight riot he ignited with David Haye, whom he would go on to face—and lose to—before reconciling and bringing him on as a manager.
The union has proven successful thus far and now appears to head into at least one more notable heavyweight fight.
“He needed a spectacular performance to prove he belongs among the division’s elite,” Haye, a former World cruiserweight champion and heavyweight titlist, said of his main client. “He didn’t show it in his last fight but proved himself here. The fight we want next is (former heavyweight titilist) Joseph Parker.”
It’s clear that another title fight isn’t around the corner or even yet justifiable. That’s never been a big concern for Chisora, who just wants to keep fighting notable opposition regardless of what’s at stake.
“I want Joseph Parker, bring him on,” stated Chisora. “Let’s hope that Australian chicken doesn’t go ducking.”
Parker, who held a heavyweight title for more than 15 months, recently signed with Matcrhoom Boxing whom also represents Chisora. While fights are never as easy as creating in-house matchups, the company brass believes it’s the next move for both boxers.
“There’s something about Dereck at the O2 that’s amazing,” noted promoter Eddie Hearn. “We saw him against Takam, it was breathtaking. He’s done a great job and he’s not done yet. He wants Parker, let’s do it. Chisora vs. Parker, let’s go!”
The bout served in supporting capacity to a heavyweight-themed Pay-Per-View in the United Kingdom (and also streamed live on DAZN in the United States), headlined by an interim title fight between top-rated contender Dillian Whyte (25-1, 18KOs) and unbeaten Oscar Rivas (26-0, 18KOs).
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox