Derek Chisora and Joseph Parker meet at the crossroads.
A pivotal heavyweight bout takes center stage Saturday evening, airing live on Sky Sports Box Office in the United Kingdom and DAZN in the United States from the AO Arena in Manchester, England.
London’s Chisora (32-10, 23KOs) weighed 250.5 pounds for the Pay-Per-View headliner. The 37-year-old is five pounds lighter than he was in his most recent start when he weighed 255 ½ pounds in a 12-round unanimous decision defeat to former cruiserweight king Oleksandr Usyk last Halloween. The weight is his lightest since his Dec. 2018 rematch with Dillian Whyte.
Parker (28-2, 21KOs) weighed 241.2 pounds for his quick turnaround, though with a new corner in tow. The 29-year-old Auckland native weighed 240 pounds in a 12-round win over countryman Junior Fa just eight weeks ago, his last fight with Kevin Barry as his head trainer. The former WBO heavyweight titlist is now training under the guidance of Andy Lee, the retired former middleweight titlist who also works with reigning World heavyweight champion Tyson Fury.
The evening’s chief support pits World lightweight champion and pound-for-pound queen Katie Taylor versus Liverpool’s Natasha Jonas in a battle of former amateur rivals.
Taylor (17-0, 6KOs) weighed 134.5 pounds for the 10th defense of at least one lightweight title. The two-time Olympian and 2012 Olympic Gold medalist from Bray, Ireland has posted two unanimous decision wins since the pandemic—outpointing Delfine Persoon over 10 rounds in their thrilling rematch last August, and scoring a 10-round shutout over unbeaten Miriam Gutierrez in her most recent start last November.
Jonas (9-1-1, 7KOs) weighed 134.4 pounds for her second career title fight. The 36-year-old contender saw her stock soar in a 10-round draw with reigning WBC junior lightweight titlist Terri Harper last August in what was one of the best fights of 2020.
The two met nine years in the quarterfinal round of the 2012 London Olympics, with Taylor outpointing Jonas en route to capturing a Gold medal. Taylor has since captured five major titles in two weight divisions as a pro.
Dmitry Bivol (17-0, 11KOs) returns to the ring for the first time in 18 months as the 30-year-old from St. Petersburg, Russia by way of Kyrgyzstan attempts the seventh defense of his WBA light heavyweight title versus London’s Craig Richards (16-1-1, 9KOs).
Bivol weighed 174.1 pounds, while Richards was 174.4 pounds for his first career title fight.
Second-generation middleweight Chris Eubank Jr. (29-2, 22KO) of Brighton, England weighed 161.7 pounds for his scheduled 10-round bout versus Lancashire’s Marcus Morrison (23-3, 16KOs) who hit the scale at 161.5 pounds.
Below are the weights for the rest of the undercard.
Campbell Hatton (1-0, 0KOs), Manchester, 135.6 pounds vs. Levi Dunn (0-4, 0KOs), Lancashire, 134.3 pounds—4 rounds, lightweight
Johnny Fisher (1-0, 1KO), London, 245.25 pounds vs. Phil Williams (3-27-1, 1KO), Swindon, England, 268.4 pounds—4 rounds, heavyweight
James Tennyson (28-3, 24KOs), Belfast, 134.4 pounds vs. Jovanni Straffon (23-3-1, 16KOs), Mexico City, 133.1 pounds—12 rounds, lightweight
Scott Fitzgerald (14-0, 9KOs), Preston, England, 169.25 pounds vs. Gregory Trenel (13-6-2, 3KOs), Dainville, France, 166.1 pounds—8 rounds, super middleweight
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox