Derek Chisora says he has relaxed when training for his rematch with Joseph Parker by attending strangers’ weddings.
Chisora, from London, has been based in Yorkshire for his training camp for the fight, working out at the gym of Dave Coldwell, his trainer, in Rotherham and staying at the Wortley Hall hotel on the edge of Sheffield.
The hotel is a former stately home and is popular for weddings. And when they to-be-married couple discover Chisora is staying there, he soon gets an invitation.
“They have weddings here all the time, they have 140 here a year and I’ve probably gate crashed a few of those weddings,” he said. “It keeps myself occupied.
“They love it - they say ‘Oh my God, come to our wedding, come to our wedding, come cut the cake’. They love me! Who don’t want a boxer at their wedding?
“I was meant to pack a suit, but I thought ‘you can take me as I am with my tracksuit bottoms’.
“The wildest thing I have done? Kissed the bride! I have kissed the bride, on the cheek!”
Chisora insists that he has enjoyed being away from London since teaming up with Coldwell.
The 37-year-old boxed Parker, the former WBO heavyweight champion, at Manchester Arena on Saturday, having lost a disputed split decision to the New Zealander at the same venue in May, when no crowds was permitted.
Chisora has no doubt that he deserved to win the first fight, having dropped Parker in the early moments, but that feeling did not stop him looking to change things in his team.
“I enjoy it, I keep telling all these young fighters just enjoy everything,” Chisora said. “I enjoy leaving my house in London to come here to train and putting myself through so much pain. I’m just enjoying it now.
“Rotherham has been nice, Sheffield has been nice. All I do is train and I come back and eat my food and rest, then go training again.
“Training-wise it has been amazing. There are a lot of fighters in the gym. They always say you don’t finish learning, you learn every day and if you don’t want to learn then you’re a fool. I’ve come to Dave to learn more.
“I went to the gym and told him ‘I don’t come with ego, I will ask you questions like I’m a five year old’. He understood that. Training is going well.
“He is teaching me the way to box for my age now, which is the right thing. I’m not sparring older guys, I’m sparring younger guys who are trying to take my head off. It’s exciting times for me right now.”
Being older now, Chisora can’t afford to be taking clean shots and so has been working on new things, while no trying to blunt the aggressive style that has brought him success.
“You are going to see so much change, I’m going to go for a stoppage this time,” Chisora said. “So many changes, it will be controlled attack.
“I am looking at riding shots, working when I want to work. I want to put the pressure on him. We will set the same pace as last time. Pace is not the problem.”
Ron Lewis is a senior writer for BoxingScene. He was Boxing Correspondent for The Times, where he worked from 2001-2019 - covering four Olympic Games and numerous world title fights across the globe. He has written about boxing for a wide variety of publications worldwide since the 1980s.