Derek Chisora kept his career alive with only his second victory in his last six fights via a unanimous decision over Gerald Washington.

Chisora endured a torrid start to the fight and was cut badly on his right eye. 

But in his true ‘War’ fashion, the 39-year-old refused to let Washington get comfortable on the back foot and outworked the visitor enough to secure victory in the eyes of all three judges.

Marcus McDonnell had it 98-93 to Chisora while Steve Gray (97-94) and Bob Williams (96-94) had it slightly closer. There were few complaints from Washington, who nodded at Chisora when the scores were announced at the o2 Arena.

It is a victory which is set to ensure that the veteran, who moves to 34-13 (23) as a result of victory, will box again despite nearly 17 years of punishing fights.

The fan favorite, dressed head to toe in pink, walked out to Hotel California in a gown which read ‘Girl dad’ across the back. He kissed his two young daughters at the foot of the steps to the ring before clambering up them.

Already inside was Washington, who received an offer to step into the main event to face Anthony Joshua once Dillian Whyte was withdrawn from it.

However he and his trainer Malik Scott agreed that the terms were not sufficient to face AJ so they decided to press ahead with this clash with 39-year-old Chisora.

Scott knows all about the Brit having fought him 10 years ago last month. In fact it was Chisora who handed Scott his first defeat that night, stopping him in the sixth round across town at the Wembley Arena.

It has been a wild ride for Chisora in the decade that has followed and it looked as though he might retire after he was beaten in his last fight, when Tyson Fury stopped him in 10 at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in December.

But on he goes and he landed this co-main event slot on the undercard of his manager Joshua. 

He had predicted that Washington would attempt to box him on the back foot and he insisted he would attack and brawl like he always does. He was true to that promise but he got into trouble doing so in the second round and was cut around the right eye by a Washington uppercut.

Chisora ended the round on his back but it was not a punch that caused him to fall and it was not scored a knockdown.

The uppercut was the money shot for Washington, who was timing Chisora on the way in, bringing his right hand up the middle, before stepping off. Chisora was not having much success and was even switching southpaw in a bid to land something meaningful.

On he plodded, bull-like as ever, but Washington was boxing beautifully on the back foot, spearing him with the right hand at will as blood poured from Chisora’s ever-worsening cut.

However, he was still landing jabs on the way in, and he never stopped attempting to land with big overhand rights that he winged in from down by his knees. Washington, too, seemed to be feeling the pace as Chisora continued to swarm.

He finished the round by landing a big southpaw right hook and snapping Washington’s head back with a jab as the tide appeared to turn slightly.

By the seventh, Washington’s output had slowed dramatically as he circled around the ring with Chisora chasing him, head down, looking for a breakthrough. But the American finished the round in the ascendancy, holding his feet and unloading a combination which halted Chisora in his tracks.

The pattern continued in the final rounds, too. Chisora was landing occasionally with the right hand but it did little to hurt Washington. The visitor’s sharp work from early on, however, was by now eluding him.

In the end, Washington's lack of industry down the stretch cost him as Chisora hustled his way to victory 34 of his career.