If Dereck Chisora can beat Joseph Parker next month, David Haye is confident Chisora will move himself into what was considered an improbable position earlier this year.
That would win rebuild Chisora’s credibility so significantly – according to Haye, Chisora’s manager – that the heavyweight veteran would deserve a world title shot. Chisora is just eight months removed from Dillian Whyte knocking him unconscious in the 11th round of their rematch December 22 at O2 Arena in London.
“He deserves a shot at one of the champions,” Haye told BoxingScene.com over the weekend in London. “You know, the champions have got some business to take care of. Obviously in Saudi Arabia, you’ve got Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz Jr. doing it again. And obviously you’ve got Fury and Wilder, they’ve got some unfinished business. They’ve got that draw they need to take care of. So, that’s probably gonna happen in the early part [of 2020], February. So, we’re looking at the middle of 2020, you know, Dereck Chisora – can you imagine it, getting a heavyweight title shot? And, you know, never write Dereck Chisora off.”
The Zimbabwe-born, London-based Chisora (31-9, 22 KOs) has won each of his two fights since Whyte’s left hook knocked him out in a fight he was winning on two of three scorecards (95-94, 95-94, 94-95). In his most recent appearance, Chisora scored a sensational second-round knockout of Poland’s Artur Szpilka (22-4, 15 KOs) on July 20 at O2 Arena.
Chisora will return to O2 Arena to oppose Parker (26-2, 20 KOs), a former WBO champion who has lost only to Whyte (26-1, 18 KOs) and former IBF/IBO/WBA/WBO champ Anthony Joshua (22-1, 21 KOs). For the 35-year-old Chisora, Haye views it as another chance to make sure he realizes the potential he hasn’t reached during his 12-year professional career.
“You know, the way he’s living his life,” Haye said, “the way he’s dedicating himself over the last year, for me, has shown that he’s realized that he maybe has underachieved in his career. You know, he’s achieved some big things. But when it’s come to it, he’s never been the best version of himself. He’s in LA now, training hard. He knows this is it. He’s got eight weeks [left]. He’s sparring already. He’s in the zone. And I want people to see what I’ve seen.”
Chisora lost to Vitali Klitschko, then the WBC champion, by unanimous decision in his only true title shot. Since Klitschko beat him in February 2012, Chisora has suffered TKO losses to Haye and Tyson Fury, the aforementioned knockout defeat to Whyte, and 12-round decision defeats to Kubrat Pulev, Whyte and Agit Kabayel.
Parker is eight years younger than Chisora and obviously the fresher fighter entering their 12-rounder on the Regis Prograis-Josh Taylor undercard. Based partially on Chisora’s recent resurgence, Parker is listed only as a slight favorite.
“Joseph Parker is the younger fighter,” Haye said. “He’s the former heavyweight champion. You know, he beat Andy Ruiz Jr., who many people now consider as the No. 1 after Ruiz Jr. beat Anthony Joshua. So, the only guy to beat Andy Ruiz Jr. is Joseph Parker. So, if Dereck Chisora or when Dereck Chisora wins that fight … he puts himself in a very, very strong position. And he wants the world title. It’s the only belt he’s never won is the world title, so he wants an opportunity. But to get that, he has to go through a very tough, very durable, very educated Joseph Parker. Joseph Parker, you know, his two losses against Anthony Joshua and against Dillian Whyte, you know, he didn’t disgrace himself in either of those fights. You know, against Dillian Whyte, although he dropped heavy, he showed he’s got the heart of a lion. He came back in that fight and nearly knocked Dillian Whyte out in that 12th round.
“So, for me, it’s a very, very tough fight for Dereck Chisora. But Dereck’s shown me some stuff in the gym that, you know, he wasn’t showing even before the Artur Szpilka fight, which he won in emphatic fashion with that second-round, devastating knockout here at the O2 Arena. And we’ve got the fight back here again. He’s got it on home turf. He knows the change room. He knows the ring. He knows the atmosphere. Unfortunately for Joseph Parker, the last time he was here, you know, he got a loss [to Whyte]. You know, it’s not a good venue for Joseph Parker. So, for me, a little superstition never hurts anybody.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.