Despite members of the British written press giving Dereck Chisora an outside chance of toppling Vitali Klitschko when the pair meet in Munich at the weekend, the night should mark only the death of one of the most self-destructive periods of heavyweight boxing history.
Even the most patriotic British fight fan should settle down to watch Saturday’s match-up with divided loyalties. If, by some stroke of fortune, the WBC heavyweight champion has taken his eye off the ball and if the talkative Chisora finds the sort of equalising shot that always remains a possibility in this division, there could be a new member of world heavyweight boxing royalty.
And yet, for the sake of the division, I hope Chisora’s bravado is not rewarded.
There is a supposed template for fighting the Klitschko brothers , and with almost every boxer unable to achieve parity in terms of natural height, too many figure that matching the pair on the scales is the best combatant. ‘Del-Boy’ is certainly a disciple of that particular philosophy.
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He will point to fighters such as Samuel Peter and Chris Byrd who have found success against the brothers despite carrying a small rain forest with them. When he weighed in for his career defining fight against Tyson Fury last summer, Chisora tipped the scales at a scarcely believable 261 pounds (18.6 stone).
What followed was something akin to two fat alcoholics wrestling on the floor of a Glaswegian disco.
Whatever your opinion of David Haye, the Londoner’s philosophy surrounding clean living and meticulous preparation has to be the template for challengers to the heavyweight crown. His tactics in chasing victory against WBA, IBF and WBO champion Wladimir may have been negative, however he clearly appreciated that the way to conquer the disparity in size was to be as fleet of foot as possible.
On the domestic scene, David Price’s brutal stoppage of John McDermott last month was a clear message to up and coming heavyweights that being fat is no longer an acceptable approach. Tyson Fury has repeatedly spoken about a stricter diet and, despite still carrying more excess weight than is ideal, the message is slowly feeding through.
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The definition of “good condition” from a heavyweight perspective is very different to that to lower down the weight pyramid and despite the physiological difficulties involved in men over a certain size remaining model thin, there is phenomenal embarrassment in watching Eddie Chambers or Odlanier Solis turning up for the biggest nights of their lives with shorts pulled up to their nipples whilst the Klitschko brothers jab their undercooked foe into a black hole.
The merits of extensive road work as well as the requisite technical disciplines in the gym are long established, but for too many heavier men, this is shelved as an unnecssary extra when fights are often won within two or three rounds.
Unfortunately, and I hope I’m wrong, Chisora still does not seem to have quite cottoned on that this is the wrong approach. He was aerobically impressive in defeat to Robert Helenius, however excess blubber hampered his efforts through the championship rounds.
And yet, this will be the template come Saturday night. Despite suggesting that a 40 year old Vitali will be overcome with a new approach from a super fit Chisora, the Londoner has, rightly or wrongly, suffered two consecutive defeats leading up to this title shot.
Make no bones about it, if a puffing challenger emerges for the middle rounds having been ground into the dust by an automated Klitschko, the perils of heavy heavyweights may finally hit home to Dereck Chisora. However, by then, it will all be too late.
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