Derek Chisora and Kubrat Pulev? Are They Still Going?
That sounds nasty and unnecessary I know, especially after this Chisora performance, but that was the implication for both these fighters going into it.
They were still going, but should they be?
Yes, there was a belt at stake, the WBA International Heavyweight belt, but when the WBA website tells us;
‘Now, both veterans come in on slightly negative streaks but their recent defeats have been against elite opponents.’
Well, Pulev fought last against Jerry Forrest in an unprepossessing match on Triller, he’d fought ex-MMA man Frank Mir there before. Yep…
And Delboy, he was out last with Joseph Parker. He worked hard and kept going (he does that) but he did take a bit of a battering, I didn’t feel that he boxed defensively, not getting hit too often – Chisora doesn’t approach fights like that. He absorbed punishment.
And there were thoughts that Chisora should retire after the Parker fight – so many tough battles over 44 fights and at late 30’s, an advanced age for a boxer.
And yet, he was back…
The Chisora Effect
A ‘War’; hate that description of boxing matches, but Chisora has been involved in more concussive, percussive, fights than many.
That all-out attack style is incredibly popular and heavyweights exchanging punches is an extraordinary sight. A terrible sight too.
But Del Boy Chisora is a draw for another reason. His character. He sells fights. He can turn on the anger or laugh it up – witness his Boris Johnson mask antics at the weigh-in; he is a personality and there are precious few of those unfiltered characters in boxing.
And so when Derek Chisora says he isn’t retiring, some people breathe a sigh of relief.
He is still a hot commodity.
So The Fight Wasn’t Any Good Then?
Quite the opposite. How Chisora managed this fighting performance I’ll never know, but right from the 1st round, he was getting in close to Pulev, working the body but also not just standing around.
Oh no, Chisora’s head movement was there right from the beginning too; he made Pulev miss and had him reaching in.
And although Chisora looked worryingly unfocused in the corner after that first round, not replying to questions and looking around worriedly, when the bell went, he lit up. He was making it a fight, Pulev showed more composure, it was a little as if the Bulgarian was trying to box, the Londoner was trying to rough it up.
When Pulev used his jab a little more in the 2nd, Chisora just followed suit in the 3rd; Pulev did look a bit quiet, in the 5th round he unloaded a little but it was so slow, his opponent could have seen it from the 4th round and easily avoided it – even when Pulev had him on the ropes in the 10th, he seemed unprepared to fire, perhaps wary of what would come back.
The Tactics Worked
Chisora’s that is. He came forward, he shipped punishment, he fired back – in the 8th & 9th Chisora hit a right hand which made Pulev shudder somewhat, but still found himself on the ropes and still found the energy and strength to fight out of it.
These 2 rounds and the previous one when they traded such heavy leather created a wince and a worry.
And yet even in the last round, Chisora was showing good head movement, avoiding the rather tired pawing punches coming at him.
It was a great fight. No quarter given but tactics present too.
So What Does All This Mean?
Chisora won. Split decision, with pretty much the same figures as their first meeting, which Pulev won.
And that has made people scream ‘rubber match’! But the winner wants someone else…
Let me say here and now that I don’t think that this fight should be made. Pulev is one thing. Parker is more troublesome. Wilder is a huge worry.
And Chisora should just think on that for a long minute.