By Jim Maltzman: Derek Chisora (32-10, 23 KOs) is in an important crossroads fight this Saturday night against former WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker (28-2, 21 KOs) at the Manchester Arena in Manchester, England.
Despite having lost five times in the last six years since 2016, Chisora, 37, remains a pay-per-view fighter on Sky Box Office.
But with Chisora on the bottom fringe in the heavyweight division with a #15 ranking with the WBC, he’s in danger of no longer being ranked in the top tier.
A loss to Parker on Saturday will take Chisora out of the top 15, which could hurt his earning potential. Chisora needs a win over Parker in the worst way on Saturday because this could be the end if he loses.
Derek has had some bad luck with his defeats against Dillian Whyte and in his recent match with him getting beaten by Oleksandr Usyk last October.
Chisora in a crossroads fight
“Derek Chisora vs. Joseph Parker, it’s a crossroads fight for the former world title challenger and a former world titleholder in Joseph Parker,” said Chris Mannix to DAZN. “Chisora is 37-years-old. do you look at this fight as ‘win or go home’ for Chisora?’
“Yeah, but every fight is win or go home,” said Sergio Mora. “In boxing, you’re one punch away from retirement. I’m of the belief that no one should tell another fighter when to retire.
“Derek Chisora is always an entertaining fighter. He’s only been knocked out three times. Two of them were in rematches and in high-level competition against Dillian Whyte and Tyson Fury and David Haye.
“There’s no shame there. Even at 37-years-old with a style like Chisora. Maybe take away some of the war and fight behind the jab. Learn how to use your experience to back up other fighters. I could still see him fighting.
“It’s all up to Chisora and how he looks in this fight with Joseph Parker. He’s a big puncher but not a devastating puncher.
“If he can go the distance and compete with parker, I don’t think it’s the end of Chisora’s career. He’s too popular and he’s too good.”
“Well, if he loses close, yes, I can see Derek Chisora continuing with his career,” said Mannix. “If it’s a wide decision defeat, I don’t think there’s much point for Chisora to keep going. you mentioned the knockout losses.”
Chisora has lost two out of his last five fights since 2018, and it’s not a good sign that former cruiserweight champion Usyk beat him.
Usyk is a decent heavyweight, but from what we’ve seen from him in his two fights in the division, he’s not an elite fighter.
If Chisora can’t beat Parker or Usyk, it means that he has no chance to get a world title shot.
Even with Eddie Hearn working behind the scenes to give Chisora a title shot, the boxing public won’t go for that if he gets beaten by Parker.
Derek needs to look good
Considering that Parker has been looking faded lately, it would be a bad sign if Chisora loses to him by a one-sided decision. Getting knocked out by Parker would obviously be devastating for Chisora.
“Those can cause damage on a fighter, no question, but you know it’s the decision defeats that can lead to the most lasting damage.
“Chisora has been in there for 12 rounds with some elite fighters. He fought Vitali Klitschko for 12 rounds.
“He recently fought Oleksandr Usyk, and in both of those fights, he faded somewhat towards the end of those battles.
“So I don’t necessarily want to see Derek Chisora served up as the guy that has got the quasi-name who you can put a beating on and add that notch to your belt.
“I think if he loses outside of 116-112 to Joseph Parker, he should call it a day. I understand that it’s hard to know when it’s time to hang them up.”
“I’m a different fighter than a power puncher, so I relieved on my legs,’ said Mora. “I knew I was done in the rematch with daniel Jacob. I had no legs. Once my legs went, I went. A fighter like Chisora, he’s a puncher.
He’s a flat-footed come forward who wants to get his opponents on the ropes. Those guys can last later in their careers.
So it’s a different comparison there. I knew when my legs went. Chisora is going to know when he can’t corner his opponent and get those big punches in anymore, so it’s different.”
“It’s different but you keep calling Derek Chisora a big puncher, but he’s a southpaw,’ said Mannix. “He’s a solid puncher, but he’s not one of the big punchers in the heavyweight division.
“And he’s not Deontay Wilder who walks around with that big equalizer. He’s a guy with good power in the early rounds after watching him against Oleksandr Usyk and then in the later rounds, it doesn’t really exist.”
Losing a close decision to Parker will be forgivable by the boxing fans in the UK, but it’ll be a different story if it’s a totally one-sided affair.
Parker a good barometer of what Derek has left
“The power in the later rounds is by Chisora’s opponents, and I’m looking at what David Haye did in the middle rounds, I’m looking at what Dillian Whyte did in the later rounds,” said Mannix. “He’s got power, but it’s not one punch crunching power.”
“No, he’s not a one-punching knockout puncher like that, but he’ll wear you down with his sie and he’ll wear you down with his physique, especially if you lay on the ropes,” said Mora about Chisora.
“You touched on David Haye, but hate stayed off the ropes. He was able to fight the smaller man’s fight in the center of the ring.
“It was an exciting knockout in a brilliant fight. These bigger fighters, especially in the heavyweight division that are 6’4′ plus, they don’t sty against the ropes.
They like to bang a little bit more, and that’s Chisora’s fight that he likes to bang away. He’s going to suffer from the Usyks and maybe suffer with Joseph Parker, who is an excellent boxer/puncher as well.
“If you put him in with a guy that is going to stand in front of you, Chisora can fight until he’s 38 or 39-years-old.”
“I don’t think it’s loser goes home for Chisora, but if it’s lopsided loss, then I think it might be time for someone in Chisora’s team to tell him to walk away,” said Mannix.