Venue: Wembley Arena
TV: Sky Sports Box Office
Dereck Chisora will need to cause an upset if he is to put himself in the mix for a world title shot in boxing’s heavyweight division by beating Oleksandr Usyk.
Chisora has plenty of experience at this level but is very much the underdog as his Ukrainian opponent makes the step up from cruiserweight, where he was an undisputed champion.
The fight was moved from its original May 23 date to Halloween because of coronavirus and Chisora believes training for months on end has left him in the best fighting shape of his life.
The Londoner (32-9, 23KOs) is aware though that he will have to take some punishment in order to land a knockout blow and inflict a first defeat as a professional on Usyk.
The 36-year-old said: “I have to go to him. For me to stand there and try to pick my punches, I can’t do that. I am going to go to war, that’s the only way I know since I started boxing.
“I’ll have to eat leather to land my leather, so when I land my one he will know he’s been hit.
“I don’t have anything to lose. I’m in great shape, my mind is right and I’m just happy to be fighting this year because there’s so much happening in the world for everybody.
“I had a great camp. I’ve been training for about nine months for this fight. Looking at the board in the gym, I only had one week off since I boxed David Price (in October last year).
“It’s the best training camp I’ve had since I became a professional. This was a long, long long grind every day.”
Chisora’s bravery has to be admired but we expect him to be worn down by the better fighter and Usyk to win inside the distance at 11/10 is our first Usyk vs Chisora prediction.
Haye help for Chisora
While this is a step up in weight for Usyk, it is important not to over play the difference between the two divisions.
David Haye made the same step up previously and stopped Chisora in the fifth round so the latter will need more than just the extra power to survive.
Haye has been helping oversee Chisora’s preparations and it was revealed earlier this month he had offered £1,000 to any sparring partner who could knock down Chisora.
Chisora said: “Nobody has come and tried to knock me out, they’ve all ran out the gym because they can’t handle the power and the pace. I wanted to increase the prize up to £20,000 but David said ‘no’. He’s telling me there’s nothing else we can do.”
The stunt seemed to be an attempt to find someone who could replicate the style of the slick Usyk, who won gold at the London Olympics and is now the mandatory challenger to the WBO heavyweight title held by Anthony Joshua after compiling a record of 17-0 in the paid ranks.
Looking at the Usyk vs Chisora odds, the price boost of 11/2 for Usyk to win in rounds 9-12 has plenty of appeal.
For an even bigger price, we suspect the fight could end when Chisora is forced to go for broke in the latter stages so we’ll have a small play on Usyk to win in round 10 at 16/1 for our final Usyk vs Chisora prediction.
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