Derek Chisora has no intention of calling his boxing career quits until he finds himself slipping in the gym.
In recent years, the popular British-based, Zimbabwe-born heavyweight veteran has had to deal with persistent calls to retire from the sport. A fan-friendly slugger, Chisora has been praised for his commercial appeal but his style has often required him to absorb plenty of punishment as well, much to the concern of some observers. It does not help either that Chisora is on a three-fight losing streak: a comprehensive loss to Oleksandr Usyk in 2020, followed by back-to-back points losses to Joseph Parker.
Chisora (32-12, 23 KOs), however, has been adamant that he will retire on his own terms and has in fact been contemptuous of people urging him to hang up the gloves. He faces Bulgarian contender Kubrat Pulev (29-2, 12 KOs) in a 12-round heavyweight this Saturday at O2 Arena in London in a fight many are calling "must win" for Chisora's career.
Apparently, Chisora has a barometer for considering retirement and it has to do with how he fares against young, up-and-coming heavyweights during sparring sessions in the gym. So far, the 38-year-old has had his way with sparring partners, however young and athletic they may be.
“One of the things I enjoy the most is that I bring this young man here from Germany, a good fighter,” Chisora told BBC 5 Live Boxing. “His hands are so unbelievable. [Anthony Joshua] uses him. Even Dillian [Whyte] used him for his last fight.
“I measure myself against these young guys when they come into the gym. I know for a fact that round one they’re gonna be a nightmare. Round two they’re gonna be even more of a nightmare. By round three, I’m tapering them down. Round four, they’re ready to jump out of the ring because they ain’t gonna want to be in there. They’ve gotta do six or eight [rounds].
“I know for a fact that you know when the day that a young man comes in there and he goes, 'nah coach I wanna stay in with Derek', that’s when I’ll be like, you know what, it’s time to put the gloves down. But I haven’t found a kid there yet that can come into the gym and trouble me that much. They trouble me for three or four rounds but after that I take control.”