Derek Chisora drew applause during a press conference Thursday in London for his honest expression of respect toward Tyson Fury.
Chisora and Fury haven’t really talked trash during the promotion of their heavyweight title fight Saturday night because they genuinely respect one another. Fury’s challenger explained, too, that it’s tough to belittle the undefeated Fury when it was the champion who delivered on his promise to secure Chisora a seven-figure payday for a fight that has been consistently criticized as an unnecessary mismatch.
Handicappers have installed Fury as at least a 20-1 favorite to beat Chisora in their main event at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London. The Manchester native has already beaten Chisora twice and Chisora will turn 39 three weeks after their BT Sport Box Office pay-per-view fight (6 p.m. GMT; £24.95).
London’s Chisora (33-12, 23 KOs) hasn’t paid much mind to the critics or the odds on what figures to be his last opportunity to win a heavyweight championship. Chisora took a passive approach to their final press conference Thursday, but the fighter nicknamed “War” assured doubters that he will truly test Fury (32-0-1, 23 KOs) in their third meeting.
“First of all, I just wanna say this here,” Chisora said. “If I can sit here and try and be more aggressive to Tyson and try and say so many bad words, I cannot because the man I’m seeing, I’m looking at right now, he’s given me an opportunity when Frank Warren didn’t wanna give me an opportunity, when Bob Arum said he didn’t wanna give me an opportunity, when even my old promoter, Eddie Hearn, didn’t wanna give me an opportunity.
“He called me up and he said to me, ‘I wanna fight you. I wanna give you a big payday.’ And I said, ‘Yes, let’s make it happen. Yeah.’ And then for me to sit here and try and talk sh!t and try and say so many bad things about this man, who’s actually given me food on the table for my kids, I cannot. Do you understand? Yeah?”
The 34-year-old Fury has repeatedly stated that he anticipates a difficult fight Saturday night, not just a tune-up to keep him busy before he faces IBF/IBO/WBA/WBO champ Oleksandr Usyk (20-0, 13 KOs) in a full title unification fight early in 2023.
Fury pointed out that his style has changed considerably from when he stopped Chisora after 10 one-sided rounds in their rematch eight years ago at ExCeL London. One of them is getting knocked out, according to Fury, who defeated Chisora by unanimous decision in their first fight, a 12-rounder in July 2011 at Wembley Arena in London.
“You know, all these guys in the game, you know, Frank, all these guys, they didn’t want me to be on this stage,” Chisora said. “Do you understand? They didn’t want me to be on this stage. I can hear them. The reporters have been writing so many bad things, but I don’t care. But come on Saturday, I can guarantee you this – friendship will be out the door. Me and this big man, we are gonna get it on. Do you understand? I’m not gonna try and hold back for anything. Do you understand? So, come on Saturday, we are gonna go to – I’m gonna go to war, yeah. I’m gonna come. There’s no two ways about it.
“As I said before, I wanna take what’s his and make mine. Physically and mentally, this is what I want. Do you understand? Yeah, so it’s OK for everybody to say what they wanna say. But really and truly, I’m in the ring, he’s in the ring. It’s only the two of us. Do you understand? So, for me to sit here and try to slay the Furys, I cannot. You know, I cannot talk sh!t about him, about anything, because there’s nothing to say to a man who phones you up and puts food on the table for your kids. Do you understand?”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.