Is It Time For Dereck Chisora To Hang Up His Gloves?
Many in boxing are notorious for not knowing when to call it quits. The legendary Roy Jones Jr., for instance, should have hung up his gloves after getting knocked out in 2004 by Antonio Tarver, yet he continued fighting until 2017, even though he was a shell of his former self. Perhaps it’s pride, or a hope for one last big payday or a final, throwback performance. Even Floyd “Money” Mayweather has wavered between retired and unretired, though won with ease in 2017 against Conor McGregor while raking in a disclosed purse of $100 million.
Which leads us to former Commonwealth and European heavyweight champion Dereck Chisora. He won’t be making close to $100 million anytime soon against anyone in the division, and he hasn’t looked particularly great in his recent fights, going 3–3 in his last 6 bouts. So it begs the question: Is it time for Chisora to hang up his gloves?
The answer is yes.
Such a conclusion seems a bit premature, considering Chisora is only 34. But the man has been through some wars, notably his brutal back-and-forth against Tyson Fury in May 2011 (lost via majority decision), his action-packed thriller versus Robert Helenius in December 2011 (lost via split decision), his violent clash with David Haye in July 2012 (lost via TKO in the 5th), and his fight-of-the-year slugfest with bitter rival Dillian Whyte (lost via split decision). Chisora also showed tremendous heart against all-time great Vitali Klitschko in their February 2012 championship scrap, charging forward time and again at the bigger, better Klitschko, who controlled the fight with his reach and jab.
But as mentioned, Chisora has lost 3 times in his last 6 fights, losing to Kubrat Pulev, Whyte, and Agit Kabayel, and winning against unknowns like Drazan Janjanin, Robert Filipovic, and Zakaria Azzouzi. Chisora looked considerably outmatched against the highly ranked Pulev in May 2016, before bouncing back with a KO win over Janjanin. Del Boy then gave a strong performance against Whyte in their aforementioned fight-of-the-year slugfest in December 2016 which, as reported here previously was one of the undercard fights on the Anthony Joshua–Eric Molina card.
After picking up a TKO victory in September 2017 over the unheralded Filipovic, himself a late replacement for the equally anonymous Jay McFarlane, Chisora delivered yet another stinker of a performance two months later, this time against the fast and fleet-footed Kabayel. Seemingly dispirited, Chisora gave away the first half of the fight, refusing to engage or even cut off the quicker, sharper Kabayel. Del Boy tried to mount a comeback in the championship rounds, but his furious, final charge proved to be too little too late as he dropped a majority decision loss to the up-and-coming German.
With Chisora’s career seemingly unraveling last year, he was slated as one of the favorites to appear in the reality show I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here! Had he been picked, Chisora would have followed in the footsteps of Haye, his other bitter rival. Instead, Del Boy fought Kabayel in November, and given his dreadful performance, he would have been better served rubbing elbows with celebrities like eventual winner Georgia Toffolo, Vanessa White, and Shappi Khorsandi than getting drubbed by a younger, hungrier, and better fighter.
Chisora did open up 2018 with a rousing KO win over Azzouzi, but that bout seems a microcosm of what Del Boy is now as a fighter: still a threat to no-names, barely good enough against middle-of-the-pack heavyweights, and outmatched against high-level opposition.
Given this reality, it would be best for Chisora to walk away from the sport.