By Barry Holbrook: Dereck Chisora weighed in at trim 257 pounds for his 10 round fight against former heavyweight world title challenger Artur Szpilka on Saturday night at the O2 Arena in London, England. The weight for Chisora (30-9, 21 KOs) is the seventh highest weight of his 12 year pro career.
Both fighters wore their countries’ flags over their mouths during the face off. Chisora went one better by wearing sunglasses as well. He also had a baseball cap on. When Chisora turned to Szpilka for the face off, he initially flipped him off. It looked like Chisora was going to make a bad scene, but he then put his hands down by his sides and went through the formality of the face off.
Chisora isn’t as bad as he used to be for his face offs. Who can forget when Chisora kissed Carl Baker on the mouth in 2010, and slapped Vitali Klitschko across the face in 2012 for their face offs. Those were the old days. Chisora has calmed way down in recent years thankfully.
Chisora looks in shape, as if he’s been hitting the iron pretty heavy since his win over Senad Gashi last April. Dereck’s physique is a lot more muscular. He’s obviously training hard for the Szpilka fight. Chisora is becoming another Anthony Joshua in transforming his physique into that of a bodybuilder.
The southpaw Szpilka (22-3, 15 KOs) weighed in at 243 pounds, which is the second highest weight of his 11-year pro career.
Dereck needs a victory over Szpilka to remain relevant
Chisora vs. Szpilka will be taking place on the undercard of Dillian Whyte vs. Oscar Rivas on Sky Box Office and DAZN at the O2 Arena. This is a fight that Chisora badly needs for him to stay in the running for a future world title shot against the likes of IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Andy Ruiz Jr. or WBC champion Deontay Wilder.
Chisora has suffered three defeats since 2016 in losing twice to Whyte, and once to Agit Kabayel. Dereck cannot take any additional losses at this time if he wants to get a crack at one of the world champions Ranked at #11 with the World Boxing Council, Chisora could get moved up the rankings with an impressive victory over Szpilka on Saturday night.
Szpilka has proven to be vulnerable to heavy punchers in the past. Deontay Wilder and Adam Kownacki both knocked him out in consecutive fights in 2016 and 2017. Bryant Jennings also stopped Szpilka in the 10th round in 2014. Jennings isn’t a big puncher, but it didn’t matter. He still stopped Szpilka. Mike Molla knocked Szpilka down in his two fights with him. He dropped Szpilka twice in their first fight in 2013, and then another time in their rematch in August of the same year.
The good news for Szpilka is Chisora isn’t the same kind of puncher as Wilder and Kownacki is. Chisora can punch, but he”s not on the level of those two guys. But Chisora makes up for what he lacks in power with the placement of his shots. He likes to throw looping punches that often hit his opponents in the back of their heads. We saw Chisora stop Malik Scott and Carlos Takam with rabbit shots.
Chisora looked impressive in last performance
Chisora, 35 is coming off of an impressive 10 round unanimous decision win over Senad Gashi last April. This is the same Gashi (17-3, 17 KOs) that Tom Schwarz and Carlos Takam both beat. Chisora should have been able to knockout Gashi, but his punches had no effect. You can argue that Chisora was being careful against Gashi, because he’s heavy handed, and Chisora had recently been knocked out in the 11th round by Whyte last December. It would have been a mistake on Chisora’s part to go all out looking to destroy Gashi, and get caught by one his his hard punches.
Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn is hoping Chisora can get through this fight with Szpilka to get a victory, because he’s interested in matching him against Joseph Parker. That’s a fight that would interest a lot of boxing fans. A win for Chisora over Parker would rejuvenate his career, and open the doors for some interesting match-ups. It’s unclear whether Hearn would try and put Chisora in with some of his other heavyweights in his stable. He could potentially match Chisora against Oleksandr Usyk, Michael Hunter or Filip Hrgovic. Those would be tough fights for Chisora. The Parker match is the better option for Chisora, because it’s a winnable fight for him.
A loss for Chisora against Szpilka will probably close the door permanently for him to ever get another world title shot. It’s been six years since Chisora fought former WBC champion Vitali Klitschko. It’s surprising that Chisora has failed to work himself back into position for another world title fight. Chisora’s losses to Kubrat Pulev, Kabayel, David Haye and Tyson Fury has hurt his efforts to get another title shot.
Szpilka better off boxing Chisora
For the Polish fighter Szpilka, he needs to follow the blueprint created by Agit Kabayel by using movement to beat Chisora. That’s clearly the best method for a fighter that lacks a good chin to defeat Dereck, because it’ll end badly if Szpilka slugs with him. The guys that have done well against Chisora used movement against him, and boxed him from the outside. David Haye is the only heavyweight that was able to destroy Chisora with power shots. No one else has done that to Dereck, and it wouldn’t be a good idea for Szpilka to try.