Dereck Chisora vs David Price is analysed by the former’s former trainer Don Charles, who speaks to Danny Flexen about that and the role played by David Haye
Don Charles arguably knows Dereck Chisora better than the erratic Finchley heavyweight knows himself. Through two lengthy spells together, the second of which ended in , Charles was there through the glorious victories and painful defeats. They argued, made up, celebrated and together were always a force to be reckoned with. So it was natural I sought out Charles for his analysis on Chisora vs David Price this weekend and the first question I asked him was how much he bought into the idea, propagated by the fighter and his manager David Haye, that the Londoner would enter this hugely important battle without a recognised head trainer.
“I believe it’s all a smokescreen,” Charles insists. “It would be foolish and ill-advised to not have a trainer for any fight. David Haye is his coach and they have two others working with him who are not known in the boxing world, they are MMA fighters. In terms of who will be in the corner on the night, I couldn’t tell you, but I believe you will see a coach in the corner. I still think they will spring a surprise on everybody and have a notable, experienced coach on that night, maybe a foreign coach like Ismael Salas or Freddie Roach, for example.
“When Dereck walked off from me, he had Dave Coldwell ready as a replacement, but this time, having left Coldwell, he didn’t. He was going into the [original opponent] Joseph Parker fight with a new coach, and a new coach needs to understand you, especially at this level; complacency is a killer disease. My experience from my last fight with Dereck, the Dillian Whyte rematch, Haye fancied himself as the coach, he wants to be the coach but doesn’t want to put his name to it just in case it goes wrong.”
While entering a crucial clash sans an experienced trainer seems short-sighted at best, it is not, in Charles’ esteemed opinion, the biggest danger facing Chisora, nor is it the long reach or mallet fists of his giant opponent from Liverpool. It is in fact a familiar threat, one that has conquered “Del Boy” once or twice in the past, and could be justifiably considered his achilles heel.
“Joseph Parker is very youthful, an ex-world champion who’s been in with Anthony Joshua and didn’t touch canvas, he’s also been in with Carlos Takam and Andy Ruiz, so it was a more dangerous fight, it ticked all the boxes,” Charles, who trains his heavyweight son George Fox and cruiser Jordan Thompson, among others, explains. “My concerns for the replacement, David Price, is that Dereck operates from fear, so my only concern is he won’t rise to it because he doesn’t fear David Price and that’s very dangerous. Dereck has never been the favourite going into a big fight and this is the first time he has. He likes to be the underdog so complacency could be a factor.
“Price is a dangerous, dangerous heavyweight, a well-schooled Olympian, with plenty of natural attributes and, right now, he’s a very confident guy. Dereck should be too much, in terms of fighting style as a pressure fighter, providing he’s not complacent, he should get the job done pretty quick, but it’s all a mindset. If he comes with a casual attitude, as he has many times in the past, then Price has all the attributes to make it an easy night. It’s a 50-50 fight.”