Seconds Out

Dereck Chisora: Examining his nine defeats to find the key for David Price

Ahead of the David Price fight, Danny Flexen looks at the nine professional losses suffered by Dereck Chisora

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Chisora (right) falls to Whyte for the second time (Mark Robinson/Matchroom)
Chisora (right) falls to Whyte for the second time (Mark Robinson/Matchroom)

Between them, Dereck Chisora and David Price – who meet in a must-win heavyweight clash next Saturday – have experienced 15 professional defeats. If you study Price’s six setbacks, his well-documented limitations are in evidence. The defensive frailties, emotional vulnerability under pressure and unreliable conditioning can be seen and it is no accident that none of Price’s losses have come on points.


Chisora has lost nine times but remains more of a conundrum, especially as two are contentious and there is no obvious pattern to the men who have beaten him. With that in mind, I decided to recount Dereck’s reverses and allow the readers to discern his individual Kryptonite.


July 23 2011
L pts 12 Tyson Fury

Fury was 14-0 and highly touted but Chisora had the same record and was the defending British and Commonwealth champion. An entertaining fight, live on Channel 5, saw Chisora, for the most part, outmaneuvered and outworked. Coming in at a whopping 261lbs – a career high for the next five years - cannot have helped his cause.


December 3 2011
L pts 12 Robert Helenius

Two fights removed from losing his domestic belts to Fury, and with little to lose, Chisora ventured to Helsinki to take on 16-0 local Robert Helenius for the vacant Continental crown. Dereck, 18lbs lighter than against the future “Gypsy King”, put forth a supreme effort, swarming the Finn throughout and appeared to have done more than enough to win, only to lose a split decision the consensus declared an egregious robbery.

February 18 2012
L pts 12 Vitali Klitschko

It is rare that two losses in their previous three bouts, including in the last fight, earns a boxer a WBC title shot, but such was the impressive nature of Chisora’s performance against Helenius. Out in Munich, Del Boy gave a typically spirited showing but was outgunned by the powerful and immensely strong Ukranian. Strangely the back-to-back defeats, for different reasons, helped to make Chisora widely respected fighter.


July 14 2012
L rsf 5 David Haye

The good old Hayemaker, not satisfied with getting the better of Chisora in their infamous Munich brawl (following the Vitali Klitschko fight), repeated the trick, with gloves on at Upton Park, to hand his future charge a third defeat in a row. Chisora began at a furious pace and Haye looked unsettled at times, but the more athletically gifted former cruiserweight and heavyweight ruler used trademark timing and power to end the night of the man he would later manage, just when things were getting interesting. It would be six years before anyone else was able to wipe Chisora out.


November 29 2014
L Rtd 10 Tyson Fury

Chisora has recently talked about facing Fury for a third time, but anyone who witnessed this, on a freezing cold London night, will not be in favour. It went on until the early hours before a frustrated crowd who had just watched a cracker between Billy Joe Saunders and Chris Eubank Jr, and were by now understandably worried about getting home. The Londoner came into this on the back of five straight wins, the form of his life, including victories over fringe contender Malik Scott, and Edmund Gerber for the vacant European belt. He was almost 20lbs lighter than he had been in their first contest but Fury had improved massively and dominated from start to finish, behind a switch-hitting approach and pot-shotting magnificence. It was hugely impressive if a little bland and repetitive.


May 7 2016
L pts 12 Kubrat Pulev

Yes, it was a split decision defeat against a house fighter on foreign turf, but the comparisons with the Helenius shocker should end there. Chisora had won five straight but inexplicably turned in an abject performance for the vacant European title in Hamburg and was of course not helped by the sound fundamentals and robustness of Pulev, still a world-level performer now.


December 10 2016
L pts 12 Dillian Whyte

Fuelled by significant pre-fight animosity, Chisora produced his most determined performance since Helenius, only to lose a razor-thin decision on the cards in Manchester. It was a superb fight and one in which Chisora generally dictated the pace but Whyte was the more accurate and landed heavier blows. A small majority had Chisora ahead but it really could have gone either way, and both men emerged with immense credit and a bit more respect for each other.


November 4 2017
L pts 12 Agit Kabayel

You can file this one with the Pulev performance under A for Apathy. Discouraged and confounded from the start by the surprisingly mobile and spritely unbeaten German, Chisora went into his shell early on in Monte Carlo and looked out of both ideas and motivation through the middle rounds. His late charge ultimately proved too tardy and Kabayel took a close majority verdict that should really have been clear and unanimous.


December 22 2018
L KO 11 2018

Chisora had earned this O2 rematch, three days before Christmas, due to a heroic showing against Carlos Takam five months previously, withstanding several rounds of brutal punishment before finding a huge right hand in the eighth. Ahead on two of the three scorecards going into round 11 of a grueling return, in which Whyte had boxed a bit more than the first time, Chisora was tiring and leaving gaps. Whyte capitalised on this opportunity with perhaps the best left hook of his career to conclusively beat his old rival.


The Verdict
So let’s immediately disregard the Helenius robbery, Fury 1 (because he was so out of shape), Klitschko (simply another level) and Whyte 1, which could easily have been a win. Haye, and Whyte in the second fight, each overpowered Chisora who had given a great deal and was unsurprisingly open once his conquerors had weathered the storm. That is one potential strategy for Price, although it is predicated upon fitness and surviving significant shelling. Of the three remaining defeats, Fury, Pulev and Kabayel all used mobility, ring generalship and a fine jab to subdue, dishearten and gradually tame Chisora. Not all too dissimilar from the way in which Price forced Dave Allen into a late-rounds retirement. So perhaps that represents the Liverpudlian’s best option.

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