Former WBO champion Joseph Parker and veteran campaigner Dereck Chisora lock horns at the AO Arena in Manchester tonight, seeking to raise their stock in a packed heavyweight division. 

Both men will have new trainers in their corners as they seek relevancy and a career-reviving win that could put them in the frame for a title shot if the belts become fractured in the aftermath of Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua’s projected two-fight series.

At some point, meaningless mandatories and impractical deadlines will disperse the heavyweight crowns and either Parker (WBO No.3) or perennial contender Chisora could be suitably placed for a title tilt.

Parker has recently linked up with WBO middleweight champion turned coach Andy Lee as he seeks fresh momentum after a tepid points win against fellow Kiwi Junior Fa in February. Londoner Chisora, who pushed Oleksandr Usyk for 12 rounds last October, has joined forces with the respected Buddy McGirt, a hall of famer for his fighting career.

In an apparent attempt to boost PPV sales, noted character and maverick Chisora has threatened not to fight after losing a coin toss to decide the order of the ringwalks. But you can bet your life savings that he’ll be standing in the ring later tonight.

So who wins? Boxing Social’s intrepid band of writers and soothsayers attempt to predict the outcome. 

Chisors beats Parker this weekend because aggression often beats boxing ability when two men are at a similar level. I can see Parker trying to dig in, trying to impose himself, but ultimately, he’s tried that before and come up short. Chisora will pour it on and emerge victorious either on point or by late stoppage. – Craig Scott.

A year ago I would have picked Parker without hesitation, but he looked so poor against Junior Fa that now I’m wavering. Let’s not forget, however, that Chisora has also had plenty of off nights and then come back firing, so it’s premature to write the Kiwi off just yet. Nevertheless, my tentative pick is for Chisora to finally win one of these big fights, probably via a close and possibly debatable points decision, aided by the wise counsel of Buddy McGirt. – Luke G. Williams.

I can see Parker hiding standoffishly behind his jab, not looking to engage, and keeping the distance on any opportunities for Chisora to trade. It will lead to Chisora [assuming he turns up] getting frustrated and turning in one of his more listless performances. Anticipate ‘Waiting for Godot’ played out over 12 rounds, with the ‘action’ never arriving. For me, it’s a points win for Parker. But one achieved in a manner that will do him few favours, or those who ambitiously shelled out 20 quid for the PPV. – Garry White.

Chisora is the standard bearer for the hot and cold fighters of this world. You never have any idea which Chisora will turn up. He’ll likely bring his trademark pressure and endeavour, but a fresher Parker, boxing more cleverly under the shrewd guidance of Andy Lee, will probably prevail on points. – Mark Butcher.

Main image: Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing.