Trainer Don Charles has been criticised for not throwing in the towel during Derek Chisora’s sustained beating at the hands of Tyson Fury.
As soon as the fight was announced the majority of the boxing world claimed Fury, who was defending his WBC title, would stroll to victory. It turned out to be correct – ‘The Gypsy King’ landing on ‘Del Boy’ at will and even seeming to back off at points to show mercy. It was the third time the pair had fought, and a third convincing win for Fury.
Charles boxed as a super-heavyweight in the amateur ranks before turning his hand to training. He coached Chisora from his third pro bout. The pair split in 2019 for the fighter to link up with Dave Coldwell and then David Haye, but reunited recently.
Despite the criticism coming his way, the experienced trainer who knows his fighter well stands by the decision to let the contest play out. He told Seconds Out that many of the shots from Fury were being partially blocked.
“At no point did I feel that he’s in that type of danger where I need to pull this fight out … He was being hit, definitely more times than he had been in the previous contests with anybody. Tyson Fury was putting good combinations together … a lot of the punches – to the public who hasn’t got a fine tuned eye like the coach has – were being partially blocked. A few went in clean.”
“I will always ask, after my fighter recovers ten second after they sit down … ‘how are you feeling?’ is always my question to the fighter. Provided that fighter answers me, and his speech is how I know it to be. Accurate. And then it’s my duty to remind them what they have to do in the next round.”
“Every round that went by, I spoke to my fighter. My fighter also, every round he went out, told me to ‘get out’ – and that’s Derek’s code of I am okay. ‘Get out cause I’m gonna go and do something about what’s happening in that ring.'”
Charles went on to say that another reason he kept the fight going was that it would be Chisora’s last chance to contest for a world title, his sole other challenge being against Vitali Klitschko in 2012.
He was, however, planning to pull his fighter out should he not see the tides threatening to turn in the tenth. Referee Victory Loughlin ultimately made that decision for him by waving it off – one which Charles said he agreed with.
“My intention was, if my boy comes back at the end of round ten then I would have had to make a decision. I’ve done it in the past.
When I’m getting criticised, which I don’t mind … my question to the critics is if they were Don Charles for one moment, what round would they have pulled Derek Chisora out? And for what reason? Because he was taking such a hammering? I have to disagree. Not the fight I was watching.”
It’s unclear where the fighter and trainer partnership goes next. Although there are calls from former pros and friends for Chisora to retire, he told the media in the aftermath that he didn’t want to ‘go out like that.’