Tyson Fury cruised to a stoppage victory over an out of depth Derek Chisora in a heavyweight title fight that will be remembered for all the wrong reasons.
When the trilogy fight was announced, nobody thought it would be one to go down in history. In fact, many were outraged. Fury has beaten Chisora twice already. It’s his second batch of three fights, the other with Deontay Wilder. He was expected to win in the third one there, too, but the difference was that some intrigue came from Wilder having an equaliser unlike any other man.
Chisora, who has won just four from his last eight, found himself with a golden ticket when he got the call from Fury, and the respect paid during fight week proved it.
In a strange twist of 2023, the rendition of Sweet Caroline that rang around the stadium before the bell was sung by the champion himself. As a fan of breaking records, Fury must be proud of that one. He entertained the crowd with a World Cup inspired medley before getting down to business.
The challenger stepped into the ring planted in the middle of the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium 15 years on from his professional debut. His 48th contest, second world title attempt, and potentially final fight. He was introduced simply as world-ranked before Fury’s list of accomplishments, past and present, were detailed.
Chisora’s first swipe was at referee Victor Loughlin’s arm before the bell, albeit a small one. Both fighters made a point of promising that they would meet in the middle of the ring to stand and trade. Chisora stuck to the deal, and he landed a big overhand right early. Fury held on tight, but did go on to keep his word by landing a nice combination culminating in an uppercut on Chisora. And then another.
As the first round ended, two things were clear – the niceties from Chisora were out the window, and Fury would control the contest. ‘The Gypsy King’s accuracy started to take over in the second. He caught Chisora with an uppercut and backed him onto the ropes. Fury showed mercy and stepped off, but the challenger waved him back in. Fury obliged and piled on the punishment until the bell.
Fury wobbled him again in the third and it started to look dangerous for Chisora in there. The man has taken huge shots in a 15 year professional career, and this seemed unnecessary. Still, he refused to go down. At this stage, many would be waiting for the towel to make an appearance. At the end of the round Fury landed another uppercut and both men tumbled to the canvas.
Was Fury showing mercy in the fourth? He moved around the ring rather than imposing his 286lb frame – something he hasn’t done for a few fights now. A commentator called it patience, but there was no need for that. The fight was his to finish, and all the pacing was likely only serving to annoy punters across the nation with an early-knockout bet.
The next few rounds followed the same pattern, and it wouldn’t be unfair to call it uncomfortable viewing. Fans of the sport were watching the heavyweight champion of the world untested to the point of showing pity. Don Charles was asking his man if he was okay in the corner before the ninth, but everybody other than him knew the answer.
Chisora landed a right hand that showed he had no strength left. Unfortunately for him, taking a backwards step isn’t in his armoury. The referee spoke to his trainer, Charles, before the tenth, likely telling him that he would be calling it soon. Chisora took his time getting up from the stool, and Loughlin’s eyes did not leave him as he continued to take clean shots from a 19 stone heavyweight.
Loughlin almost stepped in as Chisora was wobbled, but the fighter threw one back just in time. The Finchley fighter’s face was swollen beyond recognition. After another few punches, Loughlin waved it off reluctantly but not a second too soon. Boos rang around the stadium. Fury, TKO 10th.
In the minds of most fans, the risk here wasn’t a loss for Fury, rather a dangerous cut or debilitating injury. There turned out to be no danger of that, and an undisputed fight with Oleksandr Usyk, who watched on from ringside, is all but signed for early 2023.