Whether you like him or absolutely loathe him, it’s almost impossible not to enjoy Dereck Chisora in action.
Over the last five years, I’ve heard umpteen different reasons why fans take pleasure in seeing ‘Del Boy’ fail.
Some of those reasons are understandable: his lack of passion for the sport, his run-ins with the law, his behaviour in Germany last year. Others – such as him being born in Zimbabwe, not Britain – are frankly ridiculous.
Even when you take all of the above off the table, however, people pay attention to what he does. His uncompromising, one-dimensional, military tank-like fighting style appeals to diehard and casual alike.
His latest fight, Saturday’s Wembley Arena win over previously-unbeaten Malik Scott, was hardly a great bout at all. It also played to a half-empty venue.
And yet, every time Chisora bounded forward without a single shred of rhyme nor reason, there was a definitive energy amidst those punters who’d bothered to attend.
Though Scott’s hilariously sad misjudgment of the referee’s count knocked a little gleam off the Londoner’s win, it was a good shot which put the American down.
It was also a shot Chisora was looking to set up throughout the six-round contest. A shot he was confident was all that would be necessary, after going at least two rounds down on the scorecards to Scott’s more cerebral approach.
This writer suspects that, if Scott answered the count properly, Chisora probably would have connected with at least one more big money shot. ‘The King’ would have done really well to reach the end of the 10th.
And if he had, he would have deservedly earned another ‘W’ on his previously-spotless record.
The fight-winning punch outlined precisely why Chisora remains a big name on the domestic scene, despite failing to step up to world level, despite all of the things he has done outside the ring. He’s always one second away from a huge knockout win, no matter how technically superior a fighter his opponent is.
Even against David Haye last year, Chisora had his moments. Their much-maligned but unquestionably-thrilling showdown saw Dereck try to walk right through Haye’s well-established parameters and classy combo-building. It had him second best on the cards, but in the third and fourth it almost paid off a couple of times.
‘The Hayemaker’ would not make a superb poker player, in that his animated expressions during a fight always underscore whether he is in control or having trouble. His grimaces at times shortly before finding the winning shots to derail Chisora’s freight train approach told a story.
In fact, the only fighter not to flirt with a painful overhand right in a battle with Chisora is Vitali Klitschko. The famed fortress-style defence of the Ukrainian champion brothers is far too strong Chisora’s uncompromising throwback offence.
It’s almost impossible to imagine ‘Del Boy’ ever adding technique, finesse or strategy to his fighting style. Thus, as long as the Klitschkos reign supreme, he’ll be stuck on the domestic/European level.
And if someone does find a way to bring Wlad or Vitali down, that guy will almost definitely take care of Frank Warren’s man, too.
So, what next for Dereck Chisora?
The first thing that springs to mind is that his aforementioned fight style would be tailor-made for Prizefighter. Of course, not only is that a BoxNation-Matchroom conflict, but Chisora hasn’t dropped off the radar that much to require such a bounce-back.
A second world title shot, though unlikely to end in success, at the very least rakes in the cash and is the obvious aim for Chisora and Warren.
But as intriguing as the fight against Malik Scott was, it was far from exhilarating and by no means a convincing performance.
So is the next move a rematch? Warren said after the event that Chisora-Scott II is possible, but won’t be next up. He did confirm, however, that the heavyweight will be back in action on September 21 at the Olympic Park’s Copper Box.
That bout will likely be a harmless tune-up for the next ‘big’ collision, but then Warren also hinted that it would be a marquee match-up, despite apparently procrastinating another Scott fight.
Deontay Wilder, assuming legal issues can actually be worked around this time? David Price, perhaps? Tony Thompson?
The second option certainly becomes more difficult to predict after Price, too, fell off his own ladder towards the world title scene against Thompson.
Either man would readily be available for a BoxNation screening, especially after Frank Maloney and others joined forces with the subscription service.
It seems that Dereck Chisora has found his place in heavyweight boxing. He remains capable of running through mid-order guys, but just isn’t a world champion. A nonchalant character such as he probably does not mind that at all, so long as the paychecks stay strong.
But if you were his promoter, how would you get the most out of one of British boxing’s most polarising figures? Which opponents can bring the best out of the brass tacks slugger from Finchley?
Pick up the fantasy promoter’s pencil and have a go in the comments section below.
Liam Happe | Follow on Twitter