In numerology the number 79 is said to encourage the welfare of humanity, and if Don king was promoting this weekend’s DAZN event, then no doubt this theory would comprise one of the many aural soundbites marketing the headline contest. In the context of the o2 Arena come 10pm on Saturday, however, 79 will be the combined age of both Derek Chisora and Kubrat Pulev. And therein lies the intrigue.
By common, or even uncommon wisdom, it can be accepted, as presupposition, that both of these combatants have enjoyed the summers of their respective careers’; and as the leaves have long-since browned that the loser may instead be heading towards the permanent winter of retirement.
At 41, Pulev boasts a respectable 29-2 record, with KO loses only coming by way of Wladimir Klitschko and Anthony Joshua. He has held Inter-Continental, International and the European heavyweight title (twice), and recently outpointed Jerry Forest, convincingly, over 10 rounds. Other notable victories include wins against Hughie Fury, Tony Thompson and one Derek Chisora.
The latter fight took place in 2016 and saw Pulev score a split decision victory, relatively wide on two cards – 118-110, 116-112 – with the other judge surprisingly scoring the bout 115-113 in favour of Chisora.
Derek, at 38, is enjoying somewhat of a renaissance. The darling of British boxing, whose eccentric attitude and propensity for press conference and weigh-in high jinx renders him remarkably compelling, has a professional boxing record of 32-12. Loses to Haye, Fury, Klitschko (Vitali), Pulev, Whyte, Parker and Usyk suggest Derek is not a world level fighter. Such sentiment is further enforced when you consider that he’s also lost to Agit Kabayel and Robert Helanius. But then overwhelming KO wins against David Price and Carlos Takam, arguably besting Dillian Whyte in the first of their two fights and then throwing more at Usyk in two rounds than Joshua did over 12 brings Derek back to the forefront of you affections once again.
The prevailing uncertainty pertains to style. Can Pulev at 41 continue to outbox and keep Chisora away from him for long enough to score yet another UD victory; or can Chisora apply some of that ‘WAR’ mentality to grind Pulev down for a stoppage? In the twilight of both careers, only one man is promised at least one final evening feeling the sun’s warmth on his face. Tune in on Saturday to find out who.
Derek Chisora (32-12, 23 KOs)
Joseph Parker – LOST – UD (114-112, 115-111, 115-110)
Joseph Parker – LOST – SD (116-111, 115-113, 113-115)
Oleksanda Usyk – LOST – UD (117-112, 115-113, 115-113)
David Price – WIN – TKO Round 4
Kubrat Pulev (18-0, 6 KOs)
Jerry Forrest – WIN – UD (99-91, 99-91, 98-92)
Anthony Joshua – LOST – KO Round 9
Rydell Booker – WIN – UD (99-91, 98-92, 98-92)
Bogdan Dinu – WIN – KO Round 7
Date: July 9th 2022
Time: Approx. 10.00 Ring Walk (GMT)
Venue: O2 Arena, Greenwich, London, England, UK
Promotor: Matchroom Boxing (Eddie Hearn)