Saturday night sees big time boxing return to Manchester as Derek Chisora takes on Joseph Parker in a tantalising box-office heavyweight clash.
In what is the featured bout at the top of the bill on a stellar card, Britain’s favourite bad guy aims to get back to winning ways following defeat to Oleksandr Usyk, meanwhile New Zealand’s ultimate nice guy is looking to throw his name back in amongst the elites at heavyweight.
Chisora and Parker are finally set to lock horns after their proposed 2019 fight was called off (Photo: Sky Sports)
A win for either man could see them catapult back up the world rankings, with a potential shout for a world title shot looming, provided some belts are available after Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury battle it out for all of the marbles on possibly two or three occasions.
Chisora still believes he has one final run at the heavyweight titles in him, whilst Parker is adamant that he has plenty to give at world level in boxing’s most glamourous division.
In one corner you have Derek Chisora. Somewhat a heavyweight veteran, continually in great fights and providing the fans with quality entertainment. At 37-years-old and having been in numerous brutal fights, it is unlikely that Chisora has much time left at the top level of the sport. Which is why this fight could be one of the biggest yet in the highly decorated career of ‘Del Boy’.
If ever there were a fight that is simply ‘must win’, this is it for Chisora. Coming off the back of a frustrating defeat to Usyk, Chisora will want to put that right with a win at the weekend. However, that will be far from easy for the Finchley man, as he faces one of the best fighters in the division outside of the top two.
Chisora knows he will have to bring 'WAR' on Saturday night (Photo: Sky Sports)
Chisora has made changes ahead of this fight, and big ones at that. Legendary trainer Buddy McGirt will be in the corner for the Brit on Saturday night, in what will be their first fight together as a duo. Under his watchful eye as well as that of former foe, turned manager, David Haye, Chisora looks to be giving a run at the heavyweight titles one last go.
With a record of 32-10, including 23 wins by knockout, Chisora has fought the who’s who of the heavyweight division. On Saturday, ‘Del Boy’ continues this narrative with yet another top level fight against one of the most dangerous men in the current crop of heavyweights.
For Chisora, the fight is a must win if he is to stay at the table of elite heavyweights and keep his name relevant at the top level of the sport. It would take a brave man to write Chisora off, after his closely fought fight with Usyk last time out, and numerous wins against the odds throughout his career.
In the opposite corner is New Zealand’s heavyweight superstar, Joseph Parker. Standing at 6”4, Parker has a two-and-a-half inch height advantage over Chisora, which he will need to use come fight night to keep the forward pressing Chisora off his chest.
Last time out, Parker claimed a unanimous decision victory over fellow New Zealander, Junior Fa. The fight was far from a classic, with Parker producing a below par performance despite getting his hand raised in victory. The Auckland resident simply cannot afford a performance like this one against ‘Del Boy’, and will most certainly have to bring his A-game if he is to beat Chisora this coming weekend.
Like his opponent, Parker has made some big changes ahead of this fight. The 29-year-old recently appointed Andy lee as his new trainer, having relocated to train in Dublin with the former middleweight champion. Lee was integral in helping Tyson Fury humiliate Deontay Wilder in their rematch back in February 2020, so Parker is hoping this big change in his camp can work similarly, with an impressive win over one of Britain’s favourite fighters.
Parker knows this fight is a must win if he is wanting to become a two-time heavyweight champion (Photo: Bible of Boxing)
Parker has previously fought three Brits, beating Hughie Fury at Saturday’s venue, but losing on the two other occasions to Anthony Joshua and Dillian Whyte respectively. These are the only two blemishes on the big Australasian’s record, so Parker will be hoping it is third time lucky for him against British opponents.
The former WBO world heavyweight champion is adamant that he still belongs amongst the elite crop of heavyweight superstars, so claiming the win on Saturday night is mightily important for Parker. If he were to get his hand raised, he surely won’t be too far away from again challenging for the heavyweight titles, in a bid to become a two time heavyweight champion of the world.
However, that is all in the future and Saturday night is the most important fight of his career, if he is to keep his name relevant and stay at the top of the division. Likewise for Chisora, Saturday is a must win fight.
Now just days away from this box office contest, the bookmakers have Parker as the betting favourite, sitting at around a price of 8/15. Chisora can be backed at a price of around 11/8, so although the fight is a tough one to call on paper, it is Parker who the bookies slightly favour pre-fight.
The fight was originally planned for back in October 2019 on the undercard of Josh Taylor v Regis Prograis, but Parker suffered an illness which meant the fight couldn’t go ahead. It is safe to say this fight has been a long time coming, so all being well, we will finally get to see this exciting heavyweight clash on Saturday night.
Junior Fa – WIN – UD (117-111, 119-109, 115-113)
Shawndell Winters – WIN – TKO Round 5
Alex Leapai – WIN – TKO Round 10
Alexander Flores – WIN – KO Round 3
Oleksandr Usyk – LOSS – UD (113-115, 113-115, 112-117)
David Price – WIN – TKO Round 4
Artur Szpilka – WIN – KO Round 2
Senad Gashi – WIN – UD (99-91, 100-91, 100-90)
Date: Saturday May 1st 2021
Time: Ring walk approx. 22.30
Venue: Manchester Arena, England
Channel: Sky Sports Box Office
Official fight poster (@EddieHearn on Twitter)
Elsewhere on the card, Craig Richards challenges Dimitry Bivol for his WBA Super world light-heavyweight title, Katie Taylor defends her WBC, WBA, WBO and IBF lightweight belts against Natasha Jonas and Chris Eubank Jr faces Marcus Morrison in a middleweight contest. Also featuring on the bill is Northern Irish superstar, James Tennyson, who fights Jovanni Straffon for the vacant IBO world lightweight title. Campbell Hatton also features, as well as the return of Scott Fitzgerald.