It will go down as the stupidest slap in boxing history. On Friday when Dereck Chisora weighed in for last night’s WBC world heavyweight championship bout in Munich, he hit the champion, Vitali Klitchsko, with his open hand.
It was a disgusting piece of ill-judged gamesmanship for which the WBC will fine him plenty. The consequences of his lese-majeste in the ring were painful. By the time the 6ft 7ins champion, known as Dr Ironfist, completed a totally one-sided points victory, he had relentlessly beaten up a courageous Chisora for 12 rounds. Not a slap was evident – the champion’s punches were spot on and hurt.
Evidence of the extremely bad blood between the men had come pre-fight when 40-year-old Vitali’s younger brother Wladimir, who holds all the other main world heavyweight titles, insisted on Chisora being re-gloved before the bell, causing a delay of 15 minutes. Some 12,000 of the sell-out crowd in Munich’s Olympiahalle were supporting Klitschko and Chisora was booed, jeered and catcalled all the way from the dressing room.
Klitschko was in his 16th world title fight, Chisora was having his 17th professional contest in total, and experience told. The Londoner was trying to pull off the biggest upset since Buster Douglas sensationally knocked out Mike Tyson in 1990, but he was against a 1-25 favourite who has never been on the canvas in his career.
Klitschko won the first round comfortably, though Chisora’s attacks were encouraging for fans of the 28-year-old Zimbabwe-born former British champion.
The second round saw Klitschko unleash his fearsome rights to the body of the smaller man. Chisora was hitting the champion with body shots in the third before he took a stunning right from Klitschko and, in the fourth, the challenger kept going forward but just didn’t have the guile to land a scoring punch.
The fifth round was more of the same. No doubt about the courage of Chisora, and it was a close round but Klitschko won it by his better punching.
The champion realised the younger man had come to fight, and stuck to his jabbing style in the sixth, but in the seventh Chisora landed his best shots of the fight, though Klitschko hammered him in the second half of the round.
Chisora had no answer to the greater skill and variety of punch of the Ukrainian, and, while round eight was good for the Brit, the ninth saw Chisora cut and shipping punishment the way a sponge soaks up water.
The tenth was an amazing example of courage from Chisora, who was clearly out of his league as a boxer, though not as a fighter.
By now, Chisora needed to knock out the champion but Klitschko saw out the fight comfortably.