Vitali Klitschko, #2 in SportsRatings' Heavyweight Boxing rankings, and #87 Dereck Chisora fight on February 18 in Germany, a day after The Slap:
Will it hurt or help Chisora, who is of course a decided underdog after (officially) losing his last two bouts? The first was to #4 Tyson Fury when Chisora was terribly out of shape, and the subsequent bout to #5 Robert Helenius was a very controversial decision for Helenius.
"The Slap" is not likely to change the dynamic that much given the difference in talent and expectations, but in some ways shaking things up can't hurt Chisora. When the clear path ahead of you leads to defeat, anything you can do to disturb those conditions is better than simply being led down the path.
It's also questionable whether it was a strategic move by Chisora or just his hot head; remember, he actually bit Paul Butlin during their bout in 2009. If things go badly for Chisora in the early rounds, will he actually "pull out all the stops" including underhanded tactics? In that case it could make the fight interesting. It has certainly added interest, and the crowd in Munich is very anti-Chisora in addition to being pro-Klitschko as usual.
The was delayed for over 1/2 hour due to a "dispute" over Chisora's hand tape. Live round-by-round scoring will commence with the fight. There was some pushing and shoving in the ring before the national anthems (for which Chisora used America the Beautiful).
- Round One: Klitschko pawing and Chisora ducking a lot; some wrestling from Chisora. It's very much a scrap as opposed to a "sweet science" bout so far. Klitscho timing Chisora's entries with jabs. Chisora very active, but late in the round was already covering up more than he did early, his work rate slowing. Klitscho 10-9.
- Round Two: Chisora comes out lunging again, swinging wildly at times, backing Vitali up. Vitali responding methodically, Chisora using a cross guard. More tying up, wrestling. Vitali pummels Chisora with some hard shots, tied up again. Now Chisora is backing up when Vitali winds up, but he's still active, swinging harder than almost anyone has tried lately against Vitali. Vitali's guard is low and he's hitting Chisora with hard shots. Chisora again, late in the round, standing inactive in front of Klitschko. Klitschko 10-9, 20-18.
- Round Three: Chisora still moving forward, but not lunging in or swinging as much. Vitali dancing, backing up and countering well. He doesn't look concerned. Chisora keeps moving into range, and Klitschko backs up a bit and hits him. Still with the guard very low, luring his opponent in. Chisora is starting to look like every Klitschko opponent, inactive and standing in front, in range. Big shot at the end by Chisora whiffs as Vitali saw it all the way. Klitschko 10-9; 30-27.
- Round Four: Chisora doing better early on, taking direction from his corner to at least throw an entry jab instead of nothing. Moving his head more, too, like he did in round one. Ducking Klitschko's overhand rights. Still, nothing substantial coming from him offensively as Vitali ties him up when he gets too close. Chisora nearly catches Vitali with a big punch and Vitali stumbles a bit; another haymaker just misses. Vitali looking a bit tired for the first time in the fight. Lots of tying up late in the round as both fighters slowing a bit. 10-10; Klitschko 40-37. Judges call it 40-36, 40-37, and 39-37 at this point. First 3 rounds unanimous, I'm sure, and last round called three different ways.
- Round Five: Chisora still swinging for that one big shot, but none are connecting; he doesn't have the speed to surprise Vitali. Still moving forward, Klitschko backpedalling, throwing short punches. He blocks a Chisora punch with his glove. He's looking like the opposite of Kevin Johnson against Vitali—not much defense but very active on offense. Klitschko 10-9; 50-46.
- Round Six: Body punches by Chisora in the first minute; he even gets a tap in on VItali's chin in the tie-up. Vitali looks more annoyed than hurt. A strong right from Chisora was his best punch of the fight. Now Vitali looks tired, but not in trouble. Not much action in the last minute as Chisora slows down. Chisora barely won that round, barely. Chisora 10-9; Klitschko 59-56.
- Round Seven: Chisora starts off very active, not connecting much but putting Vitali back on his heels. Decent right connects, but Vitali battles back. Looking like a real brawl now in the middle of the seventh. Chisora slowing down a lot in the 2nd half of the round, though, looking quite tired. Klitschko scoring a bit in the last minute to the crowd's delight. Each fighter won half the round. 10-10; Klitschko 69-66.
- Round Eight: Once again, Chisora coming in strong to start. Both are trading punches in center ring, moving around each other, both a high work rate in the first minute, but both tired. Looping overhand to the head connects for Chisora, Vitali responds with straight right. More looping rights to the head connect for Chisora. Hell of a first two minutes. Chisora still fighting hard, Klitschko notably tired—so is Chisora but he's pushing forward. Chisora 10-9; Klitschko 78-76. Scorecards say: 79-74; 79-73; 79-73 so the judges aren't giving Chisora as much credit, and Vitali isn't in much danger of losing on the cards.
- Round Nine: The brawl continues where it left off. Not many solid shots but lots of partially connecting punches, slipped punches, and wrestling. Chisora seems to have lost his fear and isn't freezing like he did a few rounds ago. He's probably about as tired as he can get, so he keeps pressing on. Vitali is moving slower, too. Good right from Klitschko. Another punch to the face gets the crowd going. Klitschko 10-9; 88-85.
- Round Ten: Vitali seems strengthened by the scorecard numbers, which weren't revealed until after the ninth by mistake. He looks looser and is fighting more his fight in the ninth. Meanwhile Chisora may be running out of gas. Will he have enough to make the last few rounds interesting? He finishes will a good punch, but Klitschko takes the round 10-9; 98-94.
- Round Eleven: Chisora needs a knockout, obviously, and has two rounds to do it. Vitali wants a KO, too. Chisora back to his tired style, walking in slowly and trying a haymaker instead of jabbing and pressing. Uppercut by Chisora connects but isn't effective. Three strong jabs from Vitali and Chisora lunges in, tied up. Vitali feeling it now, dancing, jabbing and landing, while still tired. Chisora not giving up by a long shot, still has the strength for big haymaker attempts but none has connected. Klitschko 10-9; 108-103.
- Round Twelve: Fighters touch gloves before the round. Chisora starts off carefully rather than bulldozing like he has before. Looking for that one punch to change the fight. Vitali tying up Chisora when he gets inside. Jabs to the face by Klitschko. Last minute, but Chisora doesn't look as active this round. Picks it up a bit late but has can't get the big punch he needs. Good shot near the end but it's too little too late. 10-10; Klitschko 118-113.
All in all a very good effort by Chisora. He never quit, and was never in danger of being knocked out. He lost to a better fighter, mainly because of size and reach advantage rather than boxing prowess, though Vitali was generally more skilled of the two. Chisora did his best to mix things up and keep Klitschko off balance, and it worked at times, but the judges in Germany didn't give him very much credit for it based on the 8th round scores.
The final cards: 118-110, 118-110, 119-111 for Klitschko. Chisora still acting like an idiot after the fight, trying to start another one. Maybe angling for a fight with Wladimir? Or maybe he's just an idiot, like he proved again Paul Butlin. It's too bad, as he conducted himself well in the ring (well, while the fight was going on. He did spit water into Wladimir's face prior to the staredown, but Wladimir just smiled.)