Tyson Fury outlasted Dereck Chisora last night in London, winning a clear decision that was unanimous on the judges scorecards. Fury, who ranked #44 in the SportsRatings Heavyweight Boxing Top 100 will move into the top ten in the August rankings. Chisora, who held the #7 position, will fall out of the top 25.
Preview: SportsRatings Heavyweight Boxing Top 100 August Rankings
|Rated Record||July results
|1||1||WLAD KLITSCHKO||67.17||34-3-0||UD 12 #4 DAVID HAYE|
|4||9||DAVID HAYE||19.41||5-1-0||L UD 12 #1 WLAD KLITSCHKO|
|44||10||TYSON FURY||19.04||5-0-0||UD 12 #7 DEREK CHISORA|
Fury's ranking, no doubt, is the result of a string of inflation that started when Sam Sexton beat Martin Rogan twice. That made Sexton an overrated fighter in the top ten, and when Chisora beat him, "Del Boy" was ranked higher than he deserved. Now Fury replaces Chisora in the top ten and is similarly several spots too high. Should he really be considered ahead of the likes of Tony Thompson, Chris Arreola, and David Tua? Would he have a chance to beat any of them at this point?
Interestingly, the move will put Fury just behind David Haye, who falls to #9 after losing to Wladimir Klitschko, and making him the #2 fighter in all of the U.K. Fury has already said he will not be taking the challenge to fight a Klitschko for the title, as he quite wisely has said he isn't ready for that yet at age 23. But what should his next move be? Is he perhaps ready to take on David Haye to prove he's the top fighter in the U.K.?
Though Fury won the British and Commonwealth titles, most would say he probably isn't ready for a challenge like Haye. For his part, Haye may or may not even fight again, particularly if he keeps his promise to retire on his 31st birthday in October. In any case, a battle with Haye is unlikely and probably not in Fury's best interests.
A more realistic matchup, and one that would generate nearly as much interest, would be Fury against David Price. Price is the 4th ranked UK fighter in the top 100, following Haye, Fury, and Chisora, and the fight would be a true battle of UK giants as both men stand over two meters tall. Many would favor Price in the contest, as he looked impressive against yet another giant, Tom Dallas, in a 2-round KO win. He also has much more experience than Fury.
But such a fight need not be made hastily. Fury will probably take several lower-profile fights to defend his titles before stepping back up again, and that would be a wise decision for the young boxer. There is no need to rush things. Though he has clearly improved since his early days years ago—when he famously punched himself in the face during a bout—he still has a lot to practice. Getting in the ring right away with Price, or Haye—or certainly, Klitschko—wouldn't be a prudent course of action.
Eventually, however, he'll be challenging names bigger than his own. How far will he go? Does he realistically have hope of one day being the heavyweight champion of the world?
Based on his current talent level, we're tempted to say no. Though he won convincingly (117-112 on two cards, and 118-111 on the other) he didn't really dominate Chisora, and was hurt several times, particularly in the 2nd round. Add to that the fact that Chisora weighed 261 pounds for the fight, and isn't a world-beater himself, and this fight was really only mildly impressive for a man that had an 8-inch height advantage.
But if we take a longer-term view, everything can change. Fury's improvement just over the last few years suggests that when he peaks—which could be 7-10 years from now—he'll be quite good indeed. And be that time the Klitschkos will probably both be retired, which opens up the picture quite a bit. There are few prospects of Fury's age and accomplishment around; only Germany's Edmund Gerber comes to mind, and he's nearly a half-foot shorter. Fury could become champion one day if he continues to improve and waits out Wladimir.
As for Chisora, it's hard to say what he might do. British heavyweights tend to hang on a long time if Audley Harrison, Matt Skelton, and Michael Sprott are any indication. Only 27, Chisora already looked washed up against Fury, and the fact that he came in out of shape for the biggest fight of his life—one that would have guaranteed him a title shot—doesn't bode well for his future. Chisora has the physique (6'1", 250+) and the mental instability (he bit Paul Butlin during one match) that suggests steroids use. He appears much older than his age and given that many fighters don't handle their first loss well, there's no guarantee Chisora will mount another run at the top ten. His title shot with Wladimir Klitschko, already cancelled twice, won't be offered up any time soon.
Saturday's fight was definitely a fork in the road for both fighters. Fury's career got a big boost, one that if managed correctly could lead to greatness one day; while Chisora's stock plummeted, and he has his work cut out for him if he wants to revitalize his career.