There was no glory to be had in Derek Chisora’s battered, swollen features.
The 10 rounds he and Tyson Fury shared at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Saturday told us nothing their 22 rounds in the previous decade hadn’t already.
Fury, the WBC heavyweight champion, is vastly superior to almost all of the other big men in the sport, certainly the brave crowd pleaser who thanked him afterwards for the opportunity to absorb a beating. Chisora should walk away now, a wealthy and popular man whose health hopefully remains intact.
Earlier this year, Fury tried retirement on for size and didn’t much like the fit. After his predictable domination of Chisora, he spoke eagerly of those fights where there are intriguing questions to answer.
“We’re going to see the biggest year of my career, hopefully. In 2023 we’re going to get those big fights that the fans really crave,” Fury said at the post-fight news conference.
MORE: Usyk called out after Gypsy King dominates Del Boy again
He’d already engaged in a staredown with Oleksandr Uysk, the WBA, WBO and IBF champion, on the ring apron. The exchange was colourfully narrated by Fury alone; Usyk (the rabbit, the 15-stone little midget, the little sausage — take your choice of insults) chillingly said nothing at all, licked his lips and revealed his gap-toothed grin.
The tension was punctured by Joe Joyce, the 2016 Olympic silver medalist and a 15-0 professional, who bounded along for his slice of the action. Fury insists he is prepared to face both men.
“I’m ready and willing to take on Usyk next, whether it’s going to be in Saudi Arabia or back here in the UK. Let’s give the fans one champion, one name, one face,” he said.
“Usyk’s up for the challenge, he came over tonight, so fair play to him. He’s not an easy boxer to figure out, he’s a slick southpaw mover with very good skills, an Olympic gold medalist and he’s coming in on some good form. I’m really looking forward to the challenge.
“But if it doesn’t happen, for X, Y or Z reasons, then we’ll have Joe Joyce at Wembley. If the Usyk one does happen, then I’ll do him and we’ll have Joe Joyce at Wembley as well. Why not?”
Tyson Fury wasted no time and called out Oleksandr Usyk immediately 😬#FuryChisora3
— Sporting News Boxing (@sn_fights) December 3, 2022
Promoter Frank Warren, who also represents Joyce and will have delighted at Fury repeatedly extolling the virtues of the Juggernaut, claimed such a schedule for the Gypsy King would amount to the “biggest year ever for heavyweight boxing” in the UK.
Almost the first third of a half-hour briefing was borderline hagiography, with Warren variously congratulating Fury on his beautiful family and for having three separate best-selling books.
MORE: Why life without boxing is the only opponent Fury can’t beat
Once the serious business of future opponents came around, attention focused squarely upon Usyk and Joyce. It was some time until anyone mentioned Anthony Joshua, who agreed in principle for a purse split to face Fury on Saturday, only for the champion to impose arbitrary deadlines that were not met when sorting through commercial obligations and other fine print.
Fury instead opted to again fight Chisora, who shares a promoter and management company with Joshua, meaning Warren’s claim that they “wasted six weeks” negotiating with the former two-time unified champion probably wasn’t too much skin off anyone’s nose.
“Zero [chance]. Not happening,” Fury said of a long-mooted Joshua bout. “I want to fight real challengers and real men who want to fight.
“Usyk come here, ringside, and stood in my face because he wants to fight. We [Fury and Joshua] live in the same country. Has anyone ever seen AJ do that to me? Get in my face and say, ‘Let’s fight, let’s get it on like Donkey Kong’? No.
“Even big Joe thought he was going to join the party. Get up, big Joe! He gate-crashed that party. He went, ‘I want a piece of this.’ I said, ‘Right, let’s just have a royal rumble then.'”
Thankfully, that’s probably as close as Fury gets to another jaunt in WWE for the foreseeable future. He seems committed to legacy building. So long as that remains the case, and if his rival is able to effectively rebuild from his consecutive losses to Usyk, then the Joshua fight will remain an enticing prospect.
What we saw on Saturday was fighter and promoter presenting a united front, talking up bouts with the other best undefeated fighters in the division and able to plonk Joshua out in the cold. He’d have had good company on Saturday, with nearly 60,000 people opting to do just that to watch Fury go about his business.
So who does the self-proclaimed people’s champion think is best placed to end his 34-fight unbeaten run?
— Sporting News Boxing (@sn_fights) December 4, 2022
“People have been asking me all night, ‘Who’s the tougher fight, Usyk or Joyce?’ In my opinion, Usyk is the slicker boxer but Joe Joyce is the Juggernaut,” Fury said, once again in line with the promotional script. “I think that Joe gives me a tougher fight than Usyk, 100 per cent.
“Big Joe, 6 feet, 7 inches and 19 and a half stone, like a Juggernaut coming forward at me, trying to smash me to pieces, or Usyk trying to steal a jab and running around the ring trying to nick a point here and there.”
Nicking a point here and there was Fury’s game once upon a time, most notably when he befuddled Wladimir Klitschko in 2015. He’s a different fighter now, more comfortable dishing out heavy punishment at mid-range, as Chisora found to his detriment. So, how would he hang with the lavishly skilled Usyk?
MORE: Fury on beating Klitschko: ‘I think it was like a curse’
“Age waits for nobody. Usyk’s older than me, actually. He’s 35 and I’m 34, so it’s an even match,” he said.
“If he was 22, it might be different. He’s an old man. He’s had 300-odd amateur fights. He’s worn out, too. He’s got about 250,000 miles on his clock.
“I don’t believe he’s got the best footwork in boxing. I don’t believe he outspeeds me, either. Look at the AJ fights — he was getting hit quite often.
“Even though he’s a southpaw, I think my long range and speed will do the job on him. I think I’m faster than him. I think I’m the quickest heavyweight out there, for my size.”
Those are all matters up for debate, and hopefully the indisputably brilliant Fury can play his part in serving up the answers. There should be no more wasting time after a grim night of painful predictability for Chisora in north London.