Derek Chisora faces Tyson Fury on Saturday night, giving the popular veteran British heavyweight an improbable shot at the WBC title.
Chisora has made no bones over this being an attractive payday for him at 38 years of age against a supreme champion who has already beaten him comfortably twice.
But fights like his previous outing – a battling revenge points win over Kubrat Pulev – have transformed Chisora from bad boy into box-office attraction.
Calls for retirement have surrounded the all-action Londoner for some time and, if he pulls off one of the biggest upsets in heavyweight history against Fury, it would be the perfect way to bow out.
However, while his earning potential remains, Chisora seems intent to plough on. Assuming Fury keeps hold of his title, here’s what might come next for Del Boy.
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Derek Chisora vs. Jermaine Franklin
Franklin gave a very good account of himself against Chisora’s old rival Dillian Whyte when they clashed last weekend, with many observers feeling the American was unlucky to be handed a first career defeat on the scorecards.
Whether Franklin wishes to chance his arm with British judges against a home heavyweight might be the big question here, but a fight with Chisora on, say, a Whyte vs. Anthony Joshua undercard this summer is something that feels plausible.
👊 Dillian Whyte is back in the W column after the Tyson Fury defeat, beating Jermaine Franklin by majority decision.
🤔 Did the judges get it right? pic.twitter.com/5ZzMhQMLT4
— Sporting News Boxing (@sn_fights) November 26, 2022
Derek Chisora vs. Zhang Zhilei
Chisora was a voluble presence at Joshua’s rematch against Oleksandr Usyk in September and was a particularly keen observer during the chief support showdown between Filip Hrgovic and Zhang Zhilei, frequently shouting “Chinese Power!” in support of Big Bang.
Zhang wobbled and inconvenienced Hrgovic several times but dropped a close decision to the IBF mandatory challenger. Chisora is familiar with being dealt those cards and a meeting with Zhang, perhaps at the Bird’s Nest Stadium in Beijing, could be just the sort of money-spinner he craves.
— DAZN Boxing (@DAZNBoxing) November 28, 2021
Derek Chisora vs. Filip Hrgovic
Hrgovic’s frankly odd display when faced with Zhang’s front-foot pressure did not suggest he would enjoy an evening of Chisora stationing himself on his chest. Usyk has now been ordered to face the towering Croat or vacate his belt, so Hrgovic could soon be fighting for the vacant IBF belt.
Chisora and Hrgovic are both represented by Matchroom. Chisora isn’t in the IBF’s ranking, but he wasn’t in the WBC’s before magically appearing amid talk of a fight with Fury. In boxing, where there’s a will, there’s a way.
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Derek Chisora vs. Daniel Dubois
Dubois will defend his WBA ‘regular’ heavyweight belt against Kevin Lerena on the undercard of Fury vs. Chisora.
The hard-hitting Briton has rebounded well from his sapping 2020 loss to Joe Joyce, but his handlers might feel the sort of “gut-check” Chisora can provide is needed before he returns to elite level.
— Daniel Dubois (@DynamiteDubois) December 2, 2022
Derek Chisora vs. Joe Joyce
Joyce probably has his sights set a little higher at this stage after Tyson Fury labelled the 2016 Olympic silver medalist the second-best big man on the planet following his superb stoppage win over Joseph Parker in September. The interim WBO heavyweight champion might be waiting a little while for his shot at former amateur rival Usyk, with Fury negotiations likely to start up again in early 2023.
In the meantime, he could do worse than a relatively low-risk fight that protects his status and increases his profile. A bout against Chisora would certainly be all-action, with Chisora taking on the now very familiar role of underdog.