The Herald (Harare)

13 February 2012

Zimbabwe: Chisora Talks Big Ahead of Klitschko Showdown

London — Zimbabwe-born British boxer Dereck Chisora has so far not indulged in the same level of trash-talking as fellow Briton David Haye, but he nevertheless sees himself as playing the role of boxing's savior by ending the Klitschko brothers' domination of the heavyweight division.

Chisora challenges Vitali Klitschko for the World Boxing Council heavyweight title at the Olympiahalle in Munich on February 18 despite losing two of his last three bouts.

The 28-year-old was controversially beaten by local hero Robert Helenius for the European belt in Finland in December, but it was a vastly improved display to the unanimous decision he lost to Tyson Fury for the British title in July.

Chisora blames a lack of focus for entering the ring overweight for Fury after twice training for world title fights against Vitali's younger brother Wladimir, only for the bouts to be cancelled due to injuries to the Ukrainian.

Rather rescheduling a defence of his titles for a second time, Wladimir opted to instead face Chisora's fellow Londoner Haye in July. After being the target of Haye's vitriol for months, Wladimir pounded out a one-sided points win to add the Briton's WBA belt to his IBF and WBO world titles.

Between them, the Klitschkos hold all four versions of the world titles, with Wladimir's reign starting in 2006 and Vitali resuming his role as WBC champion in 2008 four years after retiring.

But Zimbabwe-born Chisora, who moved to London aged 16, argues the Klitschkos' domination is not good for boxing. Chisora, who grew up in Harare high-density suburb of Mbare, is no admirer of Haye, but like his countryman he claims boxing fans outside of Ukraine and Germany, where the Klitschkos are based, are crying out for a new champion.

"Vitali and Wladimir have killed the sport I love," Chisora said. "People are tired of Vitali and Wladimir because they are boring and it's time for a new king. I feel as though I've got half of Europe behind me, America is on my side, Africa is behind me and, they might not have heard of me in China, but they will after I whip Vitali's a**e.

"I'm the shining light. People who are not talking about boxing will start talking about boxing after February 18 because this will be an entertaining fight. I have never, ever been so relaxed before a fight and we are trying to make training as much fun as possible.

"I am mixing hard work with rest and plenty of smiles. I don't think Klitschko will be smiling come fight night. Vitali and his brother Wladimir are good fighters, but they have never fought anybody like me."

Chisora, who is training close to his home in north London, expects to weigh 110kg for Klitschko and his intention is to put the 40-year-old champion under incessant pressure.

"I only know one way to fight and I will be walking forward for every second taking the fight to Klitschko," he said.

"Vitali is the same in height as Helenius and I'm going to be even better against Klitschko by putting him under constant pressure.

"He won't get to use that big height and reach against me with the way I'm going to fight him. Eight is my lucky number, and that's the round when I'm going to stop him in."

Klitschko has announced he will have two more fights - against Chisora and then possibly Haye in June or July - before considering retirement. Chisora, who has lost two of his 17 fights, believes by announcing his intention to fight Haye this summer is proof Vitali is overlooking him.

"If he is writing me off by talking about fighting David Haye in the summer, that means he will not be training as hard," he said.

"I don't care about all this talk about Vitali fighting Haye in the summer - I'm going to beat up Klitschko so it won't be happening."

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