Amongst the headlines of Corona-this and Corona-that, you might have missed the announcement of a blockbuster heavyweight matchup between WBO Inter-Continental heavyweight champion Derek Chisora and the undefeated and undisputed cruiserweight king, Oleksandr Usyk landing in London on May 23.
Chisora headlines the O2 once again, a stomping ground where he’s had memorable matchups with Carlos Takam, Artur Szpilka and most recently, brutally stopping David Price with a fourth-round TKO. His supremely-talented Ukrainian opponent is making just his second trip to the UK, with his last seeing him collect the scalp of Tony Bellew at the Manchester Arena back in November 2018.
Speaking to Matchroom Boxing, 'Del Boy' spoke highly of his opponent and said he’s looking to mount a huge upset over one of boxing's bonafide pound-for-pound stars, which would likely put him in contention for another shot at becoming a World Champion.
“It’s going to be leather, I’m already taking dancing lessons. The guy is going to be on fire, man. He’s going to be dancing bro. He’s going to be dancing. Where can you get guys who can be sparring like him? Nowhere. The guy is a dancer. He’s going to dance.
“It’s going to be hard, I’m not going to lie to you. I think this fight will be the hardest fight I’ve ever had. Not because the guy hasn’t got power, but because of the accuracy of his punches and the way he chucks them. When he chucks them he’s unbelievable.”
Dereck’s very own unusual charm shone through in the end, showing his admiration for 2012 Olympic Gold medallist Usyk, after his unbelievable run of victories in his opponents’ hometowns en route to conquering the cruiserweight division entirely.
“We can’t sell this fight by insulting the guy. It’s a fight for boxing fans. If I say ‘f*ck you’ to him he’s going to think I said, ‘good morning’. He doesn’t understand any English. He’s a good guy. There’s nothing wrong about this guy.
“He’s a funny guy, he loves life, he likes everything. He’s a boy’s boy - he’s cool. I can’t really say anything bad about this man. He’s done so much in four years. He’s done great for himself. He’s amazing, I’m a big fan of his.”
The pair’s antics continued at today’s press conference, where Oleksandr pulled out his phone for a quick selfie with Chisora who was happy to oblige in the picture before spraying disinfectant in the air to stay safe from the infamous COVID-19 that’s currently ravaging the world.
Chisora ended his comments with an acceptance of what’s to come in his clash with Usyk, saying “I’m going to have to eat leather, I’m not going to lie to you.”
“I’m going to eat leather. I’m probably going to take five before I get one in there, but it is what it is. I eat that sh*t for breakfast. The hunger remains and the dedication is the same.”
Fans in the UK can catch the bout on Sky Sports Box Office on May 23.