Derek Chisora’s enthusiasm should be praised but the end has come

Derek Chisora was once the villain of the piece in British boxing. Indeed, everyone used to boo ‘Del Boy’ wherever he went and it wouldn’t be unfair to say that he was a figure that boxing fans loved to hate. Those strong feelings have, however, dissipated over the last few years with the public now actively rooting for Chisora to win. You could ask what’s changed and it’s a good question, in short, it may come down to fight fans feeling a degree of sympathy for Chisora nowadays.

At least, the truth is that the Zimbabwean-born boxer is long past his sell-by date in the ring and even if he is still active, he is more a bystander to the ongoing battle for belts at the top of the heavyweight division than anything else. Put another way, if you’re betting on boxing then you will see a host of upcoming matches that carry enormous significance in the heavyweight division as far as the chance to be world champion goes. Unsurprisingly, Chisora’s name doesn’t feature in any of these lists.

In particular, you’ll find extensive markets on the biggest heavyweight clash of the year now that the Joshua v Usyk 2 Odds have gone live with the countdown to this blockbuster clash in Jeddah underway. As it stands, Usyk is priced to win at odds of just 4/9. Chisora will, of course, be in attendance in the Middle East, but he will be in Joshua’s corner as support rather than fighting for the chance to get to the summit of world heavyweight boxing himself.

As briefly touched on, those days are well and truly behind him but that hasn’t stopped the 38-year-old from continuing to fight. In fact, Chisora recently beat Kubrat Pulev in mid-July by way of a split decision in a closely contested match at the O2 Arena in London.

Perhaps it’s important to mention at this stage that Pulev is 41 and that Chisora was coming off the back of three losses in a row. That’s not to take anything away from Chisora’s courageous display, but they're important points to take into consideration when trying to assess if it’s wise for the 38-year-old to keep going after an extraordinary record that reads 45 professional fights.

There is, of course, a lot to admire about Chisora’s enthusiasm for what he does, and his will to squeeze out every drop of what's left in his career deserves special praise. But ultimately, the time has come to call it a day and hang up his gloves. Concerningly, that wasn’t the message from Chisora who after beating Pulev, called out the Bronze Bomber Deontay Wilder. Chisora’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, confirmed to the cameras afterward that this is what the 38-year-old plans on doing next and it’s at this stage that someone has to step in and say enough is enough.

The reality is that a fight with Wilder could do Chisora significant long-term damage. Indeed, Wilder is a dangerous man who, you feel, sees a tune-up fight against Chisora as the perfect way to return to the ring after being beaten by Tyson Fury. The point is that Chisora may get what he asks for and if he does, then the man who has won over the British boxing public through an insatiable appetite to compete could be set for disaster.

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