Promoted as the grudge match to end all grudge matches but widely predicted to be a bore of a fight, the Dillian Whyte–Dereck Chisora fight initially settled somewhere in between before exploding into action.
You’re never sure exactly what you are going to get with Chisora but ‘Del Boy’ looked in decent shape at 250 1/4lbs, the friction between the two clearly helping him to burn off some excess timber. An in-shape, motivated Chisora can be difficult to tame and he came to fight.
Still riding the wave created by him badly stunning Anthony Joshua in their meeting last December, Whyte, 246 1/4lbs, has been won three fights during 2016 without really convincing. An impressive performance against his hated rival would have solidified his claim to be one of the rising stars on the heavyweight scene.
After a tense, scrappy opening Chisora began to roll forward, roll under the punches and roll back the years. Bullying Whyte to the ropes and landing hooks to the body and uppercuts.
Business really picked up during a tumultuous fifth. Chisora hurt Whyte and threw everything but the kitchen table at him. Whyte survived.
Chisora put in his best performance since pushing Vitali Klitschko in a world title attempt. After another prolonged burst in the eighth, the crowd warmed to the man who has eternally worn the black hat.
Down the stretch, both men took turns to trade huge bombs.
After twelve rounds, the judges awarded Whyte a split decision. A card of 115-114 in Chisora’s favour overruled by scores of 115-113 and 115-114 in favour of Whyte
Whyte (19-1, 15KO’s) will have wanted to move on but may face a rematch. For Chisora (26-6, 18KO’s), he once again reignited his career.