Andy Ryan returns to BLH with a guest post on yesterday's fights at London's Copper Box.
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A reformed character?
Chisora has had almost as many misdemeanours as has fights. Slapping, spitting, biting and aggressive kissing have all been part of the repetoire. Yet of late he's been noticeably less unhinged, altogether calmer and more respectful.
On Saturday night it was the man who once promised to "physically shoot" David Haye, who was the nice guy. Fury entered the ring and immediately set to goading Abell; Chisora applauded as Johnson was introduced. Fury spent the entire fight taunting; Chisora got on with his job. Fury's love of a good singalong can't hide his utter lack of class.
The crowd gave both a good ovation as they entered the ring. The bottom line is that British fight fans want a world heavyweight champion and we appear happy to get behind any contender.
Fury, the self-proclamed "best heavyweight on the planet", spent the first two rounds being repeatedly tagged by Abell. The Minnesotan journeyman landed one big left in the second which drew loud oohs from the crowd at the Copper Box. I'm not sure why they were surprised; Fury always gets caught. Just ask Steve Cunningham, Neven Pakjic and even Nicolai Firtha.
Given Chisora's scorn for defence and you have two fighters who are going to take shots. The difference is that Chisora has proven that he can take them from the best. A brilliant barrage from David Haye may have been too much for him but he soaked up a storm from Vitali Klitchko.
Fury described Chisora as one-paced and predictable. For once, it's hard to disagree with him. But the challenge of fighting Chisora isn't that you don't know what's coming; it's that you know he is going to keep on coming. While Fury fights in patches, Chisora is relentless, always rumbling forward. His work rate makes you wonder if he can really be the same man who turned up flabby and disinterested in his defeat to Fury back in 2011. Chisora's trademark overhand right is a wild beast of a punch rather than a precision weapon. That said, you'd still put money on it connecting with Fury's chin in the proposed summer rematch.
And finally . . . The Kingpin kills crowds
A large gentleman had fallen asleep with an empty pint glass on his head. Other fans were dashing to the exits, choosing to get the last tube home rather than catch the end of the evening's final fight. Groans and boos rung out with cheers reserved only for the ring girls. The reason for all this? Kevin Johnson.
The problem with Johnson isn't that he's a defensive fighter. There's nothing wrong with being a skilful operator who's adept at making opponents miss. The problem is that he's very happy to lose fights. Sarcastic cheers began when he finally started to throw combonations in the twelth against a bored-looking Chisora. He was dull against Fury, dull in Prizefighter and beyond dull on Saturday night. Enough.