Twelve months ago Dereck Chisora was taken apart and knocked out in five rounds by David Haye, this Saturday he takes on the unbeaten Malik Scott in a fight he must win if he wants to remain relevant at world level.
The trouble with Chisora is that he’s known more for his antics outside the ring than his performances inside ring. Once again Chisora hasn’t been shy when it comes to smack-talk in the build-up to this fight, which Scott was more than happy to join in with. Both seem confident of victory, each fighter stating that the other isn’t world level whilst they themselves are.
Chisora has fought at a high level before, although it’s noticeable that he’s always found himself on the losing end, albeit after a sterling effort against Vital Klitschko and controversially against Robert Helenius. He was convincingly beaten by both Tyson Fury and Haye - Haye being too good, Fury taking advantage of Chisora’s lack of fitness. Those are big the problems for Chisora, he isn’t classy enough to beat a top class heavyweight and if he’s not fully fit or on his game, which we’ve seen a few times with him, then he struggles with second tier operators.
On his day Chisora is a dangerous opponent; you only have to look at his fights with Helenius and Vitali to see what he’s capable of. Unfortunately he doesn’t produce the goods often enough to be considered a major threat to either Klitschko or Haye.
Whereas Chisora has experienced big fights against big names, Scott is a newcomer to this kind of fight and is the one taking a step up in class here. The unbeaten Philly fighter’s career has been somewhat of a slow burner, he’s been a pro for over twelve years and has had thirty-six fights, yet he still hasn’t fought anyone of note.
The best name on his record is that of Vyacheslav Glazkov, who he drew with in his last bout. Glazkov was a very good amateur and had looked to have transferred that ability well to the professional ranks. Scott was impressive against him, outboxing him at distance and keeping himself out of the way of Glazkov’s bombs. Scott was unfortunate to only get a draw; most observers had him winning the fight by a close but clear decision.
The fight against Glazkov was a clear indication as to Scott’s strengths - he’s got a beautiful jab, moves well, times his punches very well and puts combinations together silkily when he’s in full flow. At times he can be too safety first but that may be down to him being comfortable in fights and being happy to ease his way to a points victory rather than picking up the pace and forcing a stoppage.
It should be an interesting clash of styles, Chisora likes to fight on the front foot and get involved in a brawl, Scott likes to fight off the back foot and time his counters. The fight may well come down to who can implement their style the best and make the other fighter change his natural tactics.
If Chisora can get close to Scott and rough him up, I don’t believe Scott has the raw strength to cope with it. The hard part for Chisora will be getting close enough without eating shots on the way in, Scott isn’t a devastating puncher but hits crisply enough to gain an opponents respect. If Scott controls Chisora with his jab and starts picking him off at range, Chisora will have to come up with a different approach, which I don’t believe he’s got the ability or adaptability to do so.
It’s a hard fight to call, Chisora has the experience and the brute strength, Scott is the more skilful and quicker fighter. I’m leaning towards Scott, I feel his speed and timing will be key factors. Chisora will be game, he always is, but I can envisage him having a hard time pinning Scott down and catching him cleanly. I’m going for Scott via a hard fought but clear points victory.