• Steve Bunce

Chisora can shock distracted, decaying Vitali

Steve Bunce February 14, 2012
Dereck Chisora must get into Vitali Klitschko's face early on, forcing the pace of the fight © PA Photos

Would a perfectly fit, slightly younger Vitali Klitschko even raise a sweat before beating Dereck Chisora? No, definitely not. But in Klitschko's most recent fight against Tomasz Adamek, we saw signs of physical disintegration that will fill Chisora with hope.

On that night in Poland we saw the incredible way Klitschko's legs gave way under him - and how, after the battle, the people surrounding him tried to gloss over that fact. Could that be revealing? How much more can the 40-year-old Klitschko's body take? His people simply refused to believe what they saw.

What we also know is that, by Vitali's own admission, 90% of his time is devoted to politics in the Ukraine. Now that's scary. Is he focused, is the motivation still there?

Trust me, Chisora has a chance. In order to spring an upset in Munich on Saturday, Chisora has got to do what so many have tried and failed to do before: to get close to one of the Klitschkos, and to keep clubbing away. I spoke to Eddie Chambers last week, who fought Wladimir in 2010, and he told me he wasn't busy enough - even though he knew he had to be.

And David Haye, before he faced Wladimir, said the only way to beat the Klitschkos was to control the pace and force a fast fight - yet he didn't do that. Chisora can't make the same mistakes. It's quite simple, you beat the Klitschkos by pressurising them and throwing more punches than they're throwing at you. It's not complicated, just difficult.

Of course, you need to avoid getting hit on the chin - and we saw against Robert Helenius, who is a lot quicker than Vitali (although not as big a puncher), that Chisora can do that. In Finland, he had a slugfest in the middle of the ring against a guy who is basically a national hero.

If Chisora can read and counter Helenius, he'll be able to read and counter Klitschko's punches. Too many people are neglecting that fight with Helenius, too many people are overlooking what was a very impressive performance. The judges gave it to Helenius, but Chisora won the fight.

Shannon Briggs lasted 12 rounds with Klitschko, and was pulverised © Getty Images

The general line of thinking for the Klitschko bout is that Dereck will go out, have a go, and get blown away in eight or nine rounds. Dereck's not there to "have a go" - Dereck's there to win.

Haye, for all of his flaws and lame excuses once the fight was over, took an awful lot of good punches from Wladimir Klitschko: the type that most heavyweights haven't managed to take over the last few years. As bad as his performance was, he still went the 12 rounds and took his licks. For Dereck to beat that, he's got to a) go the distance and b) push the fight. There is also the third alternative: he wins!

Shannon Briggs put up a great fight against Vitali, took punishment for 12 rounds like a "man" - and ended up in the hospital.

Speaking of Haye, I'm convinced he will be there and watching very closely, because I think he knows at some point he is going to get the winner of the fight. If it's Chisora, he will definitely take it - and if it's Klitschko, then I'm sure a deal will be worked out somehow.

Trust me, Haye will be watching because, let's face it, he is part of our boxing nation.

Saulright by me
In the last week we've had an absolute beauty of a fight announced: Saul Alvarez v Shane Mosley for the WBC light-middleweight title on May 5. Mosley will be thinking this is one of the easiest big fights he's ever had, a catapult right back into where he was at the turn of the century.

And I tell you now, Mosley will be thinking he can beat Alvarez in his sleep - he'll be thinking he has terrible footwork, and that he's still wet behind the ears. But the American will be making a big mistake: I've talked to Ryan Rhodes, who Alvarez beat last year, and he told me just how good the young Mexican was.

The kid is a huge talent who is still being underestimated. It will be a classic, with too much bravery - and that makes great fights.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Steve Bunce Close
Steve Bunce has been ringside in Las Vegas over 50 times, he has been at five Olympics and has been writing about boxing for over 25 years for a variety of national newspapers in Britain, including four which folded! It is possible that his face and voice have appeared on over 60 channels worldwide in a variety of languages - his first novel The Fixer was published in 2010 to no acclaim; amazingly it has been shortlisted for Sports Book of the Year.