• Steve Bunce

Chisora return is good for boxing

Steve Bunce March 20, 2013
Dereck Chisora is looking to bounce back from defeat to David Haye © PA Photos

Dereck Chisora, who last week regained his licence from the British Boxing Board of Control following its withdrawal in February last year, will fight in April at Wembley and I'm happy to see him back.

Del Boy brings things to the table. Irrespective of his defeats, I would say he is one of the top five best known fighters in Britain at the moment; and he hasn't even got a title. If you pay for a Dereck 'Del Boy' Chisora fight, you're going to get a fight; he is exciting, he delivers and he is box office. He is also a good talker.

Heavyweight Chisora has matured as a fighter; he has had a lot of hard, 12-round fights against the likes of Tyson Fury, Robert Helenius, Vitali Klitschko and David Haye. He has become a really good, formidable fighter. Defeats are deceptive, especially on a heavyweight's record.

The 29-year-old has already expressed an interest to fight David Price, of which my understanding is that there is a done deal for an outside stadium fight this summer. If that fight happens, it will be the biggest fight to take place in 2013.

As mentioned, Chisora is set to fight this April on the undercard of Nathan Cleverly's WBO light-heavyweight title bout with Robin Krasniqi. Champion Cleverly is already hinting the prospect of a fight with Bernard Hopkins if he defeats Krasniqi, the first of his two mandatory defences. However, wanting a fight to happen and a fight actually happening are two completely different things in boxing.

Hopkins will consider all of his angles plus Cleverly has another mandatory commitment; he has to fight Jurghen Brahmer after Krasniqi. There is no doubt that a Cleverly-Hopkins fight can be made, it is just a case of when it will be made.

Burns a slow burner

Ricky Burns confirmed his move to Eddie Hearn's Matchroom stable last week, pulling out of his unification fight with Miguel Vazquez in the process - Burns will now fight in Glasgow this May, and while his opponent is currently unknown, I hope that none of the potential names being thrown about will be announced. Burns and his new promoter have until Monday to agree terms for a WBO mandatory defence.

People need to be a little bit cautious over the expectations and plans for Burns. His fight against Kevin Mitchell made a fantastic night in front of a great house. There was domestic interest involved and that helps sell fights; so some washed out, former champion being thrown in won't necessarily put 10,000 bums on 10,000 seats. Mitchell against Burns was big but did less than 7,000 on the night.

Lee Selby is not on everyone's radar, but he should be © Getty Images

As a result of his Matchroom move, I do not believe we will see Burns fight Adrien Broner. With Broner looking to leave the lightweight division, Burns' chance may have come and gone; Burns and his new promoters are unlikely to say they made a mistake because the shortest book in world boxing is the book of apologies. It has never been opened.

Watch out for 'world-class' Selby

The second shortest book of boxing is the book of Lee Selby's national press cuttings; if you put Lee Selby in a room with a thousand people who know their boxing, chances are they would not recognise him. Now the British and Commonwealth featherweight champion has followed George Groves and Ricky Burns to Matchroom, and is an absolutely brilliant signing for Eddie Hearn's stable.

Selby has been a sensational fighter for two years; I hope he goes on to become not just a world champion, but a great world champion.

As Barry Jones keeps saying, heavyweight fighters are easy to recycle - and they are. John McDermott was pounded in the first round by Matt Skelton when they met in 2005; McDermott's career should have been in jeopardy, but he keeps powering on. McDermott has just defeated Skelton to level their series up and claim the vacant English heavyweight title, and his opponent has stated why not make it the best of three. Both of them are underestimated British heavyweights and I believe it will happen.

In a contender for fight of the year, Timothy Bradley successfully defended his WBO welterweight belt with a narrow unanimous decision win over Ruslan Provodnikov. It was a sensational fight, but for all the wrong reasons; Bradley neglected his boxing skills and let his heart rule his head. It gave the fans a great fight, but it must have given his management and training team nightmares.

It is bad news for James DeGale, the Olympic hero of 2008 and a terrific fighter, as his WBC Silver super-middleweight title clash with Alexander Brand has been postponed. Let's hope it is nothing too serious and that DeGale is back in action soon because he is a quality fighter; and a better one since his loss to George Groves.

© 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.