• Boxing

Chisora reacts angrily to height criticisms

ESPN staff
November 17, 2010
Dereck Chisora faces a four-inch height disadvantage © Getty Images
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Dereck Chisora has launched an angry rebuff to claims that he is "too short" to fight Wladimir Klitschko, both in terms of height and ability, labelling the accusation "stupid".

Chisora, who has won all 14 of his professional fights to date, takes on Klitschko for the WBO and IBF belts on December 11. By doing so, he gets the chance to leap ahead of David Haye in the queue for two titles that the WBA champion would desperately like to get his hands on.

However, Klitschko enters as a 1/16 favourite with bookmakers Stan James against an opponent giving away four inches in height, and is largely expected to keep the Briton at bay with ease in Germany. And, following Audley Harrison's one-sided defeat to Haye in Manchester, former promoter Jarvis Astaire claimed the British Board of Boxing Control should "seriously re-consider authorising Chisora's trip to Germany".

Astaire commented on Chisora's lack of height as support for his argument, which earned a particularly angry response from the 26-year-old fighter.

"This is a stupid argument. It's not a question of whether I have had enough fights or if I'm tall enough to fight Klitschko, the point is that when I get through the ropes I will get in there and have a fight and throw things that boxers are supposed to throw - punches - something that Harrison didn't do," said Chisora.

"Whether I get in there and get smashed up by Klitschko doing it or I get in there and smash him up, I'm fighting for the world heavyweight titles and I'm going to throw punches and fight my heart out. Harrison got through the ropes and threw one useless jab at Haye in three rounds that wouldn't have kept a mosquito at bay.

"Astaire says that I'm a novice because I've only had 15 fights, yet I've won the British and Commonwealth titles in that time; compared to Harrison who had 31 fights before he fought Haye and never even proved himself to be the best in Britain by winning the British title. I'm ranked above Harrison in the British and world rankings and had more of a case to fight Haye than he did."

Addressing the height issue, Chisora fumed: "What's height got to do with it? If that was the case who would have given Mike Tyson, one of the smallest heavyweights ever, a chance against anybody taller than him? Frank Bruno was 6ft 3in and Tyson was 5ft 10in, yet Tyson smashed Bruno to bits - twice.

"I'm 6ft 2in and that's the same height as Lamon Brewster who stopped Klitschko in five rounds in 2004. Did anyone talk about Brewster's height then?"

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