Tyson Fury pummelled Derek Chisora in bleakly predictable fashion when he stopped the brave but hopelessly outclassed challenger in the 10th round at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Saturday night. Chisora, who is 38 and been in far too many battles for his own good, was saved when the referee, Victor Loughlin, finally stepped in to bring the horrible beating to a merciful ending. It was a stoppage that could have been made far earlier but Don Charles, Chisora’s trainer, refused to rescue his own fighter.
Fury kissed his opponent, and friend outside the ring, in admiration and soon led the crowd in singing Chisora’s name in raucous appreciation of all he had withstood. Chisora’s right eye was almost sealed shut and he was still bleeding from the mouth. The crowd, some of whom booed shamefully when the fight ended, seemed to have little thought of the far more dangerous damage that had been done to Chisora’s brain by the vicious punches Fury landed with searing accuracy.
This was the third time that they had met in the ring and Fury had won both their previous encounters so comprehensively that there was no need for this depressing trilogy to be completed. It was Chisora’s 13th defeat in 46 fights and there are serious concerns about his health should he continue to box.
Fury walked out to a soundtrack in which Nick Cave’s Red Right Hand got swallowed up by Football’s Coming Home as the champion began his crowd-pleasing antics. Dressed in a red robe and a yellow bobble hat, to protect his bald head against the biting cold, Fury received an almighty reception from a crowd of 60,000. He looked like a man mountain when he stripped down to his bright red boxing trunks.
Measuring Chisora with his stinging jab, Fury took control from the outset. He picked off his veteran opponent with precise counters and a withering uppercut rocked Chisora repeatedly. Chisora spread his arms wide in the second to suggest that he could take every Fury punch – and he was made to suffer for his grit.
In the third round Chisora was forced to hold the top rope to steady himself as he was probably already concussed.
Charles, in the challenger’s corner, responded by slapping Chisora’s face in a dubious effort to encourage him to push back an utterly dominant Fury.
Chisora came out for the fourth with intent but it looked as if Fury had decided to give himself and his already battered rival a breather. He soon returned to his artful butchery and, in the fifth and sixth rounds, Chisora staggered backwards as one blow after another hurt him. The fight could have been stopped then, justifiably, because any slim hope Chisora had harboured of connecting with a lucky punch had long since disappeared into the bitter cold.
By the eighth round Chisora could not see much out of his right eye and blood seeped from his mouth. Fury landed at will and concern was etched across the referee’s face. At the end of round nine Loughlin warned Charles that the fight could not continue much longer. It was an invitation for the trainer to show compassion but Charles insisted he was in charge of his own fighter.
Chisora came out punching with incredible, but senseless, valour as Loughlin kept his gaze fixed on the Zimbabwe-born Londoner. Another right uppercut shook Chisora to his very core. His swollen face still remained an impassive mask. Fury nailed him again and again and, at last, Loughlin jumped between the fighters to signal he had seen enough.
A far more meaningful fight for Fury should occur next year when he meets the undefeated Oleksandr Usyk in a contest to decide the identity of the undisputed world heavyweight champion. Usyk, who holds the IBF, WBA and WBO belts, was ringside and he and Fury swapped barbs during the fight itself – which was yet another example of how easy it was for the Gypsy King to beat up an old warhorse in Chisora.
They met in the ring afterwards and, while Usyk cut a picture of steely restraint, Fury yelled and insulted a man who had served in the Ukrainian army this year in a real war. Fury called Usyk “a little bitch” but, deep down, he is smart enough to know that their fight will carry a level of intrigue and sense of parity which was totally missing from Saturday night’s mismatch.
Fury’s routinely savage victory told us nothing new – but it left the profound hope that a badly beaten Derek Chisora will accept the truth that he belongs in retirement and on the safe side of the ropes.