DERECK CHISORA suffered a comprehensive points defeat to WBC Heavyweight Champion VITALI KLITSCHKO but the Londoner earned some respect with a courageous display in Munich.
Chisora’s shameful slap to Klitschko at the weigh-in damaged his reputation but his fighting spirit certainly could not be questioned as he was constantly on the front foot, unsettling the 40-year-old kingpin as he stood and traded blows. However he lost the decision with two scores of 118-110 and 119-111.
“Del Boy” cautiously moved his head in the opening round but Vitali still managed to ram home frighteningly accurate lefts and rights before the Brit responded with a looping hook.
The Ukrainian appeared unconcerned by his opponent’s frantic and almost wild attacks with Klitschko managing to jolt Chisora’s head back with a huge uppercut in the third round.
Chisora continued his aggressive assault in the fourth round but he walked into a big right after missing wildly, and he appeared to abandon his early caution by remaining static for most of the round.
A pep talk from trainer Don Charles seemed to fire up Chisora in the sixth as he landed a crunching right hook, while Klitschko was briefly forced back by a barrage in the seventh before replying with crisp shots of his own.
Klitschko seemed flabbergasted in the eighth round when Chisora stormed through his punches and managed to land clubbing hooks to the body but the weary looking champion forced Chisora on the back foot with his trademark straight rights in the ninth.
The two men traded tirely in the closing rounds, although Klitschko displayed the cleaner work until a final round melee from Chisora saw him defiantly firing away until the final bell.
Chisora admitted that his lack of experience was exposed, when he said afterwards: “I’m not going to hide with no excuses, I got beaten by experience. I’ll keep my head up and we’ll get a rematch.
Chisora, who was booed throughout the showdown, said: “I never regret anything, they can boo me all those people who love me or hate me. I don’t care as long as they are watching and paying to see boxing, the sport I love.
“I’m disappointed with myself, I didn’t really work my jab, but you know what I gave a good fight and boxing fans all around the world know I gave him a good fight.”
Klitschko accepted that he was forced to work for his 44th career win and was frustrated by his failure to claim a knockout.
“It was a good performance by Chisora, he was very motivated and made pressure for all 12 rounds,” he said.
“It was not easy but I saw every punch from Chisora, he was a little bit slow. If he had been a little bit faster I would have had a problem.”
When asked about Chisora’s pre-fight controversy, Klitschko added: “I have respect for him as a fighter but not as a human. He showed a bad example for all fighters.”
Coming in to the fight, Chisora did not exactly do much on his own part to earn the respect and support from the fans, after his downright disgraceful antics at the weigh in and even at the beginning of the fight, where he spat water at Klitschko’s younger brother, Wladimir.
However the bravery he showed in the ring was more than enough to earn respect as a fighter, not as a person. Love him or loathe him, he did not back down from Klitschko, he gave everything he had, unlike the last British fighter to face a Klitschko, David Haye.
Chisora has almost certainly earned his way into another heavyweight showdown, be it a rematch with Vitali, a fight with Wladimir or with another top contender.
In the end, the gulf in experience was just too wide for Chisora to handle but in the aftermath of this fight, Chisora is sure to have learned a vital lesson for future fights and there is absolutely no shame in losing to the best.