Boxing: Whyte, Chisora relishing heavyweight rematch
PUBLISHED: 22:11 20 December 2018
Mark Robinson Photography Ltd
London rivals Dillian Whyte and Dereck Chisora each talked up their chances at the final press conference ahead of their heavyweight showdown at the O2 Arena on Saturday.
The pair appeared at the Canary Wharf Riverside Plaza Hotel in front of an expectant crowd to discuss the weekend’s action, which will be shown live on Sky Sports Box Office in the UK.
And fight fans will be hoping they can produce another barnstorming bout to match the one they put on in Manchester two years ago.
Whyte, who is trained by Mark Tibbs, is putting his WBC Silver and WBO International belts on the line and goes into the contest with a 24-1 record, including 17 knockouts.
His only defeat came against current multi-titled world champion and fellow Londoner Anthony Joshua and Whyte said: “He won’t be pounding me, there’s levels to this thing. I’m used to people trying to get into my head.
“I don’t think even Dereck himself knows what he is doing. I’ve had good learning fights and there’s still a lot more to come – I’ll fight anybody.
“I’ll do whatever it takes to get the win, I conservee my energy, I’m relaxed.
“Let Dereck do all the talking, you will see on fight night. There’s a different animal in front of him this time. There will be blood on Saturday night.”
Finchley’s Chisora, who boasts an identical record of 24-1 with 17 stoppages, added: “I am born again. I gave my life to the Lord. By doing that, I became a better person. My good friend David (Haye) put my through my paces.
“I’ve rebuilt and come back. I’m in a great place. It’s going to be a seek and destroy mission on Saturday.
“Our game plan is to bite the gum shield, seek and destroy. The tables are screwed down so I can’t move them! I won’t do that any more. I can’t afford to rely on the judges. I will pound him, hit him, pound him, hit him.”
Tibbs, who followed highly respected father Jimmy into coaching, said of his fighter: “Ninety-nine point nine per cent of the time a good boxer will beat a good brawler. He’s not only just a boxer, he’s a boxer fighter.
“As long as we get it right on the night, which we will do, we will box and fight our way to a very good victory.”
Promoter Eddie Hearn is looking forward to another great night of action, saying: “There’s a great narrative for this and we didn’t necessarily need it.
“The first fight was one of the best 12 rounds of action we have ever seen. This is the right people are talking about on the streets.
“We will get another unbelievable night on Saturday, there is so much at stake. There is a different vibe.
“They have shared a ring already. Chisora looks unbelievable, the leanest he has ever looked. Dillian has improved, he is punching harder. But can he out-box him?
“It’s about pride. They don’t like each other. It’s about heart. It’s about skill as well, but more about will.”
Rival promoter David Haye added: “Dereck has had opportunities in the past but hasn’t capitalised. Experience tells him that he needs to work hard, and sacrifice.
“When he stands on the scales tomorrow, you will see the difference. I have felt his power and presence and ferocity in the ring.
“He realises a performance like he produced two years ago won’t be good enough to beat the 2018 version of Whyte. The heat brought to Dillian will put him in an uncomfortable zone.
“He will be let off the leash to do some serious damage. I like the energy and intensity of both fighters. Both teams believe they will win this, but I’m glad to be on Team Chisora.
“Dereck is like a stream train going full steam ahead. This fight can only be better than last time, they’re both fitter and faster.
“It’s got everything to be another fight of the year.”