British heavyweight contender Dereck Chisora has warned long-standing WBC titleholder Vitali Klitschko to expect an all-out war in Munich, Germany, this Saturday – and reiterated his prediction that the Ukrainian will fall in the eighth round.
Dismissing the dangers of challenging 40-year-old Klitschko in his adopted homeland and the fact that the champion has not been beaten since June 2003, Zimbabwe-born Chisora clearly believes this is his time to rise to the top of the world ladder.
And the 28-year-old from Finchley, north London, insists his plan to dethrone the older of the two all-conquering Klitschko brothers is a fairly simple one. He intends to launch a non-stop assault from the first bell before delivering the knockout blow two-thirds into the contest.
“I am an African warrior, I’m coming to fight,” said former European and Commonwealth holder Chisora. “I don’t have much pedigree as an amateur – I had only 23 amateur bouts – so I’m coming to fight and Vitali knows that. Somebody’s going to beat him some day and that guy is me.
“We have a game plan that we have set up, a nice strategy. I’m not going to give too much away, apart from the fact I am going to knock him out. I am going to come out boxing at 100 miles per hour from round one to round eight – and that’s the knockout round.
“I am looking forward to going into the king’s backyard to take his title away and make it mine. George Foreman always said that when you fight a champion you have to go to his backyard and take it off him. Well, that’s what we’re doing here.
“The guys who I have spoken to, those who have fought him, say that his strength is that he hits very hard. But my chin is pretty strong and tough. One of us is going down and it’s not going to be me. Yes, it’s in Germany, but I am going to win in the eighth – that’s when he will want to quit.
“He’s 40, he has far more experience than me but can he survive when I get into the ring with him? He’s already talking about fighting the next man, he’s kind of written me off and thinks I’m meant to just fall over. But I don’t care, I am going there to do what I have to.
”A lot of his opponents are defeated before they even walk into the ring but I am not scared of this guy. I have speed – and speed kills. He will look his age.”
The supreme confidence of Chisora might seem a little misplaced given he has lost two of his last three fights. However, if his points defeat to countryman Tyson Fury in July 2011 was a particularly poor showing, the controversial split decision reverse suffered against unbeaten Finnish contender Robert Helenius last time out in December – when most felt Chisora was the victim of a shocking home verdict in Helsinki – went some way to restoring his contender credentials.
Chisora (15-2, 9 knockouts) confesses he was totally under-cooked for the Fury fight, in which he lost both the Commonwealth and British belts, yet is equally adamant there is no chance of him making that mistake this weekend against Klitschko (43-2, 40 KOs).
“I gave Tyson Fury his career on Channel 5, I didn’t have my head straight that night. I was stressed at the time, I wasn’t happy and I didn’t enjoy my boxing then. When I walked to the ring, I felt my whole energy drop. From the moment I put my left foot through the ropes everything just dropped. I knew then I had lost the fight,“ said Chisora, now managed and promoted by Frank Warren.
“I paid the price for not being right and I will never go into a ring like that again. Never. For this fight, I am already mentally prepared and I am looking forward to it. When the fight was first announced, I was a bit nervous for a couple of weeks. But my fitness trainer told me not to worry, that he would get me in my best shape ever.
“As the days until the fight have got less, the closer it has got, the more relaxed I’ve become. I have not lost any sleep about it because I know I’m ready. Now, I love coming into the ring. When I look and feel a million dollars, I box a million dollars. When I feel everything is right, then I fight right.”
Becoming the first man to beat Klitschko since fellow-Englishman Lennox Lewis stopped him in the sixth round almost nine years ago, will catapult Chisora, who jetted into Munich on Sunday, towards unprecedented levels of fame, adulation and wealth. But he claims that none of these ingredients is the motivating force.
“My life is great right now and I don’t want or need to change it,” he said. “Yes, I’ll be the heavyweight champion of the world and have more money in the bank, but money isn’t everything, to be honest. I’ve got enough things in my life already.”