If Edmund Gerber is going to win the European heavyweight title, he will have to do so behind enemy lines. The 25-year-old Gerber (23-1, 14 knockouts) will face former title challenger Dereck Chisora this Saturday at the Copper Box Arena in London, Chisora’s backyard.
The bout, which will be Gerber’s first scheduled 12-round fight, is a make-or-break fight for the German-based Kazakh. His only loss came against Michael Sprott last December in a rematch of their prematurely stopped bout three months earlier.
Chisora, meanwhile, has probably faced the toughest competition of any heavyweight in recent years, having fought Vitali Klitschko, David Haye, Tyson Fury, Robert Helenius and Malik Scott.
RING: Tell me about the challenge you have before you in Dereck Chisora.
Gerber: His style is pure pressure. He never stops walking forward. That might be my chance or failure. It might create chances to counter him on his defensive lapses but it could also spell trouble as he has serious knockout power himself. Chisora is a showman and he translates that show and mostly aggression well into the ring. I just have to benefit from it and I believe that I worked out a good game plan with my coach, Karsten Rower, to do so.
RING: What made you want this fight at this time?
Gerber: It was just meant to be. I was offered this title bout and I took it. You can’t just box tune-up after tune-up. This is not the way you can progress. Real fighters emerge by having serious fights with titles on the line. This fight will help me to become a better boxer and show me in which direction my career is going to be.
RING: Are you ready for his notorious trash talk once you get to London?
Gerber: I was asked that question numerous times since the fight has been made. He might play around with the likes of the Klitschkos but trying to slap me with his open hand he should not. Where I am coming from, people see this as humiliation. I have nothing against a little fistic discussion, but if he slaps me, I cannot guarantee his safety.
RING: What does this fight do for your career?
Gerber: This is my chance to step into the limelight – my first title fight. I want to show the boxing fans that my loss in the rematch against Sprott was just a one-off. When I am fully focused on the task ahead, Chisora is in for a rude awakening.
Interview translated by Thomas Schlabe
Photo by Christof Koepsel-Gettyimages