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Chisora claims WBO heavyweight title

By Gareth A Davies

Zimbabwe born British heavyweight Dereck Chisora stopped Malik Scott to claim the vacant World Boxing Organisation International heavyweight title, but the denouement at Wembley Arena was mired in controversy as the American’s corner claimed it was premature.

Title holder: Dereck Chisora took the vacant WBO belt with a sixth-round stoppage
Title holder: Dereck Chisora took the vacant WBO belt with a sixth-round stoppage

Promoter Frank Warren revealed afterwards that Chisora will fight next at the Copper Box in the Olympic Park on September 21, and challenged unbeaten American Deontay Wilder to face the Finchley heavyweight.

This was a career-changing fight for Chisora, who had lost four of his last six contests, but a heavy overhand right in the sixth round landed on the top of the American’s head and he sank to his knees in the corner. Referee Victor Loughlin counted the visiting fight out and waved the contest off.

This was 32-year-old Scott’s first loss in his 37th fight, and marks the opportunity for Frank Warren, Chisora’s promoter, to look to match him towards world title contention again.

“It was the most nervous I have been before a fight, because I just couldn’t afford to lose,” admitted Chisora afterwards, having been on a strict dietary regime and still undergoing anger management classes.

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This was a deeply focused Chisora, who looked to have taken the heart of Scott with that heavy shot in the sixth round. Television replays later showed he was still on one knee as referee Loughlin counted to nine. Jesse Reid, the 71-year-old Halle of Fame trainer in the American’s corner remonstrated with the officials, but it was too late. Chisora had taken the spoils, justifiably on the evidence.

“Dereck had to win this fight because there was nowhere for him to go if he lost,” admitted Warren. “He showed mental as well as physical toughness in there, because he knew a loss and it would be tough to come back again. Period.”

It had been an absorbing contest. The pair went to work in the first round at a decent pace, Scott showing his silkier skills. The British heavyweight wore Scott’s punches easily, landing a good right upper cut out of a combination.

A welt under Scott’s right eye was pronounced when he came out for the second round. “Punch and move, beautiful,” commented Hall of Fame trainer Jesse Reid from Scott’s corner in the second round as he landed counters.

“Speed, speed,” he yelled in the third as the unbeaten American unleashed several combinations.

Chisora looked impervious as he looked to get in close, tie up, wrestle and throw punches from the inside. Chisora landed on Scott’s shoulder with a leaping left hook with the third.

The better work belonged to Scott. But they went into the trenches in the fourth, going toe to toe, mainly on the ropes, with Chisora looking to impose himself. Scott was warned by referee Victor Loughlin for leading with the forearm.

After four rounds, it looked even. It was still close after the fifth, but Chisora found the mark with an overhand right in the sixth and earned his stripes again. A great performance from Chisora when it was really needed. The Telegraph