Dillian Whyte vs. Dereck Chisora: Beautiful Brutality
After animosity and controversy had captured the public’s imagination and attention, all of the talking between Dillian Whyte and Dereck Chisora came to an end last night. It was finally fight night. Though there was an undeniable excitement in the air, there was an underlying fear of seemingly inevitable disappointment. Most onlookers agreed that there was certainly a chance that the awaited Heavyweight clash wouldn’t catch fire as was hoped but instead would turn out to be a somewhat flat and unspectacular affair. Thankfully, those fears vanished quickly as it was clear early that the hatred between the two combatants would transfer to in-ring fireworks.
This won’t be the resource for a round by round recap as in many ways, it’s all just become a blur as so many great fights do. Nonetheless, I will try my best. Chisora seemed to control the early exchanges using a high workrate to manoeuvre Whyte around the ring as he threw punches at close quarters. It was clear early that Chisora would be targeting ‘The Body Snatcher’s midsection. The boxing world collectively edged a little forward on their seats as it was clear that this wasn’t a money motivated ‘Del Boy’ but instead a man passionate and desperate. Whyte was unsurprisingly no different and had a determined look of concentration etched across his face as he had success of his own, landing solid shots as Chisora came in.
It was already an engaging affair but it was in the fifth round that the back and forth action really exploded as Chisora began to hammer Whyte with multiple thunderous left hands. Though he was staggered and stunned, Whyte somehow stayed upright and more than that, incredibly gathered the strength to throw punches back. Moreover, Chisora’s aggression had dramatically depleted his gas tank and Whyte quickly took advantage in the sixth. As was so often the case though, the momentum quickly swung back the other way and it was in the eighth round that the fight became even more dramatic. After taking a brief breather, Chisora mounted another attack, once again seemingly hurting Whyte as the impassioned crowd roared on the once villainous ‘Del Boy’.
After entering to boos, Chisora had fought with such vigour that the crowd had almost instinctively began to root for him. Whyte just refused to fold though, stubbornly standing up to the onslaught, desperate to physically and literally silence his oncoming rival. Once again he made it to the end of the round and Chisora’s already struggling gas tank was now almost completely empty. Whyte would take advantage of it too, peppering Chisora with nice combinations to control much of the action, winning the rounds in the process. The laboured and worn Chisora stood back to the ropes, though he was unable to do much more then flurry the proud veteran stood defiant, brave as ever. Whyte was incredible in his grit too though and ignored his own tiredness as he banked rounds.
After 33 minutes of brutal action, everyone watching knew that they had seen two men literally destroy themselves in the hunt for glory. There was just three minutes remaining and a symbolic touch of gloves perfectly captured the moment. Mutual respect had been earned. It was back and forth as the two warriors left everything in the ring, just seconds remaining as both fighters traded knockout shots, ignoring their defensive responsibilities. A left hook seemed to wobble the almost immovable Chisora who balanced himself against the ring ropes before engaging in another trade off, this time hurting Whyte himself. Both men shakily pulled themselves back to the centre of the ring as they launched their final attacks, throwing as the final bell sounded. The Manchester Arena rose in response, applauding the fighters’ incredible efforts.
In the end Dillian Whyte came out the split decision winner but it was a fight without a loser. I can see why some would be confused by the title of this quite spontaneous piece as the technique on display at times was far from beautiful. However, that’s not what made this so special. What made this special was watching two men fight their hearts out on the pure and genuine motivation of pride. When push came to shove the two men that were criticised for their pre-fight antics acted like true fighting men. They were honourable and admirable as they gave absolutely everything in a true dogfight. So thank you Dillian Whyte for standing so firmly in the hottest of fires, forever fighting back. And thank you Dereck Chisora for pulling out one more courageous effort when your back was firmly against the wall. To put it simply, thank you both for being true and genuine warriors.
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Image courtesy of Mirror.co.uk