Dillian Whyte: ‘I’m expecting a war against Dereck Chisora’
Former heavyweight title challengers Dillian Whyte and Dereck Chisora will meet in a rematch having shared a ring two years ago in an instant classic. The two headline at the O2 Arena in London, on Saturday.
Whyte, who is ranked No. 5 by The Ring Magazine at heavyweight, is ready to pick up where they left off in their previous battle and expects another all-action fight.
“It’s gonna be a great fight,” Whyte told The Ring. “I think it’s gonna be round 13; it’s going to be a violent fight.
“He showed up probably the best Dereck Chisora we’ve ever seen (in the first fight). I’m expecting a hard fight. I’m also a lot better technically, physically and mentally since then and I’ve improved. I’m a lot stronger and more mature. I’m fitter and training so much better as well.”
Whyte (24-1, 17 knockouts) was taken to the very limit by Chisora, on the undercard of Anthony Joshua-Eric Molina, in Manchester. That experience showed the recuperative powers of both men, who were able to, time and time again, fight the other to a standstill.
Since then Whyte has won all four of his fights, including a brutal knockout over Lucas Browne in March and an excellent back-and-forth encounter with former WBO titlist Joseph Parker in the summer.
Chisora, 34, has won three and lost once in the same time period. The excitable Londoner was listless against Agit Kabayel in November of last year but breathed new life into his career with an eye-catching eighth round stoppage over Carlos Takam, on the undercard of Whyte-Parker, to set up the return.
Chisora (29-8, 21 KOs) has also found religion and teamed up with former mortal enemy and two-division titleholder David Haye. It’s a surprising union, one Whyte is unsure what to make of.
“I don’t get it, David Haye destroyed him and his trainer (Don Charles) at the press conference and in the ring,” he said. “I don’t understand the mindset. Maybe like a lost, broken donkey, he needs a bit of love and David Haye offered him that and, like a good donkey, he responded to that.
“It may be good for him; it may be bad for him. I don’t know; we’ll have to wait and see.”
Whyte continued, “(Chisora)’s dangerous but they can’t get in the ring with him. He’s going to be in the ring by himself. Let’s see. A lot of times you hear it: ‘I’ve revamped my career.’ ‘I’m in the best shape of my life.’ ‘I’ve changed things in my life.’ ‘I’m a Christian now.’ ‘I’ve given my life to God.’ He can bring his God; I’ll bring my God.”
Having shared a ring for 12 taxing rounds with Chisora, Whyte knows him well and feels he has some areas of strength and weakness but ultimately says they won’t matter as he’ll be victorious on Saturday.
“He’s a donkey, so he’s stubborn. All donkeys are stubborn,” Whyte explained. “I think his stubbornness is his strength and will also be his downfall as well.
“He’s does everything alright. He applies a lot of pressure; he does it well. I think I’m better than him in every area. As long as I keep my boxing together and my emotions together and do what I’m supposed to do and what I’m capable of doing, then I’m just better than him in every area.”
In preparation, Whyte has set up training camp with Mark Tibbs in Loughborough for 10 weeks, where he’s enjoyed excellent sparring with Dave Allen, Nick Webb and Kash Ali.
A repeat win would set Whyte up for a potentially huge 2019. However he’s not looking past Chisora.
“Right now, all my hopes and dreams are on December 22nd,” he said. “After that we’ll speak and I’ll let you guys know what my plan is and what I’m looking to do. Right now my focus is on Dereck; he’s a good fighter. He’s good enough for me to take serious and not overlook him. I’m expecting a war.”
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