In an absorbing battle between unbeaten and highly touted heavyweight prospects, Tyson Fury emerged with the British and Commonwealth heavyweight titles draped over his enormous shoulders after whipping the tough but shoddily prepared Dereck Chisora throughout twelve highly entertaining rounds. It was the perfect occasion to help ease boxing back onto terrestrial television as Fury came of age at the Wembley Arena, displaying skill, desire and no end of promise while Chisora, who only has himself to blame for his demise, displayed enough resilience to suggest he can still have a future.
Fury, appearing fit and relaxed, controlled the opener and quickly asserted himself in belting Chisora around the ring. Boxing on the retreat, Fury would wait for his man to lumber forward and then pick him off smartly from his unusual vantage point with hard straight rights and meaty uppercuts. Chisora, scaling a career high 261 lbs. and looking every ounce of it, appeared both clueless and woefully heavy as Fury had his way with him.
Though the Finchley man hadn’t arrived in shape, he had very definitely shown up looking to win and he landed a monster left hook in the 2nd which clattered off the top of Fury’s head and began a sequence of swipes which had the younger man at first dishevelled and then all out at sea. Though clearly harassed, Fury rallied himself — gritting his teeth and battling back only for Chisora to turn the tide once more to capture a rollicking session.
Fury was back on track in round 3, countering with quick and accurate shots as Chisora rolled forward, eager to land another humdinger. Chisora, who looked strong and powerful despite his wobbling frame, was a constant source of menace, bursting out of his crouch with booming hooks from both hands.
Fury, in the best shape of his career at a toned 255.5 lbs., put his conditioning to good use in the 5th and had himself a thoroughly good time as he rattled off multi-punch combinations, throwing up his hands and sticking out his tongue as he blazed away – quite a sight to behold when we’re talking about a 6’ 9” heavyweight. Chisora could only hit fresh air with his return fire as Fury ploughed into him again and again.
It would prove to be a turning point. Chisora, tiring visibly, reverted to lounging against the ropes for long periods as Fury picked him off with short, quick shots, piling up the points as “Del Boy” invested everything in landing a fight changing haymaker. As Fury strafed him repeatedly with combinations it resembled a team of Ghostbusters admonishing the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man.
Fury kept on keeping on, at times grimacing in disbelief as he smashed right hands into the champion’s wedge of a head, clearly baffled at Chisora’s resilience. And confusion mounted in the 8th as Chisora mugged and mocked while penned into a corner, taking a pasting yet looking surprisingly unbothered in spite of it. As they brawled their way into the bout’s final third and with fatigue now kicking in, Fury began draping himself across Chisora on the ropes, chopping away in spurts while smothering his man to limit any response.
Round 10 was a doozy. Fury commenced with his familiar pinning in routine before Chisora, showing the grit and desire that had almost certainly been missing from his training camp, exploded with a manic, two-handed extended burst. It was a stirring blitz, the type which had turned around his fortunes in the 9th round of his previous contest against Norfolk’s Sam Sexton; however, Fury shook it off before quickly resuming control.
As both fighters plodged into unchartered waters, the action inevitably petered out over the final two sessions. Fury smothered, fiddled and kidded his way home, yet Chisora never stopped threatening and the pervading sense of drama which had entertained throughout remained up until the final bell. Scores were announced as 117-112, 117-112 and 118-111 and Fury, still only 22 and with PR advisor Max Clifford evaluating from ringside, can clearly go places in this moribund division. He must, of course, ignore the advances of Wladimir Klitschko, who would prove far too seasoned for the young pup at this juncture.
On this performance, Chisora can thank his lucky stars that his own pop at Klitschko never came off and he must now seriously consider whether he can summon the sort of dedication Fury displayed here in order to do himself justice.
The rest of us were left to bask in what had been a resounding success for Channel Five and all concerned with this production (so successful in fact, that Fury’s name ended up trending on the social networking site Twitter in the UK). Once again it has been proven: Offer the public a competitive fight between fighters they can recognise and they will once again embrace boxing. It was a crowning moment for the exciting young traveller and it could be a crucial one for those hoping to see the sport re-emerge into the spotlight.