Dereck Chisora, Vitali Klitschko And The Smack Heard ‘Round The World

Boxers like to get into scuffles at weigh-ins for a whole host of reasons, so I had to sit down for a second and think about why this one from Friday has been getting so much more attention. I think I’ve figured it out.

A. It’s a high-quality smack. It really connects very nicely. Oscar De La Hoya was admiring it on Twitter, and he’s not been alone.

B. Dereck Chisora did this to VITALI KLITSCHKO, one of the world’s two best heavyweights with his brother Wladimir, and one of the most intimidating men in the sport. Just look at that icy Vitali stare after it goes down. When you bitch-slap the man who is a contender for the title of “baddest man in the world,” you’re going to draw a lot of, “awww, no he dinn-ent” kind of comments.

C. It’s ripe for a lot of speculation about why it happened. Boxing fans and sports fans in general love playing body language expert, and you’ll find people who are convinced that Chisora did it because he was scared or nervous, or did it because of the “adrenaline,” or did it because he was trying to get into Vitali’s head because Wladimir is scared of “crazy street guys” and that kind of thing is hereditary — or my view, which is that he’s basically just an unpredictable psychopath, albeit an oft-entertaining one.

Most people seem to think this won’t be good for Chisora come Saturday. His own team didn’t seem to like him doing it. It’s going to cost him $50,000. But if it was a psychological ploy of some kind, rather than the S&M misfirings of a bite-y, spank-y weirdo, I say it was worth a shot. What I mean is, Vitali is usually going to beat you up in slow motion; that’s how the Klitschko boys do, just methodically beating your ass over however man rounds. If this convinces Vitali to speed up and go for blood, well, one of two things is going to happen: Either Chisora gets knocked out earlier, in which case he doesn’t have to suffer the more painful path of a 45-minute whooping, or it gives Chisora a better chance of forcing a firefight that is the only kind of fight he can win.

Either way, with the exception of that battery case, after this I remain pro-Chisora. He’s got a fun boxing style, and while you might see this and say, “Whadda dick,” I wouldn’t say you’re wrong, per se. Chisora isn’t a classy sort, and too many more of his antics and I could turn from finding him mostly-amusing to downright villainous. For now, I just see this and say, “Not boring.”

About Tim Starks

Tim is the founder of The Queensberry Rules and co-founder of The Transnational Boxing Rankings Board ( He lives in Washington, D.C. He has written for the Guardian, Economist, New Republic, Chicago Tribune and more.