Chisora v Kabayel: The danger lurking for for Dereck's latest comeback attempt

UK Media

DERECK Chisora fights in France on Saturday in his latest bid to hit the big time. Ralph Ellis fears it might be a tougher task than he thinks...

For all his faults, which are many and various, you find yourself grudgingly admiring Dereck Chisora. What other boxer has suffered seven serious defeats yet still goes on in pursuit of a world title?

At 33 you'd have thought any one of the significant losses might have been enough for him to call it a day.

But no, the kid from Zimbabwe who came to England at 16 and turned Pro eight years later is still in there, still believing, still giving out the trash talk.

Since signing for Eddie Hearn's Matchroom stable earlier this year he's been on the path of another comeback, chasing a rematch with Dillian Whyte while still nursing a grievance about the split decision which cost him that fight last December.

He returned to the ring with an easy win over Robert Filipovic in September, and this Saturday in Monaco aims to move a step further when he fights German Agit Kabayel for the European title.

It would be nice to suggest it will be a simple victory. Chisora is 1.51 in the Match Odds against the 25-year-old German. But I fear it might not be so simple.

Kabayel is hardly a household name in his own household, never mind across the boxing world. The heavyweight's biggest claim to fame is that he's pals with Manchester City star Leroy Sane because they used to both try out kickboxing as they grew up in the back streets of Essen.

But while Sane dropped that when his football career took off, Kabayel got more serious before he then switched to orthodox boxing. It looks a good decision - he's won all of his 16 fights so far, 12 of them by a knockout.

He's a young man who isn't afraid to work at his sport. He's travelled extensively, sparring with Tyson Fury, Anthony Joshua and Kubrat Pulev among others.

"I want to learn," he told a German website. "My father had a saying: 'Metal that works can never rust', and I don't want to stop working."

He signed a three-year contract with top German promoter Ulf Steinforth, who loved the fact that "Agit doesn't want his career to be built on the 'Softie tour'."

And when he easily outpointed Herve Hubeaux in February to win the European title, he won praise for the crispness of his punching and the way he stayed on the front foot, always looking to be the aggressor in the ring.

At six feet three, he's a couple of inches taller than Chisora, and that extra reach will present another danger.

It makes it a massive night for Chisora. He's already calling out Whyte, getting in to trash talk mode after watching his rival's win over Robert Helenius from ringside.

The aim is to set himself up for a big payday in the New Year. Hearn, who is arguably champion at every weight at the moment for the way his Matchroom business has conquered the boxing world, insists "a Whyte rematch is a fight that boxing needs to see again."

That assumes that his man will be wearing the European belt after this weekend, but it is a very big assumption. The only consolation is that if anybody can brush off an eighth career defeat and go again, it's Chisora.


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Denis Gwenzi
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